Ever since mankind first invented Rock and Roll, although some say far before then even, it was inevitable that he would leave his home planet to spread across the depths of space. What wasn't so easy to predict was the reason mankind did this.
Before it happened, some popular theories had involved man's spirit of adventure, wanderlust, or some sort of conquering spirit. Slightly less popular theories had to do with the destruction and decay of the Earth's fragile ecosystems.
The real reason man had to leave his nest… that's right folks, it wasn't a choice… had to do with death. Well not so much the death really as much as what to do with the dead once they had passed. Mankind had this nasty little habit of burying their dead. Through the ages people just kept on dying and when they did, the living kept putting them in the ground, often with carved stone markers left to help remember those who were buried beneath. It was considered in poor taste to move those long dead or to dispose of them altogether so the newer and newer places to bury the dead were needed. This kind of thing went on and on until finally there was just no room left for people to live anymore. The planet, in essence, had become a giant cemetery.
The great minds of the age devised two different plans to deal with the problem, and it was up to the world leaders, who were not the great minds of the age mind you, to decide which course of action to take.
The first was to take the dead, load them up into rocket ships and blast them off into space, thus clearing the land again for farms, housing developments, outlet malls and national parks. The major drawback of this plan had nothing to do with engineering and manufacturing rocket ships; man had done that long before the global cemetery epidemic, but never had the gumption to actually use them. The drawback was that many people held a deep connection to their ancestors and didn't feel right about plucking them from their native Earth and hurtling them into the vacuum of space.
The second idea was to leave the dead where they lay and take all of those rocket ships and blast the living off into space. The major drawback to this plan was that, besides glimpses of the moon and nearby Mars, space was complete mystery. There was no guarantee that, if man left, he would be able to find a new terrestrial home.
Going with emotional rather than intellectual reasoning, the world's leaders, who again were not the great minds, opted for blasting themselves and the rest of the human populace into space.
On the planet Wham, known mostly for its universities, colleges and other institution of learning, both higher and otherwise, there was a meeting of people, the purpose of which was to determine the fate of a particularly prestigious grant of an undisclosed monetary sum.
Three finalists were presenting their proposals to the not-actually-present Board of People Who Decide Things (that's what it's actually called).
First had been an impassioned plea by a social sciences student to expand her music collection.
Next was a well worded request for additional funds to begin a trek for the galaxy's best riodfiututti, which is a non-traditional dish in which all ingredients must begin with the letter C.
The not-actually-present board members seemed equally impressed with both ideas.
Third was a young man named Elron. By far, his was the most thought out, the most intelligent and unfortunately, the lengthiest presentation. He provided an in depth history of man's place in space which lead ultimately backwards to a giant, shiny red question mark… literally, it was part of his presentation materials. The giant, shiny red question mark represented man's first home, man's beginning, the planet Earth.
When man left to escape the cemeteries, he didn't think to stop to look back. When the rocket ship pilots and crews did this, the thinking was that this was a brave and noble gesture, but in retrospect it turned out to be an awful mistake as mankind had wandered off so far that there came a point when he realized he couldn't make his way back to Earth even if he wanted to.
This Elron person's proposal, which he called the Getting Back to Our Roots movement, was to gain funding to find a way back to the mother planet.
Had his proposal been more brief and to the point, it might have stood a better chance of winning the grant. As it was though, several of the board members had lost interest and/or become distracted somewhere in the middle of what might otherwise have been a particularly moving bit about planet redesigning, which was set to the music of Pink Floyd.
Because of her directness, and more importantly, her offer to purchase coffee flavored drinks for the board if they chose her, the young lady proposing a more extensive music collection won the day as well as the grant money.
Not one to be let down by a set back as trivial as losing a prestigious grant, Elron fully intended to carry out his plan nonetheless. That very afternoon he put out an ad in the classifieds.
Classified ads were anything put. As a matter of fact, they were so incredibly public it was literally impossible for one to ignore them. The instant anyone completed submission of a classified ad, any and all media available to the planet would begin communicating it. Billboards would change, movies, television shows and fiction books would work the classified ad into their stories, bathrooms would shout it from the toilets, teachers would interrupt their lessons to advise classes of the ad, those sleeping would have the ad transmitted into their dreams and so on.
In a diner somewhere completely different on Wham, a young man named Dave was having a meal with another young man named Scotty. Both were students at one of the local planetary universities, or rather they would have been were school in session. As it was, they were temporary non-students as one semester had ended and the next wouldn't begin for thirteen and five eighths lunar cycles.
While it was the most pressing matter, financially, for both of them, neither seemed at all interested in discussing the prospect of employment to pay whatever bills might arise while school was out of session. The topic of conversation seemed as a back pack or satchel carried on the backs or over the shoulders of the young men's eyes. The eyes went to a pair of similarly aged girls at a table on the other side of the diner and so the words being spoken by the two followed suit.
"Oh my gosh, look at those two."
"Hey wait, I think I know her," Scotty stated, "Well not know her, know her. We had a class together I think."
"Which one?" Dave asked.
Dave was about to mention the lack of pointing, but just then three more girls came in the entrance. The eyes gathered their back packs and satchels and took a trip to see.
Girl watching had become a very socially accepted practice among university and college students on Wham. Similarly, so did boy watching, old man watching, soccer mom watching and squirrel watching. Scotty, as a matter of fact, had just completed a course on the history of watching, which had seven chapters devoted to girls. Likewise eight were dedicated to squirrels, six to old men, nine to boys and there were twenty eight chapters for soccer moms.
The robot waitress appeared. Where normally she might have refilled a drink, offered desert or asked if everything was alright with their food, on this particular occasion she had this to say.
