The Long Trip Home

by David Romashko

He was pushed back into the seat with great force as the craft was boosted up from the surface. There was a dusty red twilight that could be seen out the window at the sun which was not quite as brilliant as it was on earth.The dura glass was constantly frosted due to the extemely cold temperature outside.

Being here for the last 8 months working for a mining contractor and leaving this place felt almost like getting out of a prison cell. The novelty of the trip had worn off after a few short weeks. It was a contract job that he had gotten 4 months after graduating from the New Mexico School of Mines with a Masters degree in Heavy element Engineering.

His marriage had dissapeared in the time that he was here. Samantha said that she would hold on, but 3 months after he had left she started seeing some one else. He could not blame her any more, well yes he could, no,no, he could not.

The war that had raged across some of the Eastern World had lasted for nearly three years from 2021 until late in 2024. He had been in the Army then,stationed at Ft. Lewis as a SAW gunner in an Infantry battalion. The it was off to Algeria and the breakaway Republic of Baluchistan. The images in his mind from those 16 months were like a tangled cob web inside of his head. Sometimes they were so real they were like a physical prescence. At other times they were as far away as He was from the Earth now.

After the War came the sleeping pills and the pain killers and the alcohol and the out bursts of rage and the sleepless nights and his in ability to talk to anyone about it. He had a noble purpose in this, he did not want to burden anyone with his feelings. He grew distant, cold, and strange.

At the age of 24 he entered Oregon State as an undrgraduate with a major in Geology. He had loved the pattern and the design of the Earth ever since being a young boy walking the wilds of Eastern Oregon and the moonscapes of Steens Mountain. His father died of cirrosis when he was in his junior year. He felt neither happy nor sad at this loss, having learned to turn his emotions on or off like a faucet. Unfortunately he had done this with all of the people that were close to him at one time, including her.

With the money that he had earned he was going to buy a home in Baja California and maybe spend the next year fishing and maybe just forgetting. Maybe he could forget enough to be able to wipe the slate clean. Start over again from something, or nothing,for that matter. Reflection from the Sun glinted off of the window just out of angle from his view in the Black void. He closed his eyes,and settled in for the long trip home.

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