The transport arrived earlier today than usual, if Mikel had not rushed to the loading platform, he would have lost it, with the irremediable consequence of having to wait, for an hour, for the launch of the next suborbital cargo capsule.
As always, the capsule was crowded, it was cheaper and the only way that, its new condition, allowed it to ascend to the orbital station, at least with its budget. If he had his own ship he would not need to use public transportation, but his medical expenses would not allow him, for a while, to have one and the shuttle, although less congested and leaving at more comfortable hours, could not use it, due to security restrictions.
As always, he pushed his way in using his shoulders, trying not to hurt anyone, and ignoring the looks of the people, who still saw him strangely, even though it was not the first time he had taken the capsule. Perhaps one day they would see him differently, but for the moment their glances or worse, as they turned their eyes in another direction, to avoid crossing his eyes, hurt him, make him feel different.
The capsule began to accelerate through the electromagnetic catapult, taking on a speed that, if it weren't for the inertial dampers, would crush everyone in it. Even so, everyone could feel the uncomfortable pressure of the more than thirty gravities that oppressed the passenger compartment, even if they were reduced by a fraction of ten, inside it, only Mikel seemed not to feel uncomfortable with the thrust.
The capsule was ejected vertically from the catapult rail, rising at more than ten times the speed of sound, until it almost reached the height of one hundred and ten kilometers, a little less than the height at which the positioning satellites orbit. There it would meet a drag mule, one of several old tugboats, reconditioned to dock with a cargo in space and take it to its destination.
The long but short journey ended in Ganymede, one of the twelve space stations orbiting the planet, a center of production of new materials and advanced research, which required microgravity. Here hundreds of people labored, at least once every two months, making the route from the planet, for days of one or two weeks, before returning home again.
But for Mikel, the trips were more frequent, and it was not a matter of work. Every week he had to go to the Ganimedes High Surgery and Cybernetic Research Center, the main clinic for rehabilitation and biomechanical reconstruction in the sector. He had to attend his periodic medical check-up, after his reconstruction.
-Hello Mikel, how have you been this week, -asked Dr. Isaías, as he did every week.
-Well, it's still a little uncomfortable for me to go to the bathroom, it's strange not to have the feeling of needing to do it, and having to be notified by an alarm that I must ... -he hesitated for a moment, as if searching for the words-. Do you know..., evacuate.
-Yes, of course, I understand, I already asked the engineers to work on that problem, they will probably have a solution for your next visit, you will still have the same regularity, but you will be notified in a more natural way that you should do it, they are working on an update for that -the doctor explained-. That's the only thing you're worried about, your expression makes me think no. Is there anything else you'd like to talk about, before you go to the examination table?
-It's just that... -again he doubted what I was going to say -. It still bothers me the way people see me on the street, I feel like they see me as a monster.
-I know it's hard Mikel, have you talked to your therapist about this?
-Yes, weekly we talk about it.
-What I can tell you is that you are not the first and you will not be the last in this situation, soon you will start seeing more like you on the streets, -said the doctor, outlining a wide smile. -Already three other young people are in rehabilitation and soon they will return to their homes, one of them is from your city.
-It would be good to meet him.
-Of course, I'll ask them if they can give you their contacts so that you can meet them, -he paused, as he rummaged through his desk in search of a scanner-. Well, let's go to the examination bench. And don't worry, because, believe it or not, you are an important part in the evolution of the human being, soon the human race will be in need of, like you, passing from biological bodies to totally synthetic organisms and it will no longer be because it is necessary due to tragic situations like yours - the doctor stood up, in what was followed by Mikel -. Parliament will authorize these interventions for those who request them, regardless of their medical conditions, and it will no longer be just a solution to irremediable cases like yours, and, furthermore, it will promote among members of the army and the corps of environmental engineers to carry them out. You are part of the future of humanity and unlike those who do not follow your own path now, you will be alive to see that what I say is true.