Hard pebbles of synthetic cereal hit the crushed stone counter top in a staccato rhythm. The strikes mimic the sound her retreating footsteps had made as she struggled the luggage down to the lobby, stepping out of my life forever. I glowered at the bowl, small blue somethings mixed with red whatsits and brownish chunks of stuff, all mired and slowly sinking into a blue-white liquid mass of imported goat milk. Facts and ratios flared in vibrant blue across my field of sight as my left eye scanned the breakfast, assuring me it was somewhat digestible. The most important fact in my mind at the moment, the pinnacle thing to focus on of all the changes this morning, was the fact that I was now out of cereal.
The paper unfurled with a quick shake of my right hand, the fingers still whole and organic after all these years. My gaze flitted left to right across headlines and pictures telling me of things horrible and wonderful from all across the Sol System. The Pandora Station was active, Venus was suffering a lengthy drought, and the Germans had discovered a way to tweak yeast to allow it to live in space. Starbeer, indeed. Flip, ruffle, flip flip, ruffle... the pages sank away as the factoids were filtered into my head.
After a brief sigh, I landed on page seven. The want ads. My lips twitched and I began to scan them as a cargo hauler roared a bit too close to the tenement, causing the table to shake, the milk to vibrate like something out of a dinosaur movie, and my left hand spasmed from the radio wake of the grav drive. Damn Russian hardware.
Vehicles for sale, lost pets, found pets, pets for sale, services sundry and delicate offered and requested, food flippers needed, make a quick fortune in real estate, and then it stood out. Illuminated and then magnified as my eye kicked into focus. Something that I actually wanted. A real job. Doing what I do best.
Tevestrian Research Unlimited seeks bright and self driven person with ecological training, a love of swift travel, and limited augmentations to discover new species in the wild frontier of the Rim. Applicant must be able to work alone for long spans of time, yet be open to working with others on ocassion. High pay, exceptional benefits, and you make your own hours once on site! Contact Yuri at 77:10:6661:487f:68ee with your resume for additional information.
I’d always wanted to travel. It hadn’t been possible for years until this morning.
The goat milk in the bowl was still cold when the door slammed shut behind me for the last time.