I stood as I watched the escape pods slowly moving away, and the torpedo dashing towards me. The world became silent.
Time seemed to have slowed down. Eyes half closed, I reached out my hand.
I felt like I could gently touch the raging warhead, as it comes and brings me away from all of this.
There was nothing in my lungs. Air in the room had been sucked out from the holes where the escape pods used to be. Suffocation. Frustration. But somehow, glad.
I was born on Earth, the birthplace of the human.
I had a rare disease, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, commonly known as the brittle bone disease. My condition was severe. My bone could break if I did so much as running.
My family sent me to a zero-gravity facility, Moon 02, an artificial moon orbiting the Earth, cooperatively built by Japan and America for research purposes.
I had no friends. Everyone around me was old and busy scientists. Some pitied me and played with me, but they always left after a few weeks. "Station transferring", I was told.
My parents visited me regularly at first, but they came less and less often. They were businessmen on Earth. They had to work to pay for my expenditure on the Moon.
I knew they loved me. But through the years, they became more and more like strangers.
I spent every single day praying that I stopped growing the next week. At 14 years old, my prayers were answered.
After a procedure that lasted for a week, my bones were completely injected with the superalloy Adamantium. My parents spared no penny to ensure I got the best treatment possible. I came back to Earth, eager to rejoin society, eager to make friends. However, reality was again cruel to me.
After the attack of the anti-augmentation hacker group called Natural Order, discrimination against augmented people was deeply ingrained. Even after regulations were in place to restrict augmentations from connection, protests were widespread against the act of modifying one's body. People still remembered the horror where augmentations all around the Milky Way exploded, taking the lives of billions of people.
Parents held the hand of their child, dragging them away from me as I was left behind, broken-hearted. Bullying was common occurrences. I cried my eyes out as multiple drones surrounded me with holograms like "Trash android" and "Your mom sucks robot d*cks". Nobody wanted to be friends with me. Even the most soft-hearted ones deemed me not worth the trouble.
I survived 2 weeks at school. I reverted to studying on the neural net VR headset, just like before.
I plunged into the neural net abyss like a mad scientist to forget about the world. I graduated at 16 years old, 2 years earlier than my peers.
I immediately applied to go to the Andromeda galaxy.
Thanks to the propagation by Alexa Corporation, citizens of the Andromeda galaxy were much less discriminating against augs. After all, no augmentation tragedy ever happened here.
I came here with a dream. To be a pilot, to explore everything there is in the world, as if to make up for all those years I spent in a lonely room.
I became fascinated with augmentations. They helped me regain freedom. They gave me the power to face the world. I didn't care what people in my past said. Augmentations are not "unnatural". We are a product of nature, everything we create is a product of nature. I saved up the money I earned with my part-time jobs in anticipation of the next aug I wanted to buy.
As I enjoyed my new life in the Sados Academy, I met Emma when she was still an intern student abroad the Motive. An amazing, cheerful and strong Latino girl with an adventurous heart. She came from the Milky Way galaxy, as did I. She studied in an all-male major, Spacecraft Engineering. It was very admirable.
We went to a sushi restaurant and I laughed as she was fiddling with the chopsticks. In the end, she took out the "sonic screwdriver", a short-range telekinesis device she jokingly named after something similar in an ancient TV series, and levitated the sushi into her mouth in the astonished eyes of the people in the restaurant.
We watched ancient movies like "Star Wars", "Star Trek" as we giggled about the space logic people of the time imagined.
We kissed. We both did not like it though.
It was a pity that she wasn't a man.
I jerked to the right due to the sudden acceleration. The jet engine fired. That should be sister Emma's doing.
Time resumed. Blood pumped into my head.
I feared death.
I ran back into the room, jumped into an escape pod and closed the lid as tightly as I could. A few moments later, violent vibrations ensured. A big chunk of metal appeared in my vision. It punched a hole into the spacesuit helmet, creating cracks all over. The tip of the metal chunk was centimeters away from my face.
Blinding flashes of electricity poured out from the punctured control panel, and spinning, pulsing red lights covered the pod, further disorienting me.
I opened the pod's lid. The ship was moving away. The debris that crashed into my escape pod seemed to have dislodged the pod from the ship. I had to jump back. There was no surviving in a broken escape pod and failed spacesuit.
There was a 'pop' sounded inside me. That should be my artificial lungs reacting to the low concentration of oxygen in my blood, whether I wanted it to or not. I closed my eyes. A screen to set trajectory appeared on my eyelids. I moved my eyeballs around to quickly select and confirm the options.
I opened my eyes and jumped. Time seemed to slow down again.
As I was flying toward the ship, I activated my Wolverine Claw augmentation, which should help me hook myself to the ship. Yes, I know, I have Wolverine claws. What are those eyes of pity?! If you have Adamantium skeleton, you'll install it too!
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