Part 4: the Media Blitz


the DIGITAL DAILY news----1500 World Standard Time----4 Aug 2163

Jupiterians Assign 2 Envoys from Planet Earth

Niels Tordenskjold is listed as a Danish citizen, Marucia Alexandre is Brazilian. They are both quite young, teen-agers, in fact. Of course, the Descent Into Jupiter won't take place until 2166, and they will be in their 20's by then.

But still, one wonders: why so young? And: why them? Is there a reason why exactly these two were chosen, or did the Jupiterians just draw numbers from something like a hat?

The two young people are being contacted as of this moment. Stay tuned for further developements.

the DIGITAL DAILY news----1800 World Standard Time----4 Aug 2163

Our Envoys Interviewed

Niels Tordenskjold, the young Danish man chosen by the Jupiterians to be their envoy from Earth, was at work when we contacted him just moments ago, and had heard nothing about it. He assumed we were joking until we played back the Invitation. "Hvorfor mig?" he asked in Danish; Why me?

We were hoping you might tell us that, Niels.

There is no clue as to why he was chosen; he has had no special experience or training to prepare him for this destiny, as if anyone knows what the proper qualifications might be. Maybe the Jupiterians just LIKE him. And why not? Niels is a good-looking young man, 19 years old, of medium height and build, with light brown hair and a scattering of freckles over a charming smile. He works as a truck pilot for an expediting agency in Copenhagen. He is single, works long hours at his job, saving his money for a trip around the world.


When told he might get an all-expense-paid trip to Jupiter, Niels was immediately enthusiastic. "I've always wanted to get into space--I tried to join the Solar Rangers, but they were full up."

Reporters also found Marucia Alexandre in an environomics class at World University Rio. She too was sceptical when told that the Jupiterians had chosen her to come to Jupiter, nor could she understand why they would select her. Her first reaction was "Acha que ha um engano!" (I think there is a mistake!)

Marucia is 17 years old, an exceptionally beautiful girl with golden skin, shining long black hair, and startling light-blue eyes, uncommon in Brazil. She is from a wealthy family, has had a highly academic education in private schools, and is regarded as uncommonly intelligent. She is quite interested in World Environomics, and has already been involved in several research projects with WUR.

She is NOT interested, she told us, in a trip to Jupiter. Marucia is engaged to be married next year to a young man from another very wealthy Brazilian family, and plans to be raising a family by 2166.

the DIGITAL DAILY news----2000 World Standard Time----10 SEPT 2163

The COSMIC COUPLE

The two young people chosen by the Jupiterians to establish Mankind's first personal contact with them met for the first time today at a special conference in New York. Danish Niels Tordenskjold and Brazilian Marucia Alexandre were formally introduced by Chairman R. Silverberg of the new Committee for Interplanetary Diplomacy.

The young couple shook hands and nodded politely as thousands of people cheered and billions of telcomms viewers watched their every move. This historical moment was probably recorded on a million digitixers around the world and up in Space City and Moonbase. No wonder they seemed nervous.

And the World was watching them closely, to see just how they handled being nervous: these two are to be the representatives for all of us to the assumedly vastly superior race of Jupiterians, they are going to be under a lot of observation from now on.

After speeches by Committe Chairman Silverberg and Dr. I. Asimov, the two envoys each gave a short speech. Everyone was pleased to see how natural they were before a very large crowd.

Niels spoke first, in WorldSpeak with a charming Danish accent, of how he had been accepted into the Solar Rangers for the training he would require to make The Descent. And of how he was looking forward to meeting the Jupiterians. He had a boyish charm and was looking very handsome in his new SR uniform.

Then Marucia spoke in impressively fluent WorldSpeak, clearly an intelligent and well-educated young woman: "I would never have desired this destiny, but realize that neither we as a Race nor I as an Individual wish to offend the Jupiterians; they have been good to us. Since I am chosen, I can only accept." She was Aware, and she was Gorgeous.

They were a hit. Instant stardom. The Cosmic Couple.

the CYBERSCANDAL EXPRESS----2000 wst----23 December 2163

Niels on the Town

Young Solar Ranger Niels Tordenskjold, on shore leave after several month's training at SRHQ in SpaceCity. was seen in Copenhagen with several Extremely Pretty Young Danish Girls hanging on his sleeves. It seems our famous young Space Hero is quite a hit with the girls. What about "The Cosmic Couple"? What will Marucia say?

the CYBERSCANDAL EXPRESS----2000 wst----27 December 2163

Marucia Denies Rumors

Confronted by reporters asking how she felt about NIELS being seen with so many girls, Marucia Alexandre answered: "This is silly, why should I care about that? I don't even know o senhor Torden. We met once under very public conditions and scarcely had a chance to exchange a word.

"And of course he's popular, so am I now--it's madness!--you media people have turned us both into stars, and we haven't even done anything yet! He gets girls, I get offers to be a 3Vee star, or fotomodel, offers of...all sorts. And you wouldn't believe how many offers of marriage.

"Anyway, I'm engaged to be married with Eduardo, so Niels and I are NOT a 'cosmic couple', se faz favor!"

the CYBERSCANDAL EXPRESS----2000 wst----31 December 2163

Skål!

Earth's own Envoy, Niels Tordenskjold, seen closely dancing with two fine-looking French chics at a New Year's party in Paris, was asked to respond to Marucia's comment that they were "not a Cosmic Couple".

Niels lifted his wineglass and said, "Well, you tell her this for me: Skål, Marucia!"
ONWARD