Back From Outer Space

Author : B.York, Staff Writer

The trick is to never underestimate the power of normal. One has to believe that everyday life can somehow bring wondrous adventures because of its unpredictable nature. If this effort fails in the mind then the heart can never be happy. –Oxford’s Guide to Happiness Amongst the Stars

Javier Marx was trying his best to remember these things from the guide when his shuttle arrived at Newfoundland Spaceport in August. Earth was a blue dot in his memory and he hadn’t been able to shake the idea of returning to settle in a gravity bubble during the last three months of his tour.

“Fourteen years…” He muttered to himself as the re-entry began to flash against the outer hull. Fourteen years had passed since he stopped moving. This would be his final stop at the ripe Earth age of 43. Javier thought silently to himself if this was a mistake. He thought about the multitudes of wonders he had seen and experienced outside of a globe.

Javier wondered about a life he’d have to get used to again. This thought was compounded by artificial gravity shut down as they entered atmosphere. He felt the real push of his weight and almost became sick. Most people couldn’t tell the difference or even notice when one switched to the other. Not Javier. He felt the way the balanced pressure became almost rounded when it switched to natural gravity. It was all he could do to not get ill at the feeling almost as if he despised it.

The shuttle doors opened after arrival and the man from space exited with the other more content humans with nothing but a vac-bag strapped over his shoulder. Bags looked better after being caught in the wake of a meteor. This one had traveled with him for the entirety of his adventures and now to end here at Newfoundland Spaceport.

Masses of people walked around, greeting their families and their friends here. The cries of joy and laughter rang in his ears and yet he preferred one thing to din of it all: the silence of space. His brow was moist with sweat and he could feel his muscles ache from the balance of solid ground.

It was then he glanced up to see his family. His wife and children had all smiles broadening as they recognized his features. They waited just beyond the orbital glass gates to celebrate his arrival.

Javier looked down at the weathered bag and glanced to the shop to his left where he had bought his first. He took a glance back to his wife in a look that turned her smile into a face ready for tears. It could be made out from the movement of her lips that she protested his decision greatly. With a smile he mouthed “I’m sorry” and stepped quickly into the store.

“How much for one of these?” He asked the clerk while pointing to a bag of the exact model as his own on display.

“Fourteen Credits, sir…” The well-dressed clerk smiled as he gladly accepted Javier’s credits, watching him empty the old bag into the new one.

Turning his back on the globe he went for the terminal desk. “One ticket please” he said in confidence to the lady standing behind the computer.

“Your destination, sir?”

Javier smiled to himself, tossing the old bag in the garbage disposal unit next to the desk. The sweat had already begun to subside upon his face as he thought of weightlessness again. “Doesn’t matter… just as long as it’s a journey to somewhere.”

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