Pulled from Another World
Chapter 3: Almost a Disaster
Kevin is in his small studio apartment moving the few boxes from the area that used to be the section of the room he carved out for his bed. He was 26 years old and six feet tall with an almost golden honey complexion. His hair is long and tied back in a messy reddish black man-bun. He is shaved clean but only because he can grow a full beard and hates having patches on his face. He is slightly tired from packing and planning out logistics with the Orbital Movers Association. His apartment was already scheduled to be filled by a family of five as soon as his move was complete.
He was no stranger to moving, in fact this would be the third time in two years. The first was after a fan found out where he lived and doxed him on their TKLiveSpace account. The whole process was a hassle to get the Housing Authority to approve the move to another apartment unit at another relay. In his haste to leave he also applied to every housing lottery he could. Eventually he was approved to move after being hassled by fans and internet trolls alike for months. To his surprise six months after he moved he was alerted that he had won his current apartment in the lottery in the Sol Relay Station.
Kevin lives in the lowest orbiting Celestial Bridge named Centauri. The Celestial Bridges are three artificial rings around the planet Earth with a fourth under construction. The ring completely encircles the planet and offers housing and jobs to billions of people often called Bridgers. Centauri is the only ring that is directly connected to earth with orbital elevators. Because of that it is the most heavily populated of the rings and is used as the largest trade center in the Trade Alliance.
Living in the overpopulated Celestial Bridges are seen as a luxury compared to the people that live in the many shanties built inside of the orbital elevators and to especially those that live on the planet. The only exception is the capital Ultron C.D. which is described as Heaven on Earth, but only the top 0.01% can afford to live there.
Normally the 225 square foot apartment that Kevin calls home would be assigned to a family of three. A family of five would be assigned a 625 square foot apartment. Kevins luck in winning such a large apartment put him at odds with the Housing Authority which manages the housing logistics of everyone on the station. He could tell the Housing Authority did not like the fact someone like him managed to win the lottery and they were thrilled to see him leave.
He exhaled a cold breath as anxiety and excitement intermingled in a confusing dance in his mind. He couldn believe it was finally the day he would be moving to a space colony called Homestead-14. He and his very long-distance Marsano girlfriend Jessica would be moving in together. His plan was to meet her at the interchange and propose to her. He already had the ring and had been practicing how he was going to ask. He stacked the last of the boxes at the front door as he waited for the moving crew to return. He turned around and looked over the clean space.
The walls were a smooth burnt orange with nothing else inside. Before now he had dividers up to section off his space but they had already been packed away. The floor was dark and at first glance could be mistaken for a noir black porcelain marble. However, upon closer inspection someone could see the refresh rate of the poorly maintained screens.
”In a weird way I am going to miss this place. ” He said to himself as he walked over to the control panel on his wall to his right. ”Can forget to change everything back to normal. ”
He tapped a few settings on the controls and the floor display turned to a bland white color. A few seconds later and the walls reverted to the same absent white which erased the last traces he had lived there aside from the boxes at the door. He let out a sign and sat down on one of the boxes, the stiff air fueling his thoughts.
He never really thought he would become a spacer and move to one of the space colonies. He visited some of them while he was on tour but never thought about living there. However, after talking to Jessica about moving into her home on Mars she was against it. She wanted to start over somewhere away from her small town and not just bring him into all of the Marsano drama.
Mars was the second major colony established by the Trade Alliance. The first was a moon colony used during the construction of the first three Celestial Bridges and just recently came back online now that the construction of the forth Bridge is underway. Mars, unlike the moon colony, is completely self-sufficient with a terraformation index nearing complete habitability.
Most places on Mars can be traveled to without a spacesuit and there are cities that do not require domes. This led to a push for independence from the direct control of Earth. Even though this happened nearly one-hundred and fifty years ago there is still political squabbling between the two planets. Jessica is just tired of the constant back and forth and would prefer to live on the much quieter space colonies.
Kevin taps the node on his wrist which looks like a smooth blue gemstone in a titanium setting about two inches long and an inch wide. What looks like black tattoos extend around the wrist and up across his hand in a branching pattern that follows the nerves beneath his skin. The node looks like it would restrict motion, but the jewel and the metal are made from a flexible material which contours with motion. The nodes connect directly into the nervous system, and he has five implanted across his body. One on both hands, one at the base of the spine and the last two above the ankles. The implants are the latest and most expensive Sensory Augmentation Grade-5 recently put into market and he actually received them as a part of a sponsored deal.
He tapped the jewel from habit, forgetting that the new augmentation does not require anything but thought to use. A display appeared in his vision or more accurately in his mind, no one else would be able to see the screens. He looked through his TKLiveSpace account called Doubletap and announced that he was finally packed up and leaving Bridger life for good. He shared a couple of images, pulled directly from his memories, of the boxes stacked at the door and the video of the floor and walls turning white. It wasn long before likes, shares and reposts filled his vision along with fans wishing him a safe trip. He considered doing a livestream of the trip but didn want anyone to track down his new address and dox him again, so he decided against it almost immediately.
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