"Attention! Attention! A money making opportunity for you. Historical endeavor. Adventure. If interested please call Z98DHJ456832946732KHD#%6HHDIRK;)SJ247907EHX99WC BYW8EF8C9W now."
The two young men, remembering their financial situation, gave each other a knowing look.
"And money!" added Scotty.
"I'll call," said Dave, "I love how much easier it is now that they shortened all the phone numbers."
Communication devices are built into clothing so with the end of his shirt sleeve, Dave called the number from the classified ad.
This is what Scotty heard of the conversation.
"Hey I just saw your ad…"
"Oh okay. Well yeah there's two of us," Dave smiled at Scotty when he said this.
"Ummmmmm okay then. We'll see you there."
He adjusted his sleeve to end the call.
"Dude, it sounded like that guy had a lot to say."
Dave answered, "No, not really. Why?"
"It's just that…"
Dave interrupted, "Guy on the phone didn't really ask anything about us at all. He just said something about making history, some travel and to meet up at his rockets ship tomorrow."
"So," Scotty asked, "what are we getting ourselves into?"
"I don't know," answered Dave, "but he wants to know if we've got any friends who might be interested too."
"Interested in what?" asked Scotty.
"Yeah… not so sure. Want to see if anyone's up for it?
Scotty took a bite of his sandwich while Dave was asking, but he nodded in the affirmative. He couldn't really hear what Dave was asking over his chewing though, he just heard his voice raise at the end, saw his eyebrows raise, and then he seemed to be waiting for something once he finished speaking.
"Coolness. Let's try James first."
Though he doesn't say it, Scotty thinks, "Try James for what?"
Elron had been hoping to fund his expedition on his own with the prestigious grant, but since that fell through, he was going to have to resort to using his family's money.
He had been a part of a wealthy family his whole life, though his parents had not. His father, Elrod, was born into a particularly destitute family. Because of the instability of the surface on the planet Spandau Ballet, where he was raised, Elrod actually did have to walk to school up hill both ways. He was a bright young man and an eager learner so the walk up hill to school was more enjoyable than the up hill walk home in the afternoons.
There was a girl in his classes growing up that he fancied. She wasn't from a wealthy family either, but compared to Elrod's family, she was as a princess to his pauper. Her name was Conchita.
When they had completed their government mandated required minimum of school learning hours, at a celebratory gathering for those, like themselves, who had graduated from their required schooling, the two got to talking. The talking endured and while they talked they got to walking as well. Spandau Ballet had several moons, but on that night only one, Fleetwood Mac was out. Walking under that moon and all, the whole thing seemed very romantic indeed.
At one point they stopped, looked up and Elrod said, "Conchita my darling. I would do anything for you. If you wanted it, I'd find a way to give you the moon."
She was moved, though internally she thought it the sweetest thing she had ever heard and in that instant knew her fate lay with him, on the outside she laughed, then joked, "the moon you say? Well I'll take it."
Knowing full well that she didn't expect him to actually give her the moon, Elrod did all he could to give it to her anyway. Turns out the moon was unclaimed as it had been surveyed and deemed completely void of anything at all that might someday prove to be even remotely useful. All Elrod had to do was file a claim at the Spandau Ballet planetary courthouse, go through a few bureaucratic steps and VOILA, it was his… well Conchita's to be precise as he put everything in her name.
On her next birthday, which conveniently was timed only seven days after the paperwork on the moon was complete, Elrod presented it to her.
She broke down and cried because it was the most romantic thing she could imagine.
She and he got to talking again then got to walking again, and then under that same moon, although two other moons were out too, she proposed marriage. He accepted.
It was a small wedding, very small. I don't know that there are words to express just how small it was. Really, it was small. Still, it was all they could afford.
The reception was even smaller. Really it was just the two of them and an unwelcome and very bothersome stray koala bear.
Why a koala?
It's because the ecosystem of Spandau Ballet, once terra-designed, had proven to be so especially advantageous to the species that they began to reproduce at astonishing speed. No longer had it become possible for the human populace to keep the number of koala bears under control and no longer were they purely a domesticated animal. Feral koalas had begun to run rampant. A massive spay and neuter your koala campaign was undertaken, which proved to be utterly ineffective.
While on their honeymoon, which was little more than a trip to a neighborhood park with a swing set, the news broke that, after extensive scanning, a rich, new, immeasurably powerful type of ore was discovered beneath the surface of Fleetwood Mac.
The new substance had no name so it was left to the moon's owners to come up with one. They called it Conchita Forever. Conchita Forever was used to power everything from pencil sharpeners, personal computers, and dishwashers to cities, rocket ships, fleets f rocket ships, and, in some cases, entire worlds.
At breakneck speed, Elrod and Conchita had gone from being among the poorest people on their planet, which itself was among the poorest in the galaxy to schmoosing it up with the galaxy's super mega ultra ridiculously wealthy.
They had always wanted a daughter, but when their son Elron was born they decided they liked him anyway, despite not being a girl, and stopped at just the one child.
Elrod and Conchita had worked very very hard to instill in their son the type of values they had when they grew up poor, the type of values that really matter. Try as they might though, some of those hoity toity values slipped through the cracks and so Elron knew that, no matter what kind of mess he ever got himself into, the reputation and money of his parents would always be there to bail him out. He hadn't really needed their help for anything super serious, so when he told them he needed funds for his "getting back to our roots" project, he had their full backing. Far too many of the children of their hoity toity rich friends had grown up to do nothing more with their lives that eat, sleep and live to excess, so when Elron approached them with his "getting back to our roots" venture, they were very proud of him for taking such an interest in something, anything, even if it was as completely pointless as trying to rediscover the Earth.
Although not fully believing in his project, they had been on board the whole time. They respected his wishes to try and do it on his own by winning that prestigious grant, so when it fell through they were right there with whatever funds he felt he would need.