I have a ticket in my hand, a ticket to a human colony on Mars in the 2040’s (or a universe in which humans have successfully developed a colony on Mars in the 2040’s). I plan to simply live there and join the community. Once I get there, I will most likely need to find the central hub of the complex and be assigned my clothing and residence.
The journey to the red planet is approximately 7 months, so I must prepare mentally in the months before my flight. I feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable, for we are not allowed to bring anything but a small bag of “Personal Items” which is loaded onto the shuttle while I go into the briefing room. Once on the shuttle, I close my eyes and try to relax. The fourteen other occupants seem to possess the same nervous excitement as myself. I squirm in my seat despite the ergonomic design of the seat into which I am strapped and the way in which it perfectly complements the shape of my flight suit. After about two minutes of discomfort due to the upward acceleration, the passengers sit, weightless in our chairs. We finally escape the insatiable hunger of our home world’s gravitational force, and continue to accelerate up to cruise speed. After several months of befriending my fellow passengers and working out with elastics to refrain from losing bone density, I finally receive the warning that the ship’s autopilot is about to commence phase one deceleration and every one takes his place in his respective chair. The landing is rougher than the take-off. We arrive at last.
I walk out of the ship and immediately into an airlock, where I am given my personal “Red Suit” which has built-in ballasts, calibrated to counteract the apparent weight-loss due to the relatively small mass of Mars. The group of new arrivals follows a group of previous residents who chat and laugh while leading us to our respective residences. I notice how strong I feel, almost like I could jump right out of my new home planet’s atmosphere, but the tube of foot-wide, plastic hexagons keeps me grounded. Upon reaching the large, dome-shaped central hub, our guides each take separate paths, taking one or two new citizens with them.