Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Microstory 1257: Thando Kovar

Thando Kovar was one of the hardest working men on Durus. He didn’t much mind doing the dirty jobs that no one else wanted to do, and even though he was fairly intelligent, and pretty well-educated, those were the jobs he stuck to, just so no one else would have to do them. It wasn’t until he was older that he realized he was taking those unglamorous jobs from people who didn’t have any choice, but by then, it was too late. He kept his head down, and didn’t make trouble. People would have called him average if they even knew who you were talking about when you brought it up. Still, there was this side of them that craved adventure. He wasn’t constantly pining after a more interesting life, but he not infrequently wondered what it would be like to see other places, and try new things. He hadn’t even realized he wanted this until The Elizabeth Warren came to his planet, and gave him the chance to throw his hat in the ring. He applied for passenger status, but did nothing else to help his case. He didn’t make conversation with the crew, or attach a letter. He just quietly delivered the application, and walked away. It was his good track record that ultimately won him a spot on the ship, but as soon as he boarded, he knew he had to voice his concerns. He didn’t want to just sit around and wait until they arrived at their destination. He had been a worker his entire life, and he wouldn’t know what to do with himself without it. His parents taught him the value of work, which was a lesson not so easily shaken. It wasn’t until he finally made it to Earth that he saw how fulfilling life could be when one’s days could be dedicated to hobbies, rather than tedious labor. While all the others were just hanging out in the pocket dimensions, Thando remained on the ship proper, and kept it clean and maintained. Sure, there were lots of automated systems to take care of that, but the captain turned some of these off, just to make him feel useful. He attempted to continue the way his life had always been upon reaching the homeworld, but that was a lot more difficult. Earth had transformed enormously since the first refugees were stranded on Durus. They had done away with work for the most part. People made themselves useful by creating new things, participating in socio-political debates, and preparing to colonize other planets. He wasn’t really qualified to do anything like that, so if he wanted to help, he would need a more relevant education. Before he got started on that, his case workers set him up with a new identity, and a new life, in what was formerly North America. They all but forced him to go on an extended vacation, so he could really think about whether he wanted to be part of the optional workforce, or if he just wanted to enjoy his life. After only a couple weeks of this, he decided on the latter, even though it was a choice he never could have fathomed making just a couple months ago. He forwent his education, and spent his days traveling the world. He didn’t much care for the virtual constructs that other people were visiting, but he saw a lot of fascinating things until he died of age-related causes many years later. He could have upgraded himself to live forever, but there was still a line he wouldn’t cross, and that was it.

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