He came to catch a thief, and stayed to find a cure...
From the desk of Dr. Mikhail Nekrasov
Space has all but given me a new life.
I never meant to come here. For me, the dangers of space travel never seemed worth braving. I was happy in Berlin, where I was surrounded by family and respected colleagues. My research was based on Earth - aluminum is as abundant there as it is anywhere else, so why would I want to leave?
I didn’t want to, but a thief forced my hand. When I heard that the holo-imaging device I’d worked so hard to develop was being sold by a black marketeer on Mars, I could not just sit at home. I have long-since dealt with the man who stole my life’s work, and yet here still I remain. Why? The gravity.
At home, I was confined to a wheelchair. Restrictive, frustrating for one whose legs used to work the way they were supposed to. But the gravity here, in space...I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it sooner. My muscles ache less, and my ALS seems to be more of a memory than a disability now. I keep in touch back home even as I make a new home for myself here.
The colonies here have a great many needs in order to sustain a comfortable life on a planet like this. While I wish to continue my research, providing for the colony first will allow me to do more in the long run. I settled near a few geothermal vents when I set up my team’s headquarters, and it seemed logical to try and harness that power first. It runs around the clock and doesn’t rely on external weather elements to function properly, so I knew I would get the best return on it.
I was right. The money I made from the constant source of power allowed me to invest in producing a large amount of electronics. I started producing more than enough for the colony to be able to thrive. I knew I had to move quickly - competition would catch on before long and the value of some of my resources would plummet.
I don’t really care too much about competition. At least, not in the conventional sense. They are all in it to make money, and I suppose so am I -- but for a different reason. If my ALS research can spare someone else the challenges I’ve faced over the years, every penny will have been worth it to me.
An impending dust storm caused me to have to shutter production for a day while we waited for it to pass. It’s difficult for workers to be effective when they can’t see or when their equipment is disrupted due to weather. When the dust cleared and my supply transports started moving again, I saw the pirates.
Ruthless and terrible, they attacked my shipments and stole precious valuables that set me back more than I care to say. It would be one thing to steal money from me, but what they’re doing is stealing progress. Once they’d gone, I knew I needed to make sure to take precautions to prevent their return in the future.
I was running out of land and needed more space to build. After finally settling on a reasonable plot not too far from my headquarters, the Martian authorities distributed plots to the local suppliers in order to help us keep up with demand. As always, timing is everything, and although I was a little sour at having spent $20,000 when I didn’t need to, it proved useful for more electronics production later.
Although the value of power diminished greatly (as I predicted), I had made enough by the end of the first week to send a large chunk back home for them to begin purchasing the necessary equipment for our research. As I sit here in my office and look at my clock that displays Berlin’s time, I cannot help but to feel hopeful that, possibly in my lifetime, we might yet find a cure.
It’s something worth fighting for here.