Posted December 22, 2021

The Brilliant Boy Billionaire

The Amazing Journey of a Remarkable Kid, by Altimexis

PART ELEVEN – Of Cuba & Cars

Chapter 3: The Good China

Henry and I weren’t shown to our suite in the embassy until it was nearly midnight. At least, the press conference wasn’t until 11:00 AM, so we could sleep until 9:00 and still have plenty of time to get dressed and have breakfast first. Of course, as tired as we were from the day’s events, we went right to bed. Yeah, sure we did. It had been nearly half a year since we’d last made love, and we practically tore each other’s clothes off. At least, Henry had had the good sense to bring lube.

I think we might have set a record. It was a matter of seconds before Henry was buried deep inside of me, and neither of us lasted long. It had been months since I’d had the companionship of more than my left hand, so the amount of spunk that covered Henry’s torso, his face, his hair and even the wall across the way was more than impressive. I licked some of my spunk off of his nose and from the fold the nose makes with the face, which is an area I find erotic.

“Wow, that was intense,” Henry exclaimed. “I don’t think I’ve ever shot so much in my life.”

“Speaking of which, I need to take a dump,” I responded. “I didn’t exactly get a chance to clean myself up in advance. Maybe I should wash up before we continue.”

When I started to do my thing, Henry responded by saying, “Oh, man, that smells nasty.”

“Most of that is from you,” I countered, but even I had to agree that the odor wasn’t pleasant. After flushing away the evidence, I took a few minutes to use the bidet that was in the bathroom to wash up a bit so Henry wouldn’t have to deal with my shit any more than he had to, pun intended. When I came out of the bathroom, however, I noticed that Henry seemed to be a bit down.

“Honey, is everything okay?” I asked.

“I’m sorry, Babe,” Henry began. “I wasn’t gonna mention it ’til later, but the smell kinda brought it all back. Darren tried to get me into scat, but I just couldn’t any more than you could. Shortly after you disappeared, he killed himself.”

“Oh, no!” I exclaimed as I pulled Henry into my arms, and we both cried for the longest time.

Finally, as we got ourselves under control, Henry added, “I just can’t help but think that it was my fault, you know?”

“He seemed so happy at your birthday party.”

“Yeah, I know,” Henry agreed, “but I’ve since read that people who are suicidally depressed may appear to get better only because they’ve decided to kill themselves. It’s ’cause they know the pain will finally end. I didn’t know that. I tried my best to get him to seek help, but maybe I shoulda gone to his parents anyway, even though I promised him I wouldn’t.”

“Yeah, you should’ve,” I said. “Every textbook would have said so. If you thought he was a danger to himself or others, you had an obligation to report your concerns to those responsible for him.” As Henry’s jaw dropped open in shock, I clarified, “The trouble was, you had no way of knowing if his parents were the cause. Telling them could’ve made things worse. Way worse. Same with his rabbi or his teachers, and we both know what would’ve happened if you’d gone to CPS or the police. In retrospect, that’s probably what you should’ve done, but even that wouldn’t have likely changed the outcome. You did your best, Babe, but as much as we live in the adult world, we’re still kids. There’s only so much you could’ve done.”

“I know that,” Henry admitted, “but it doesn’t make him any less dead.”

“Of course not,” I said. “I don’t think either of us is in the mood for sex right now, nor are we ready to go to sleep. Why don’t we see if we can find something on TV to watch?”

Unfortunately, at that hour of the night, there was absolutely nothing on Cuban state TV, and the embassy had limited access to cable. Neither of us felt like watching CNN. Instead, Henry got out the Applazon TV streaming stick he’d brought with him, and although he couldn’t connect to the internet, he was able to use AirStream from his Applazon Phone to stream content he’d already downloaded. We therefore started to watch a new sci-fi dramatic series that had just been released for streaming on Applazon Plus. It was an Applazon Original, and it was outstanding. We ended up watching all five episodes that had been released so far and got to bed far later than was wise.

The wakeup call came way too early and with less than four hours of sleep, we’d be dragging all day. At least the embassy was kind enough to serve us a nice breakfast in our suite, so we didn’t have to see anyone before we were fully caffeinated.

The press conference was an experience, but it was Henry who stole the show when the first question, not unexpectedly, had to do with our young age. Everyone was incredulous that teenagers would have such important roles in such a large corporation even though we were the ones who’d invented the technology. Jeff and the ambassador fielded most of the other questions, but it was Henry who responded to that one. “As the youngest one present,” he began, “I’d like to point out that if we fail to act, it will be today’s teenagers who will be the first generation to face a planet that’s no longer habitable. Thus, it’s up to our generation to save the Earth given that the previous generations have utterly failed.” That certainly shut everyone up in a hurry.

