This story is a companion piece to a #fridayflash story I wrote last September called Uncle Ron. If you didn't read Uncle Ron, you can read this one with no problems. This one is told from the Point of View of Uncle Ron, so his motivations are now clear. Like Uncle Ron, this one is more a slice of life story. I hope you enjoy!
THE NEXT GREAT ADVENTURE
by Eric J. Krause
Ron watched as Mars shrank from view. He wished he could have said goodbye to everyone in person, but the message was easier on all of them. They wouldn't have tried to stop him, he knew that, but knowing he'd never see them again would have made it hard.
Yeah, this was the right way.
Ever since he saw the space elevator at New Vegas, he knew he had to go. He couldn't stay on Mars. The mining gig at Olympus Mons was there for him, but that wasn't his life. He couldn't waste away the years digging in an armored space suit. That was no way to live. He needed adventure, not suicide, especially a long drawn out one.
He waited through the entire flight from Earth to the Mars Space Port in New New York Harbor. Something would present itself. He just needed to be patient, like he had had been in the Old Grand Canyon. He'd be dead already if it hadn't been for that.
Ron paid little attention to the excited babble of his family once they landed. Since he didn't participate, they didn't try to include him. They knew better. Little Jaycee glanced at him a few times, but nothing came of it. She didn't realize what he was like, what he had to do.
On the way past, Ron spied a few opportunities that held promise. He didn't jump yet; better to wait, see them all, and weigh his options. He had a week to show up at the Olympus Mons Mine Station. He'd see the family settled and come back later.
His chance came sooner than expected. The family decided on an aero-taxi, but it only held five. Ron made six. He said he'd find his own way home. And he had every intention of doing so. This was just a preliminary scope-out mission.
Until he met the man going to one of Saturn's moons.
"Five years is all we ask. You'll get a house and never go hungry. We'll even match you up with a mate if you'd like. After that, you're free to do as you please. There might even be an experimental hyperspace jump to another solar system. Or beyond."
After he left the message and headed to the staging area, guilt tried to grab him by the throat. He'd miss his family, right? After all his crazy schemes, they'd always been there to help pick up the pieces and see him through to the next.
Mars disappeared from his view. Yeah, he'd miss them.
But he'd miss the adventure even more.