Apologies for no posts recently, but illness struck and tucked me away in a hospital for a few days for surgery. Post surgery now and planning on massive editing while recuperating. But I feel a bit better about the first chapter so opening snippet redux below:
Located a few kilometers from Sleekit corporate headquarters, Exergym #14 played host to the human component of its employees including one Cliff Rosen. At the end of this thirty-seven Earth-hour cycle he rested between his own routines. His hip propped on a high bench. His focus on the shuffling mass of humanity or partial humanity as they sucked though the vented doorway. Each step predictable from the pause at the entrance to pull in that first deep appreciative intake of oxygen rich air, to the eventual slight slumping of shoulders as they trudged towards the beckoning tower of complex machinery. Following a trained, or perhaps instinctual, response they hesitated at the end of each aisle. Waiting with resignation for a vacancy in the myriad of coils already filled with groaning, moaning participants. For himself, the sounds of suffering the machinery tore from these masses only lent a whimsical edge to his musings. Instead of high end devices geared to efficient physical conditioning, he became surrounded by ancient torture devices filled with willing penitents offering their sweat and aching muscles up as atonement for daring to exist, to survive, away from the bounty of Earth. Wiping his forehead, Cliff battled down that whimsy by reminding himself of the fact, if that image had any truth, of his own servitude to the religion of the physical. The majority of Sleekit employees who attended the ‘gyms were “almost humans” attempting to be as Earthling as possible. As such they flocked to the exergyms, even though few of them had to battle the first of the Three Truths. Though, like many truths within the corporate system, that truth really was a falsehood. The gravity here would never kill you: rather it was the Earth’s own gravity that would prove deadly with the return into its loving embrace. So the “almosts” after choosing space exploration as their livelihood exchanged the need for extreme workouts for a simple DNA modification. Irreversible for themselves and their prodigy the MarcPol treatments allowed for life on the lower gravitational planets such as Raek-qo or Mars with only moderate physical exertion. Of course, that option vanished for a member of the Eight Families. Instead, like himself, they were trapped by their over-valued pure humanity. Humanity that condemned them each day to spend hours in mindless exercise simply to someday return to Earth without a Gravsuit. To be a True Human, rather than an Almost. It was this reality that lead Cliff to bypass the typical corporate career path, instead choosing to study astrobiology. Now as a glorified gym coach for Sleekit, he filled his days being paid to facilitate his own survival and those of his fellows. Besides everyone came to the exergyms. Making the ‘gyms, if one planned carefully, the perfect location to have a casual encounter. As he had to do today. The last of his impractical whimsy expired and having fully studied the sweltering human stew before him, he pushed away from his lounging position. Returning to the his personal goals, proceeding with his plan to do connect with the others in his team.
I say its getting there..but I am learning that editing will never really end.