The press conference was followed by a light lunch consisting of Cubanos with fried plantains. Finally, a local dish! After returning to our suite, Henry and I had several hours until the State Dinner was scheduled to begin. We probably should have taken the opportunity to nap, but that never even came up. Shedding our clothes, we began the afternoon of lovemaking with a long and sensuous 69, bringing each other repeatedly to the brink only to back off before our partner reached the point of no return. It was exquisite torture to be sure, but oh, I’d missed the intimacy of sex with my boyfriend more than anything else during my captivity.

After finally allowing ourselves to cum, we snuggled for the longest time, simply making out and fondling each other, enjoying just being with each other in the most intimate way possible. We explored each other’s feet and toes, kissed and licked underarms and gave each other the most exquisite pleasure as we rimmed and tongued each other. I would never tire of intimacy with my baby.

Finally, I lined myself up and shoved myself aggressively down Henry’s member and slowly and painfully began a steady rhythm designed to maximize both pleasure and torture. I wasn’t about to let him cum until he begged me for it. It was a wild ride that ended with what had to be our most explosive orgasms yet. We feasted on each other’s cum until we realized we needed to get going, so we showered, shaved and donned our formal wear. I wasn’t sure how the embassy had been able to provide a tux that fit me so perfectly. Even the patent-leather shoes were a perfect fit.

<> <> <>

“Dr. Jeffries,” a young Asian man greeted me as he approached Henry and me. We were standing around in a large hall, nibbling on plates of hors d’oeuvres, as servers – the human kind – kept circulating around the room, constantly offering us new selections. Mingling was something I was forced to do and for which I had little patience, so I put my brain on autopilot and thought of other things while I did my best to make idle conversation without looking as bored as I was. I had to search my brain for a moment, as it had been some time since I’d last seen him, but then it came to me.

“Dr. Fu, it’s good to see you again, Huan. How are Ling Ling and little Dongshan?” I asked. I’d met Huan when installing a new data center in Guangzhou in the People’s Republic of China.

“Dongshan isn’t so little anymore,” Dr. Fu answered. “He’s eleven now, but he acts more like he’s thirteen.” We both laughed in response.

“Huan, this is my partner in invention and in life, Enrique Gonzalez,” I said as I introduced my boyfriend. “He goes by the nickname, Henry.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Henry,” Dr. Fu responded as he shook both our hands. “I can see that you’ve made our J.J. happy. He was so depressed when he spent time with us in Guangzhou.”

“Actually, I spent most of the time in Hong Kong,” I reminded him. “My government was still reluctant to allow me to spend so much time on the mainland even though Hong Kong is very much under the control of Beijing. They seem to think you’ll steal our latest technology by osmosis.”

“That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about,” Dr. Fu continued. “I know your government will never allow you to sell us your quantum computers even though we developed our own platform years before you invented yours.”

“You did, and you’re to be commended for it, but yours doesn’t come close to the speed, density and production volume of ours – not that anyone outside of China has actually seen it,” I pointed out.

“That’s very true,” Dr. Fu agreed. “I fear that our design represents a technological dead end. In time, we will acquire your technology and even improve upon it.”

“I’m certain you will,” I chimed in. “By then, of course, we will have improved upon our current designs and still be several generations ahead of you. You may have the vast resources of the People’s Republic of China at your disposal, but that still won’t allow you to circumvent the laws of physics any more than we were able to.”

“Most would’ve thought the tunneling of electrons through a crystalline matrix to be against the laws of physics until you showed it could be done, Dr. Jeffries,” Dr. Fu countered. “Give us time and we will find a way.”

“That will have to be seen,” I replied with a smile, “however, I suspect you had something else in mind?”

“Indeed, J.J.,” he answered. “You are very perceptive as always. The issue is with your super­conductive energy applications. By that, I mean your motors, heat pumps, wind turbines and similar applications. Those are applications that do not involve protected technology. Those should be available to the PRC without restriction. They could be of great benefit, not only to the PRC, but to much of the Third World. As the rest of the world becomes less dependent on fossil fuels, the PRC will become the number-one source of greenhouse gases and the number one driver of climate change. As Third World countries rush to keep up with modern technology, they will rely on increasingly plentiful and cheap coal, oil and natural gas to fuel their growth, pardon the pun. Your country may point out all they want that the cost savings from using renewable energy sources will pay for themselves, but that’s not of much consolation to countries that cannot even secure the loans to cover the high initial cost of your technology. We will never get control of climate change unless your technology is more widely available. This is a global imperative, and it’s of much greater importance than just the profit made by one company.

