‘Verse: Skipping Stones
Length/Rating: 161 words, PG, Gen
Summary: The world cheered when the first pod skipped from low Earth orbit to Mars, then onto Pluto in the same fraction of a second.
The world cheered when the first pod skipped from low Earth orbit to Mars, then onto Pluto in the same fraction of a second. The race outwards into the universe had finally begun!
But skipping was a dangerous thing, and sometimes things that skipped into the Nothing never skipped out again.
Statistically it was safer than driving, but the PR firms knew statistics never helped when there was that looming chance of instant death. That’s why the pods that skipped people around the universe never held more than two people. They’d learned from earlier attempts that there was a maximum number of deaths the public would allow. When the expected ship in a ten thousand vanished, it was only two lives and not a hundred or a thousand. The national news didn’t blink, they were acceptable losses.
It wasn’t until six months later when one of the Lost skipped back in from the Nothing that the losses suddenly weren’t acceptable anymore.