Key To A New World
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Ok, so maybe buying a planet wasn't the best idea. Then again, joining the circus wasn't a good idea either, and neither was buying the zoo, or stealing the ship, or forging the immigration documents, or a whole plethora of other things which had left Robert broke, injured, incarcerated or any combination of the three.

Robert was no stranger to bad ideas, but sitting in the middle of a frozen ocean next to a one-way shuttle drove home the notion that maybe he wouldn't be able to get out of this situation. He looked at his reflection in the ice.
"Why? Why would you go and buy a planet? We had a good thing going! We had money, we had a car, we even had a house that wasn't infested with rats,"

His reflection, obviously, didn't respond.

Robert pitied himself for a while longer before standing up. The locator in his hand pointed him towards the location of his shelter, which he would have to get to to obtain luxuries like food and warmth.

Almost unconsciously, Robert started talking to himself yet again.
"What are we going to do once we actually get there, though?"
"I don't have the faintest idea,"
"Some help you are,"
"It's not like you're any better. You've only been here twenty minutes and you're already talking to yourself,"
"Once again, not helping. Make a plan with me,"
"Ok, step one: somehow make a profit from this frozen wasteland, step two: drive yourself even deeper into this hole you're digging for yourself,"
"Not constructive,"
"And yet depressingly true,"

He lapsed into silence. Thinking.

He couldn't help what he was doing. There was an old word that Earthmen had used: Wanderlust, itchy feet. It was Wanderlust that had propelled them from their small rock to their moon to their surrounding planets to the outskirts of the Milky Way itself. Wanderlust had led to them becoming the most advanced race in history; Robert had used that word to rationalise all of his bad decisions to himself. He had convinced himself that his nomadic lifestyle, his habit of spending money as soon as he got it, his compulsion to leave once things got too comfortable, were all just symptoms of a desire to be something bigger.

"But it wasn't, was it? It was self-destructive. You dug yourself a pit and told yourself it was a bridge."

Robert stayed silent.

"Remember Ariana? On Mhaajon? You met her, you married her, you made her pregnant and then you snuck out of the window and left her with a pile of gambling debt she didn't even know about."

Robert stayed silent.

The voice, unrelenting, continued.
"Lemme ask you a question,"
"You know the answer already,"
"Actually I don't, because you don't either,"
Robert grunted
"Why choose this planet? There were better ones we could have bought. You could tell that the guy selling it was happy to get rid of it,"
"Is there a point to this?"
"No, but then, there's been no point to anything you've done."

The voice shut up after that, leaving Robert alone in the cold. A part of him wished the voice had stayed, just to alleviate the boredom, but the majority was glad it was gone.

He checked the locator occasionally to make sure that he was on the right track, but for the most part, the only things moving were his legs. He fell into a hypnotic rhythm of putting one leg in front of the other. He was so locked into the rhythm that he almost didn't notice the ground beneath his feet turning from ice to a firm slush.

He was on solid ground. There wasn't long now until he arrived at his shelter.

With a clear head, he felt his old vivacity return to him. He began planning, muttering to himself under his breath.
He knew this planet had high amounts of water and iron deposits, as well as very fertile land. He would melt the surrounding snow and begin to plant crops. Then he could set up automatic mining and manufacturing facilities over the ore veins he would find. Then he could make a space elevator, and sell everything he made. And then there would be money, and-

"And what will you do with that money then?" Clearly the voice wasn't done with him. "Will you leave this place, just like you left everything else? Where will you go from there?"

Robert shut it out.

The surroundings were getting noticeably more craggy. There were dark red rocks jutting out of the snow now. Mountains began emerging on the horison. Upon checking the locator, he could see the flashing beacon where the shelter was drift to the right. Excited, he sprinted to the right. He saw a glint up ahead. There was a steel door built into the snow. Robert thrust his hand into his pocket and fished out the key the previous owner of the planet had handed to him and thrust it into the lock.

It was the key to a new world.

It was a key to his world.

Time would tell if he would stay.

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