Longevity Chapter 6: 2400
In Other News
My blog has regenerated! I’ve decided to take up a long-standing idea and delve into the world of story structure. I’ve decided that the first series I want to pick apart is The New Doctor Who, which began in 2005, and follow it (good or bad, corny or not) all the way through. My goal is that through practice with this, I’ll become better at planning my own stories.
Longevity Chapter 6: 2400
It was still a crude settlement, but we all loved it. The Mars 4 landing site. Red ugly desert as far as the eye could see, but we'd built this town here, hadn't we? What used to be a stand-alone rocket site with a couple of disused landers and half a dozen robotic rovers had turned into a bustling town. Of course, it was all under domes and that kind of thing, because you still couldn't breathe out there, but it was still interesting to see the planets. Coming from an age when going to another planet, even in our solar system, was practically impossible. I've now seen Titan. I've done Saturn, and I've also been on a cruise around Jupiter. That one was pretty good.
I met my third wife on that trip. We called it the trip of a lifetime, and here I am, moving to Mars on my own. She died earlier this month, some kind of infection that the shot didn't fend off, and I just sold everything. The stuff they wouldn't take, I boxed up and sent away to charities and auctions. If I could get a dollar for it, then I did. I didn't care, but I got the ticket. They don't even put you under for the trip anymore. It's that fast. I swear it was like a light shuttle ride to the moon to get here. I think besides the fact that the jet lag on a trip like this can put you into a coma if you're not careful, the strangest part was watching the earth disappear on the monitors and then watching as Mars blew until it was larger than life.
We landed, everything was just fine, about an hour ago, and I'll be interested to see the apartment that I've selected. Everyone gets this big package before they buy into this place, it's almost like one of those packets they used to get you to sign off on when they wanted to sell you a time-share or something, and the sell is about that hard, but I knew what I was doing, and was already going to buy before I got there. I wanted to get off the Earth again. I joke I was born on Earth, but that nobody who was ever born on Earth will ever die there now. It's just too easy to get around. Moving to the moon is like relocating from New Jersey to Idaho for a job, and going to Saturn is something like a vacation spot. There's a lot of gas mining going on at Jupiter, but Saturn is untouchable. You have to get all kinds of permits and things before you can get anywhere near the rings. They are paranoid that someone will pass a space freighter through there and tear them up. It's like Saturn is some kind of behemoth state park that no one is allowed to touch.
Imagine someone driving an eighteen-wheeler onto Old Faithful and unloading a stack of Chinese snack cups headed for Disneyland and then crashing a cement truck into that. They don't want anyone anywhere near Saturn. Ever. At least not anymore.
The apartment is pleasant, if sparse, and it came furnished, so I didn't have to do anything about that. I brought some clothes with me, but all I want to do is log in on the table and see what my brother is up to. I check my bank accounts, and where there used to be nothing sits a pile of cash that I never spend. I have so few needs, and so few want anymore. The apartment is paid for, so I'll have it. I think for about one hundred ninety-nine years before the contract runs out. With any luck, I'll die before that's over, but the way things are going, I just don't expect that to be the case. I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow. With any luck, I'll have contracted a deadly disease or something. All I want is something to challenge my doctor a bit. It's been so long since he had to treat anyone for anything that I think he's just plain bored.
I heard that he'd taken up jet snow skiing, but I can't confirm that. He won't put pictures of that up on his profile, so naturally, I can't confirm it.
I go out onto the veranda, something I paid extra for. Too many of these units face inward, and I didn't see the point in doing that. There the view is a view of the rest of the city, up under the dome. It's about thirty miles wide, and I'm in a sea of other little white stone high-rises that comprise much of my district. In the distance, you can see the red landscape of mars, and to the south, there is a magnificent canyon that you can don breathing gear and go climb in, but the real view is of the city at night and the glow of the desert under Phobos and Deimos above us. They aren't more real than great potatoes in the sky, but I love them.
I hate the kitchen. It's almost impossible to grow anything here, and all the food is synthesized, but it comes out okay, I guess. You tell the kitchen what you want and it cooks it for you. For another hundred thousand, the kitchen will provide you with synthesized raw ingredients and the means to mix and bake them for yourself. It's all made of the same protein gel stuff, but I think I'm going to upgrade my kitchen next year. It all smells good, but it tastes like cardboard.
I also paid for the robot butler.