“It could take decades for the PRC to develop the technology on its own,” Dr. Fu continued. “Those are decades that the planet frankly doesn’t have. We need to deploy that technology as quickly as possible, and so do you. So does the Third World. Your plant in Cuba is a great start, but it’s not enough. I think you know I’m right, too. You need to ramp up production much more quickly throughout the world. You need to price the technology more aggressively and make it available at or below cost to those that otherwise cannot afford it. Most importantly of all, you need partners to help deploy the technology. The PRC is well-positioned to be your partner. We already have infrastructure projects throughout the Third World. Your country, on the other hand, has been pulling away from its previous commitments. Even if you reverse course 180 degrees, it won’t be enough. You need our help.”

“Wow, that’s quite a proposal,” I replied. “You’ve piqued my interest, but the ink isn’t even dry on the arrangements establishing the super­conducting-ceramics group just yet. I suspect that Mr. Barlow would fight this tooth and nail. He’s a true market capitalist and expects to make a fair profit. So long as he controls the intellectual-property rights, he’s not likely to permit sales to anyone at less than fair-market rates. He’s also not likely to allow sales to the PRC, given its track record on the lack of respect for intellectual property. Then, there’s our government. The technology used to manufacture super­conducting ceramics could make it easier for you to acquire the technology for quantum super­conducting computers. By law, that would be restricted. Indeed, anything that has military potential, including super­conducting motors, would be restricted.”

“It would be a shame if your rules and greed were to prevent us from the last and best approach to a carbon-neutral future,” Dr. Fu countered. “As it is, we’re going to need to develop sequestration technologies lest we face an unprecedented runaway thermal event and mass extinctions. We desperately need to put traditional profit motives aside and deploy your technology for the greater good.”

Laughing, I replied, “We couldn’t even come together when it came to fighting the pandemic. We all had an interest in seeing that the entire population was vaccinated as quickly as possible. Instead of working on rolling out vaccines as quickly as possible, we each went it alone. China was to be commended for rolling out a vaccine so quickly, but using the entire population in a Phase Three trial, much as the Russians did, was a fiasco. Your vaccine was only about 40% effective and failed to build herd immunity. You had to follow that with another vaccine once you developed it, but it was delayed because no one wanted to admit that the initial vaccine had been a failure. You lost valuable time.

“I’ll give Trump credit for his ‘Warp Speed’ effort, but then he lost interest. The biggest mistake was in funding vaccine development and leaving the pharmaceutical industry to charge what the market would bear. The U.S. government should’ve negotiated to purchase the patents, with the threat of declaring them critical to national interests rather than taking them outright, as they did with the LASER when it was first developed. Then they should’ve made the vaccines available at little or no cost to the rest of the world.”

“That sounds like communism, Dr. Jeffries,” Huan responded.

“Unlike my boss, I’ll be the first to admit that some things aren’t well-served by the marketplace,” I replied. “The socialist model has its legitimate place in society, as does the profit motive. Then again, it’s been a very long time indeed since China lived by a pure socialist model, hasn’t it?”

“Your point is well taken, J.J.” Huan agreed.

“Five years ago, I lived in a tiny shack in Southern Indiana,” I said. “I’ve come a long way in a very short time, and I’m certain we can do the same when it comes to the deployment of the new technology. I’m willing to help fund widespread deployment, but not even my money is sufficient to save the planet. I have a few billion to spare for a problem that will take an investment of trillions to solve. Only my government and yours have access to that kind of money. Like it or not, the profit motive is one of the most effective incentives for widespread deployment. That said, every effort must be made to mitigate the costs of the transition from fossil fuels, particularly in the Third World.”

“That’s true, J.J., but you don’t argue over who has jurisdiction over the fire hydrant or haggle over the price when your house is on fire,” Dr. Fu countered.

