Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

“Man, we got ripped off.” said Manuel.

He was watching an old tri-D of a Flash Gordon serial made in the fifties. In the show, the year was 1998, just like now. It was hilarious and depressing all at the same time.

Manuel’s robot servant brought him another drink. “Will there be anything else?” D-11B intoned.

“No.” answered Manuel through his thought-amplification helmet. “That will be all.”

D-11B went back to the kitchen dispensary to prepare the dinner pills. Manuel continued watching Flash Gordon.

On the tri-D, Flash Gordon got into his ‘internal combustion’ ground car, put something called a cigarette into his mouth and drove to his ‘apartment’ using what he referred to as an ‘onboard navigational computer’ that told him exactly where to go.

In this series, there were little robots in space that took pictures of earth that everyone could see and use as a map. They called them satellites. No tethers! Amazing.

“Imagine how easy it would be to fly around without having to avoid all the tethers,” Manuel said to himself, “my personal jetpack would have a few less scratches, that’s for sure.”

Flash Gordon’s friend, Dr. Zarkov, had something called a pacemaker. It used metal wires to stimulate his heart with electricity!

Complete flights of fancy. The miracle material called ‘plastic’, for instance, made from the magic ‘oil’ liquid that came out of the ground, or electricity that was only in wires and not the free-floating Tesla storms that we had so many problems with.

“We hadn’t been able to live on the ground since 1938,” said Manuel to himself, “that’s why we all lived in nuclear-powered levitating houses. It was a matter of survival after The World War.”

Manuel could hear his wife’s flying car come in for a landing outside on the inner rim. He turned off the tri-D and stood up. “She’d kill me if she caught me watching this old claptrap,” he murmured, “it always makes me cranky.”

The bio-coral bone-thickeners helped Mauel’s hips as he stood up. He was wishing for a pair of those magnificent ‘plastic’ hips like in the Flash Gordon film.

No ground cars, no satellites, no shuttles, no gasoline, no plastic.

Manuel sighed. “Man, we got ripped off.” he said again.

“Honey, I’m home!” said his wife as she came in the front vacutube elevator.

Manuel forced a smile and went to greet his wife before dinner.

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