Marko Milo

Vacation 2183

​Richard just came back home from the hospital, extremely tired. His wife has stayed there to watch over their daughter Millie. He sat down, looked at his hands, and felt so helpless. Nothing makes a man as vulnerable as much as his child’s sickness.

​Even though he was an engineer at one of the biggest VR corporations, his daughter’s surgery was something he simply couldn’t afford. And time was running out. 

Browsing the interverse, he stumbled upon an article published a day ago, on November 23rd 2144. One of the biggest medical establishments in the world, “The Chinese Institute of Brain Research”, had a huge announcement that was apparently all over the news yesterday. Must have missed it because he was at the hospital for 33 hours.

The CEO of the company, a humble, well-dressed man with glasses, Wei Yang had called for a press conference concerning a “breakthrough in medical research technology”. He addressed the public, stating that “A way to transfer memories from one brain to another, that is to say, from one person to another person has been discovered after years of hard research. However, since this process is not yet “advanced to the point where one could simply copy and transfer their memories without losing them”, we still deem it the biggest discovery of modern neuro-science. With this, I have another thing to add.”

Mr. Yang took a short pause, as the light and sound of camera flashes were ticking in the background. He took his glasses off and for a moment, humbly looked down before raising his head up to look at the cameras.

“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the science of the brain, in my 71 years of life I have accumulated great wealth. I have built a respectable company with a very ambitious and intelligent workforce, and have secured them and their families a good life standard. I have won many awards in the process. Yet, I realize I never have really lived. The loneliness of the pursuit of success and success itself in my field was always with me, and as a scientist who feels he has contributed a lot to this society, now feels too overwhelming. I don’t have any friends or fond memories. Only co-workers and work itself. With all this in mind and our recent discovery, I have thought of a proposal. I am willing to offer $10 million dollars to a suitable candidate, to transfer his memories to mine, so that I could get to know what a life well-lived feels like. This proposal might feel like it treads on some unethical ground, I am aware of that. But that’s why this is going to be a thorough process of examining the candidate’s psychological health, willingness to do it, and his life’s story. Thank you, that is all. The information needed will be provided immediately.”

The man left the conference and the video ended. And Richard started crying.

He was aware that it was a long shot, but he knew what he had to do. He clicked the apply button. Already more than 13 thousand applications, and counting.

***

A man with a warm smile on his face opened up his special, paperback diary and grabbed an old pen.

– May 12th, 2133.

A day off. I knew that today was gonna be really special. I mean, I love my job really, and I love Diane. But definitely deserved some time for myself. Was really excited to get to hang out with Steven too, like back when we were kids.

My alarm rang at 7:03 and I was flooded by amazing sunlight coming through from the left glass window. A breathtaking blueness, passing through the white skyscrapers of New York almost made me not want to leave our rocky planet today. But then again, I couldn’t wait.

Diane was still asleep and was supposed to go see her friends at lunch. Steven’s cheerful and exciting message appeared on my kitchen wall as I was brewing my tea and getting my clothes on. I quickly took an elevator down to the 21st floor and got myself a cab to the shuttlecopter place. Steven was already there. We already started laughing after our handshake, couldn’t even remember what the joke was but I already knew it was gonna be an amazing day.

The s-copter took off very gently into the atmosphere. It felt as if we were testing one of our simulations back at work, but I knew it was for real. And it felt so much better. Seeing the city getting smaller and smaller, and losing itself below the clouds made me feel very humble. A pleasant pain in my stomach as we left the atmosphere and we got into space, caused a smile on my face that I couldn’t get rid of. Steven was telling me about his plans to renovate that weekend place that Julia inherited.

A 25-minute flight to the Moon, can you imagine? And the flight time decreased tenfold, in 15 years only. And to think how people got there for the first time only a bit more than 200 years ago is mind-blowing. Couldn’t help but think what the ancient civilizations were thinking about this glowing white object. Made me really appreciate where I am, but couldn’t also help but feel a little bit sad about it too.

Anyways, as we got off the s-copter and onto the platforms, we hit Ellie’s bar to get a taste of some fresh ale. Had never been there before, but I heard some great things. And they were right. Steven and I recalled about the time he got diarrhea on our high school trip… no wonder he blew all his chances with Annie that day HAHAHA!

After a couple of ales and some snacks, we hurried to the playground, got our suits on, and took the boards. We had a reservation for the best track and only for the two of us. We activated the artificial waves and jumped out to surf. The low gravity only heightened the experience of surfing on the Moon’s craters. Steven and I were screaming like monkeys and laughing over the comms. Gosh, I felt so euphoric. Our home planet, shining blue in the background as we were in the air. Gazing at a Sun’s flare as it reflects on my protective helmet. Will never forget this moment.

I took out my pocket drone and only got one picture of us as we were flying in the air. Because a video could not capture what it actually felt like. And I wanted this memory to be forever engrained in my head so that I could cherish it the way I remember it until I pass away.

We had the best time. But we had to take the 6 p.m. shuttlecopter back.

I got home and I kissed Diane on the stomach. She was napping again… I guess that’s pregnancy for you! Can’t wait to welcome my baby to this beautiful world!

​TO BE CONTINUED…