We arrived in New York Harbor on Mars in 2382 (Western Earth Years). We saw the faux Statue of Liberty in front of the spaceport and joked that we were like the immigrants to America back on Earth hundreds of years ago. After landing, we scoured our map and determined how to get to our housing district.
All except Uncle Ron, who seemed a bit distracted.
Next, we headed over to the transport center. We chatted about whether to take the aero-taxi or the land-roving bus. Both would be fun and give us a neat perspective of our new homeworld. Grandma Dakota, only half-joking, suggested we do one, then come back right away to try the other. If we hadn't been so eager to get settled, we might have done just that. We decided to choose one now. We could come back another day.
I think I was the only one that noticed Uncle Ron, who normally dominated conversations like this, stayed quiet.
The moving hallway took us from the terminal to the Intra-Planetary Transportation Center. I marveled at the vision screens. Instead of windows, the walls were lined with monitors that made it seem as if we were on uncovered walkways on the surface of the planet. With oxygen, of course. There were plans to add atmospheric effects to create illusions of scents, breezes, and other goodies. I looked at Uncle Ron, figuring he'd be thrilled, but he looked lost in thought.
Once at the Intra-Planetary Transportation Center, we decided on the aero-taxi. What better way to get acquainted with our new neighborhood and home than with a birds-eye view? The porter on duty informed us that we'd need to take two cabs. Each taxi had seats enough for only five, and we had six. Uncle Ron spoke up for the first time since landing and told the porter to hail just one. He wanted to look around a bit longer, and he'd catch up with us later. Everyone said that sounded great. No one thought it strange since it was just Ron being Ron.
Except me. Something was up. He hadn't been himself since we landed. No, that wasn't true. He hadn't been himself since the bottom of the space elevator in New Vegas. I loved and trusted my Uncle Ron, though, so I didn't say anything.
The aero-taxi would have been a neat ride if I hadn't been so preoccupied. Mom, Dad, Grandma Dakota, and Grandpa Drake all marveled at the sights, but I couldn't. The ride took forever, and I could only hope there was a message from Uncle Ron waiting for us.
Turns out I was right. I listened to his message twice, not bothering to check out my new living space, my new home. Uncle Ron had caught a flight to one of the moons of Saturn, where a new colony had just started up. After that, he'd heard of an experimental hyperspace jump that he'd like to be a part of. He promised to be in touch no matter what, but I knew we'd never hear from him again. I think the rest of the family knew it, too, but no one else seemed upset. They went on unpacking and making this new dwelling home. After all, it was just Ron being Ron.
This one is a bit more "slice of life" than story, but I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Uncle Ron seems like quite a character, and while I didn't explore him too much in this story, I may need to do so in the future. Sounds like he's in for some real adventures. Anyway, thank you for reading, and please leave a comment. I'd love to know what you think!