|1972 Soviet Union 16 kopeks stamp. Mars 3 lander. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
11: 15 am, June 1 2089, Abuja, Capital city of the Union of West African States
Very little has changed in the spaceport. Not that I was expecting much to have changed in the time that I had been away from home, but I had not expected things to remain the same. Near the exit doors, just beyond where the customs desk ended, the touts, not so camouflaged by well-sown but low quality Aba-copy business suits, still lurked, hungry eyes searching for the next victim.
Behind them, closer to the exit doors, loitered taxi drivers, pick pockets, potters, and an assortment of humanity who make a living from transit ports of any kind.
I felt the touts edging closer from the corner of my eyes and marvelled at how much space they covered while appearing not to move at all.
A lifted palm was all I needed to ward off those that my stern mask did not discourage. Outside the port the same approach served to scoot away the throng of taxi drivers and potters, who wanted me to believe that my simple shoulder strapped hand luggage was an encumbrance I needed to be rid of.
As I walked towards the extended storage area to retrieve my car, I felt the need to look back at the shuttle that had carried me back to earth. I didn’t look. I knew what I would see: a needle shaped, rust coloured bulk that lacked the majesty of the real space going ship. The rocket functions merely as an escape vehicle, one that takes you from earth to orbit, where you would switch to a space going ship.