“My country’s government will never agree to allow the manufacture of super­conducting ceramics in China unless it can retain control and prevent the diversion into the development of quantum computers and other military applications,” I responded. “I doubt that Mr. Barlow will consider any arrangement that involves the ceding of intellectual-property rights or the payment of less than what the market will bear by those that can afford it, including the PRC. Huan, there has to be a way —”

“There is,” Dr. Fu conceded. “I’ve been given the authority to negotiate a deal under terms that would have never been considered before. You want to keep control of manufacturing operations in China? Consider it done. Whatever your government deems necessary to prevent industrial espionage or military diversion will be implemented. We’ll have to negotiate the specifics, but we’ll do whatever it takes. If you negotiate in good faith, I can assure you that we’ll do the same. You want a fair profit. We’ll agree to that, too. We’ll pay a fair price for the technology, as well, for those that can afford it. But when it comes to those that cannot, the U.S.A., the P.R.C., Russia, the E.U., the U.K., Australia, South Korea and Japan must all kick in their fair share to cover the cost of rolling out the technology to the rest of the world, and you and Applazon absolutely must provide it at cost.

“We’ll do better than provide it at cost,” Henry chimed in. “If you can commit to what you say, J.J. and I will volunteer our own time to design facilities for those countries that cannot pay.”

“We will?” I asked my boyfriend. Seeing the determination on his face, I added, “Of course we will. Now, we just have to convince everyone else to go along with it.”

<> <> <>

“So, what did you think?” Jeff asked Henry and me. We were in the living room of Jeff’s suite in the American Embassy. Henry and I had a similar suite across the hall, which was an amazing reflection of how far we’d come in such a short time. We’d be staying in Havana another night, and we’d then fly back to New York in the morning aboard Jeff’s private Jet.

“It was… different,” I responded. “I’ve been to a number of special dinners, but I’ve never been to an affair with so many people with over-inflated egos. I’d heard the term ‘long-winded’, but I never realized the true meaning was verbal flatulence.”

Laughing heartily, Jeff replied, “That is probably the best description I’ve ever heard. At least the food was decent, but I never cease to be amazed at how seldom embassies around the world partake of the native foods of the countries they serve. Cuba has some of the most flavorful food in the world, yet what did they serve? Steak and lobster. They probably had to have the lobster flown in from Maine, and I’d bet the meat came from Argentina. Not that it wasn’t good, but talk about bland. I can’t think of a more generic fine meal.”

“I guess J.J. and I will have plenty of opportunity to eat authentic Cuban food during the next several years,” Henry noted.

Jeff laughed. “How true. Consider it one of the perks of the job.” Then, turning to me he asked, “I saw you spent a fair bit of time with Huan Fu before dinner. Is there anything we need to discuss?”

Taking a deep breath, I launched into what turned out to be a lengthy review of what Henry and I had discussed with the representative from the People’s Republic of China. Jeff asked a lot of questions, but they were appropriate, on target. He clearly had his own ideas and was far more receptive than I’d ever expected he’d be.

“This is fantastic. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d have the opportunity to enter China. I can’t believe you got Dr.  Fu to agree to all of that,” he exclaimed.

“You’re really okay with giving the technology away to those who can’t afford it?” I asked.

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m a capitalist through and through, but out of more than seven-billion people on earth, only some two-and-a-half or maybe three billion have the resources to pay for the new technology. That leaves four- or five-billion people on earth who cannot afford to adopt the new technology and who will continue the practice of slash and burn, figuratively or literally. We have a moral imperative to ensure the complete dissemination of the new technology, even if it’s at cost. I think the bigger issue is going to be how to get subsistence farmers to cease practices their ancestors used before them for a thousand years. It could take generations to get them to stop using practices that harm the planet, but we don’t have generations to spare. There are too many subsistence farmers cutting down the few remaining forests to permit the practice to continue. We can find the means to feed them all, but how can we get them to give up the traditional methods they’ve used for centuries?”

“Perhaps we can set up a foundation to give block grants to non-governmental organizations to assist whole communities with the transition,” I suggested.

“Not all NGOs are created equal,” Jeff countered, “so we may not want to rely on them entirely. I do think it’s a good idea, though. A good use of limited resources. Perhaps we can set up a foundation jointly.”

“By the way, I made good use of my time in captivity,” I went on. “I kept a journal and started work on my memoirs —;”

Chuckling, Jeff interrupted, “Only you would have enough material to use for writing your memoirs at the age of seventeen.”

“I also came up with some designs for additional uses for super­conducting ceramics. For example, I have a design for high-speed rail using magnetic levitation. With application of the Peltier effect to cool the air at the front end and heat it at the rear, we can induce laminar flow at supersonic speeds without a sonic boom, and the drag coefficient will be cut by at least ninety percent. It’s cost-competitive with traditional rail and air travel, not to mention wickedly fast.”

