Odd Birds

November 25, 2003. The sky is cloudless. It’s been like that all morning, allowing the Hudson River to show off its many shades of of deep greens and dark browns. An old barge moves slowly upriver. Perched on it like a sleek bird on a branch is a Concorde, the only supersonic airliner ever to go into service. The river’s dull surroundings bringing out the white aircraft’s silhouette even more, allowing it to be seen from miles away. Its destination is the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum. Hundreds of New Yorkers and tourists lining the shores contemplate the unusual cargo.

With his nose pressed to a fence, Vincent hopes to see it one last time, before the jetliner reaches its resting place. He can’t shake the frustration of never having gotten around to taking a flight in one. The tickets cost an absurd amount, but he never thought they’d be retired in such a hurry after decades of flawless service. A single accident seemed a paltry justification for impoverishing the skies forever.

Gazing at the airliner in the distance, still a quarter-mile away, Vincent thinks, There’s something else to this picture. More than meets the eye. But what?

He looks around at the people next to him, wondering what their motivations could be. Some are little more than curious by- standers, but others look excited to be in the right place at the right time to see the historic event.

This isn’t a parade, guys. It’s the closest it gets to a funeral procession.

—-

Kirkus Reviews describes Future Man as “Highly imaginative” … “Action packed book” … “This wildly creative work certainly takes readers to many unexpected places.”

“A tribute to classic Sci-Fi writers, their concepts and their expectations for the future.”

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