I reached for the control strip and tapped the edit icon. Immediately, the scene changed to a woodland, dark fir trees casting long shadows beneath a heavy winter sky. For background effect, I added... [+]
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When he was small, he had always dreamed of being an astronaut. Unfortunately, he was hopeless at astrophysics, but that had not stopped him from becoming the best geneticist at NASA.
The day he injected himself with his latest concoction, he knew he had it, his Nobel Prize. The invention allowed him to teleport himself anywhere within his field of vision. He only had to see with his naked eye the place where he wished to be.
Intoxicated with excitement, he tried a brief return trip between his laboratory and the building opposite. His desire to share his discovery was stifled by the selfish wish to move wherever he liked, with no limits. He was free at last.
As a good scientist, he argued that if he wanted to travel across the whole of the Earth’s surface, he would have to perform a considerable number of teleportations. That would require too much effort. A second problem sprang to his mind: how could he cross the oceans?
That was when he had the idea. It was astonishing, and quite brilliant.
Just as Galileo had overturned the physics of Aristotle by pointing his telescope at the heavens, all he had to do was to perform the same action. So the man of science looked upwards. The best way of reaching any point on the planet was right there above his head.
The moon. His wildest dream.
He trembled as he thought that he could go to every corner of the globe, with two simple movements. Then he went down to the room in NASA where the spacesuits were stored. He put one on and climbed onto the roof. He stared at the moon and was quickly projected onto its surface.
A man, alone, on the moon… He savoured the moment. He remained there for a long time, looking at Earth. With just a blink of his eye, he could explore all its secrets.
Suddenly, he caught sight of a star in the sky and wondered idly how far away it was. Hardly had he formulated this thought before he was propelled to the origin of the light source.
When he turned around, he was petrified by the distance he had covered.
He vaguely remembered that light from the stars could come from the other end of the universe. In one second, he had travelled God knows how many millions of light years. He looked in vain for a trace of the sun but his galaxy was now nothing more than a mere dot glimmering among billions of others.
He had always been hopeless at astrophysics. He looked at a random star and for a second time was lost in the infinite universe.
Translated by Wendy Cross