The message that it was time to leave came as quite a surprise. I thought I had enough time to pick and choose what I would pack. There won’t be any stores on this trip where I can run out and buy the items I forget. The real question I had was how do you prepare for the unpredictable? After all, the passengers on the first Mayflower were headed for Virginia.
Of course I brought a handheld computer with a data crystal that holds the entire Libary of Congress. But I also bought a few old books, a copy of the Bible, an organic gardening encyclopedia, an old army medic’s guide and my two volumes of Macauley’s The Way Things Work. I wanted to bring more books but could not on such short notice. I know I have everything I could want on the data crystal, but I actually like books and also know that books won’t break and need to be repaired. A couple of bowstrings are the strangest items. Of course I packed some warm clothing. Mostly thin layers, so that I can easily adjust for the climate we find on Alchibah. Also I brought a good basic toolkit and a first aid kit.
I wanted to bring some firearms and a Bowie knife, but had no way to get them through security, so I didn’t even try. Hopefully the pocket knife in my toolkit will be sufficient. Bringing the Bible turned out to be the greatest idea. The flunkie looking over my luggage had to find something to question, and it was the most obvious. I simply answered him by telling him that my mother had insisted that I bring it and remarked that you know how mothers are. Fortunately, he didn’t think to check my personal records to find that my parents died over a year ago in the Chicago riots. Since my parents are dead, the only person who might miss me would be my girlfriend, but she was far to blind to Earth’s problems to even consider bringing her along to Alchibah.