Nodding his head, Jeff responded, “If it were anyone else, I’d say it’s a pipe dream. The bigger issue will be getting all the myriad governmental agencies to go along with using eminent domain to obtain the rights-of-way where none currently exist. We can afford to buy the existing rails where they exist and are adequate, but supersonic high-speed rail lines are incompatible with the tight curves found on most routes. The proposed San Francisco to L.A. route has been so hotly contested that it would be almost impossible to build it now. Perhaps we could build a demonstration route between Portland and Sacramento. If it’s successful, we could extend it north to Seattle and Vancouver, and south to L.A. and San Diego.

“In other words, the I-5 corridor,” I responded. “Not the first time it’s been proposed,” I commented. “Easier to get the rights-of-way, but much less functional than connecting true population centers as they do in Japan and Europe.”

Sighing, Jeff replied, “Yes, but I can build a high-speed rail spur from San Francisco to Sacramento. There’s a reason why I-5 was built in the Central Valley, and it’s not just the population centers that are in the way, but the mountains, which are the result of the geologic fault lines. That’s not something you have to deal with in the Midwest or on the East Coast.”

“How true you are,” I replied. “Okay, we’ll shoot for Portland to Sacramento first,” I said with a laugh.

“What else?” Jeff asked.

“The Peltier effect can also be used for supersonic air travel using the entire surface of an aircraft as the propulsion system. In other words, it’s a jet without a jet engine. The aerodynamics are even more favorable for aircraft, with a reduction in the drag coefficient of at least 99 percent and as with the supersonic train, supersonic and even hypersonic speeds are possible without a sonic boom and at reasonable cost. By using the Peltier effect to heat the under surface and cool the top surface, I can use a much shorter wingspan, too. Imagine flying from L.A. to Sidney at Mach 2 on a luxury airship and at a ticket price that doesn’t break the bank. That’s a third of the way around the world in under six hours.

“Or used vertically, it could replace the rotors on helicopters. Imagine the utility of helicopters that could reach the upper atmosphere in a matter of seconds and fly anywhere in the world at supersonic speeds.”

“Imagine drones with those capabilities,” Jeff added. I remembered that he’d once experimented with drones for Applazon retail deliveries but found them to be too costly. “Could you launch a vehicle into space that way?” Space exploration was Jeff’s passion, as I already knew.

Nodding, I replied, “I’ve already considered the possibility and there’s no reason we couldn’t use the technology to replace the use of a rocket for the first stage of a launch vehicle. That could bring the cost to launch payloads into orbit down to a fraction of current costs, at least until we build space elevators. It could also be used for suborbital space tourism, I think.”

“Those ideas are incredibly exciting, and with a capacity of ten kilowatts per kilogram, your batteries might actually make it practical.” Jeff said.

“Ten should be the minimum,” I added. “We may well do better than that, but I’m confident we can build it. It’s not a battery, though. It uses magnetic rather than electric storage.”

“We’ll still call it a battery,” Jeff countered. “It’s a term the public understands. Most people don’t even know how an alkaline battery works, let alone a lithium rechargeable, so the underlying tech is irrelevant. “Could you build a prototype in, say, a week?” Jeff asked. “Maybe one with fifty to one hundred kilowatt-hours of total capacity?”

“If you give me the resources, sure I can do it,” I replied. “You already have the manufacturing equipment needed to make the ceramic elements. The issue is one of retooling to make ceramic elements with a toroidal crystalline shape.”

“You’ll have my full support,” Jeff responded. “If you can make good on your promise, the battery design could be as significant as the Edison light bulb was in its day. I was actually thinking of pulling the two electric-vehicle entries out of the Indy 500 because they wouldn’t be competitive. We got permission for our electric entries, but we just don’t have the battery capacity to achieve the necessary range. We might be able to make it through qualifications, but we’d never finish the race. We’d need to make twice as many pit stops as everyone else, and each pit stop would require ten minutes to fully recharge the batteries. We’ve been looking at ways to simply exchange battery packs rather than recharge them in place, but that’s a bit of a logistics nightmare. Your new battery would truly be a game-changer and not just for the Indy 500. Perhaps we can go over the design on the way back to New York.”

“Yes, that’d be great,” I replied.

“Win the Indy 500 and you’ll have proof of concept that can’t be ignored. I’m willing to invest billions in your ideas, but if you can pull off a win in Indy, I can raise at least a trillion dollars in venture capital. You could build an international conglomerate with that. You could buy GM with your spare change.”

“I just want to save the planet,” I replied as Jeff’s comments began to make my head spin. “And the last thing I’d need is to deal with the headaches of the labor unions,” I said with a laugh.

