As senior scientist at
NASAs rocket propulsion laboratory, Meg
knew that the science and technology of
chemically powered rocket engines had reached a
ceiling. To attain the velocities and fuel
storage required for inter-stellar travel, new
propulsion systems would inevitably seem to be
required; perhaps ion technology; perhaps even
Meg was pondering this
problem as she shopped for cosmetics.
She was casually reading
the label on a tub of moisturising cream when,
suddenly, two facts became dramatically apparent:
Firstly, the names of the chemicals contained in
the product were unfamiliar, despite her two
doctorates in chemistry. Secondly, the cream
possessed astounding properties. It appeared that
it could not only reverse the ageing process, but
also make its users physically indistinguishable
from leading international models.
Meg realised that there
could be just one explanation: The cosmetics
company had employed the greatest scientists of
all time who had, in their secret laboratories,
advanced the frontiers of chemistry by decades,
if not centuries.
On returning to her lab,
Meg rang the cosmetics giant and proposed
collaboration with NASA.
The company agreed to help,
although insisted that any formulae for their
rocket enhancement products would be commercial
secrets that could not be shared with NASA.
So it was that packs of
LaunchOLift arrived at the lab. The promotional
video that accompanied them was impressive. It
explained, using glamorous models, how natural
ingredients, including new formula, organic
BlastOff Pro 49C, guaranteed that even a rusted
bucket would experience no problems in reaching
The gel was carefully
applied to a rocket engine on the test rig.
Inexplicably, however, it demonstrated no
Scientists from the
cosmetics company considered the problem and soon
provided new LaunchOLift VT10 enriched with
AntiGravitol QA. This was even supplied with a
convenient applicator. Once again, however, there
was no discernable effect.
Meg thought back to the
promotional video. The use of LaunchOLift had
definitely made her feel better about her project.
Perhaps there had been some physical improvements
that the test equipment could not detect?
The NASA resource committee
had exhibited a typically male attitude. They had
decided that no further funds could be allocated
to rocket enhancement cosmetics without some
demonstrable scientific evidence of their
On balance, Meg saw this as
a loss to NASA. After all, the Ferrari Formula
One Team seemed to be showing significant success
following collaboration with the same cosmetics
company. Their cars were now routinely treated
with new formula, organic SpeedATrack 27J
enriched with CornerFast BL94.
Dee Caffari had entered the
record books in February 2009 as the first woman
to sail solo around the world in both directions.
How might she have fared, Meg wondered, had her
boat not received liberal applications of
WaveSuppress M76, enriched with herbal essences
including StormOStop ZR 21?
Meg inspected the engine on
the test rig. For now, she would have to
intensify research into those warp drives -
propulsion systems that involved the controlled
distortion of space-time, manipulating the
underlying fabric of the Universe.
That certainly involved
exciting scientific concepts, if not quite as
advanced as those claimed for LaunchOLift and its