Smoke Twenty Nine

In the feature holo a young engineer becomes the first Korean to land on the moon. The Aramis Drive is packed with pods, lasers carve advertising daemons in the crackling air and for once I’m grateful for the busyness, seeing the holo drive pumping like it should, a packed house to compensate for the emptiness back home. I hear the reclining chairs creak with anticipation. The actor playing the engineer looks a lot like you. Or maybe it is you. Over the course of ninety five real time minutes Zero Moon rises from his child prodigy beginnings to undergo a period of life on the road as a runaway teenager, before undergoing a kind of spiritual returning, in which he solves several longstanding astronomical problems, and thence onwards to fame: at the age of twenty one as Korea’s first spacewalker, and then triumphantly, assuming command of the International Space Station on behalf of the people of Korea, an ornamental PCB glowing on his immaculate silver space suit. In this context, the rest of the holo, concerning Moon’s arrival on the moon itself, seems almost an anti-climax: there are, of course, a large number of other moon bases already in existence, and Zero finds himself in a strange anti-world, kind of like the United Nations, on the moon.

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