Chuckling, Jeff responded, “I was joking about GM. You’d be better off starting a new car company from scratch than partnering with all the automakers; just focusing on the batteries and motors would be a better bet.

“I’ve long considered buying Boeing,” he continued, “even with having to deal with the unions. The Starliner alone would make it worth the purchase. It would catapult me into serious contention with Musk for NASA contracts.” Ah, that explained Jeff’s interest in Boeing. “However, the company has been horribly mismanaged. The infrastructure is worth more than the company itself. The debt burden from the 737 Max debacle is huge, and we’d have to deal with a backlog of orders for planes that are already obsolete.”

Then turning to me, Jeff asked, “Do you think you could design a retrofit for the existing Boeing models?”

Thinking about it, I replied, “I could probably come up with a Peltier engine that could fit within the existing fuselage of the wings. Better still, we could replace the wings altogether with a more efficient design that incorporates the Peltier engine. Without the weight of the jet engines and with laminar flow constraints, I can cut the energy requirements by at least ninety percent. The batteries would of course be much lighter than full fuel tanks but wouldn’t lose weight during flight. However, there’s no reason I couldn’t employ the same approach as with the wind turbines to store power directly in the ceramic elements of the Peltier engines. I could probably give them enough range to go an entire day on a recharge, and then recharge them overnight. The planes wouldn’t be supersonic though.”

“So long as they’d be competitive with current jet-powered aircraft, it would be worth it,” Jeff countered. “I’d avoid modifying the wings, though. That would only invite scrutiny by the FAA and could delay approval by a matter of years. Stick with a simple replacement for conventional jet engines – that┬áis something we could roll out quickly. In fact, we might want to offer to retrofit all existing Boeing aircraft, which would keep us busy while you design your revolutionary supersonic aircraft.”

“The retrofitted jets’d be more than competitive. The operating costs would be minuscule compared to conventional jets. Offer to do the retrofit at cost,” I suggested, causing Jeff to raise his eyebrows. “The publicity would help to counter the negative press from buying the company, and it would allow third-world airlines to afford the retrofit.”

“That’s an excellent suggestion, J.J.” Jeff agreed.

“So, you’re actually going to buy Boeing?” I asked.

“If you can deliver a working prototype retrofit, then the answer is, ‘yes’,” he replied. “Then we’ll have you work with their engineers to design your supersonic aircraft.”

“Actually, that involves computational mathematics. That sounds like a job for me,” Henry chimed in.

“Pardon my French, but when the fuck am I going to have the time to finish my A.I. Ph.D.?” I asked.

“Sorry, but I thought A.I. would be a good fit for you,” Jeff replied. “I’d still like you involved with the tech, and you might want to finish the Ph.D. nevertheless, but I can hire more people —”

“I have someone at Columbia who’s in the Ph.D. program who’s even better than I was,” I replied. “She has her heart set on academia, though, but I’m willing to bet she’s recruitable.”

“Give Larry her info and we’ll do our best,” Jeff answered. “The question is, what do you want to do, J.J.? What do you want to do, Henry?”

“Put an end to hunger,” Henry responded. “End ignorance would be another worthy goal.”

“I’m afraid that, my friends, is truly the impossible dream,” Jeff countered.

“I wouldn’t mind planning a mission to Mars,” I suggested. I went on to explain my ideas for using black-body radiation to propel a spacecraft. “The radiation pressure would be minuscule – not even enough for perceptible gravity  – but it would be enough to get the spacecraft to Mars on a timetable similar to that of conventional rockets.”

“You’re thinking is too conventional, J.J.,” Henry suggested. “Assemble your spacecraft in space and shape it like a flying saucer to maximize the surface-area-to-volume ratio and hence the radiation pressure. I’d be willing to bet that with the right launch window, you could make the trip in half the time or less. You might even get enough acceleration to have some degree of gravity. I’ll do the calculations when we get home.”

What a great idea, I thought.

“You two are a phenomenal team,” Jeff responded. I couldn’t have agreed more.

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope and vwl-rec in editing my stories, as well as Awesome Dude and Gay Authors for hosting them.

Disclaimer: This story is purely fictional and any resemblance of characters to real individuals is unintentional. Although it takes place in actual locations, in no way are any official policies, opinions or events inferred. Some characters may be underage and at times engage in homosexual acts. Anyone uncomfortable with this should not be reading the story, and the reader assumes responsibility for the legality of reading this type of material where they live. The author retains full copyright and permission must be obtained prior to duplication in any form.