Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Microstory 1103: Thor Thompson

On the first day of fall in 2026, Thor Thompson made the one-way trip with his family to Mars. Thor spent his whole life training for this mission, long before his parents had any reason to suspect they would be chosen as some of the first pioneers to the red planet. Both of them were highly valued scientists, who would be vital to early endeavors for permanent settlement. His father owned a private undersea habitat manufacturing contractor, which allowed astronauts to train for long-term missions in a simulated environment. He was chosen to build the first of these habitats on the surface of Mars, based on his extensive knowledge of construction for extremely harsh environments. His mother was literally a rocket scientist, who helped design the first true passenger shuttle, and several models beyond. Previous shuttles were capable of accommodating a handful of highly training space explorers, but hers could hold dozens of individuals, not all of which would necessarily possess the skills to operate the craft itself. The first airplanes were designed only for pilots, but an industry grew from that, and now, very few people on any commercial airliner have any clue how the machines work, and would not be able to fly in an emergency situation. This was her dream for spaceflight, and her passion for a future of ubiquitous access is why, out of everyone else working the problem, she was also chosen as a settler. Initial plans for colonization called for elite scientists, and it’s true that these people were vital, but exclusivity went against the purpose of outward human expansion. If this was going to work, Martians needed to be composed of families. It needed...to include children. That’s where Thor ‘Too Young’ Thompson came in. He was given his nickname when he was much younger, because he would frequently attempt to participate in things that were beyond his years. He tried to buy tickets for rated R movies, and ride amusement park rides best enjoyed by adults. He tried to run the City Frenzy race when he was only nine years old, and he never hung out with children his own age. At the time, he was the youngest chosen for Mars, but he wasn’t accepted merely because his parents were desired. The company could have found comparable experts without children, but they stuck with the Thompsons, because Thor had long ago proven himself to be extremely skilled and capable in his own right. He would go on to run that City Frenzy once he was old enough, and finally win it in the summer before departure. If there was any question he would survive on a hostile new world, there wasn’t anymore. He would grow up to become a valued member of the Martian society, and contribute greatly to its blossoming as a self-sustaining civilization. He would do this with the help of a new friend from the shuttle, who was a few years older than him, Gaius Parker.

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