Just a Little Bit Further

“All passengers for Transport ‘Odysseus‘ please depart through customs at Station Airlock 3. Any passengers requiring special atmospheric adjustments should declare such to customs officials.”

He was nothing much. Just your average human male, nothing fancy. His hair was slightly receding and had started showing grey at the temples. His cheeks sagged with the stress of a long life as little more than an office drone. If you asked him, he probably couldn’t tell you why he was here. 

He had no wife, no children. Any other family had long since died or forgotten about him. He was no one special. But he had been saving most of his pay for almost thirty years. And when you have nothing to spend it on, it builds up. So there was no issue with resources at the moment.

Thing was, he had just decided one day to quit his job. It hadn’t been any extreme explosion or mental break. He went in, and calmly gave his two weeks notice. Then spent the next few weeks putting his affairs into order. He paid off his lease, sold everything he owned that didn’t hold a sentimental value, and purchased a ticket from the Houston Astrodome to Aldrin Station.

After taking pictures of Earth through the Dome with his personal data terminal and enjoying some of the local cuisine, he purchased a ticket to Syria Planum on Mars. He took more pictures of the red sands, took a transport to Cydonia and gazed upon the pyramid mountains. 

And it continued, from the Titan Subglacial Ocean Colony to the Transfer Point off Io. Once he had reached Pluto he purchased transport to the first Terran Intersteller Colony, The Centari System. Alpha, Beta, and Proxima.

After taking his pictures and experiencing what could be found he would purchase a ticket and proceed further on. Just a little bit further away from Home. From Centauri to the systems beyond. Always just a little bit further. 

Which is how he had gotten here, to Antlantia Station. A place built by the United Nations meant as a meeting place for all the species Earth had made contact with so far. Diplomatic, Economic, and Cultural exchanges between hundreds of thousands of people from every world known.

Once he had cleared customs, he walked through the arrival area and took a tram to the central portion of the station. He took a moment to purchase a human safe treat from a vendor and enjoyed it as the tram took him to where everything public occurred. He watched street performers and artists selling their wares. He saw crystals glowing with an inner light from within them.

He took pictures, he ate a good meal, he listened to the philosophers standing in front of the multitude of temples dedicated to the Gods of a hundred worlds.

And after a few days he went to the out bound transport terminal, and purchased a ticket to another planet. One of the Non-Human worlds safe for Humans to visit.

Just a little bit further.