SpaceRox

Sasha Miles lives with her family on the moon she partly owns with the government. Her husband, Walker, is an astrophysicist. Together, they inhabit a biodome with their four children: Jolene, Ellison, Dolly, and “Monty” Montgomery. Being away from humanity is lonely at times, but the Miles mansion is big enough for comfort and has artificial grass for the children to play.

In the projection room, Sasha prepares to enter a conversation with her board of directors. She’s the president of SpaceRox, the first U.S. company to mine for meteorites. An ideal meteorite has a combination of iron, nickel, cobalt, gold, platinum, and iridium. It’s worth approximately $10,000.00 a gram and is used to make anything from jewelry to golf clubs and augmented reality headsets.

Sasha faces her meteorite-made conference table. Her own reflection stares back at her: black hair tightly pulled back into a long ponytail and large glasses around her green eyes. She gestures from left to right over the center with her manicured hand. A digitally projected menu screen appears. Her fingers follow a sequence, opening a holographic chat, pinging with dialogue. She’s reading along when her six-year-old, Monty, bombards through the door.

“Mommy, come play with me,” he says. His dark hair flops over his face.

Before addressing her son, Sasha types on an unseen keyboard: What’s the current status of available resources?

“Mommy’s working right now,” she says to Monty. She tucks loose strands of hair to reveal his similar green eyes. “I will later.”

A notification bell alerts Sasha with a message from the geologist, Dr. Hart: Mining is at a halt. Resources are rapidly depleting. Limiting production is recommended.

Alicia McIntosh from marketing adds to the chat: What about revenue?

Sasha types her own opinion: Raise prices and limit production. Create a higher demand.

Marcus Johnson, the Chief Financial Officer, replies: Could backfire and we lose public interest.

Monty, still in the room, tugs at her arm for attention. “Now, please,” he whines.

Sasha flashes a stern gaze at him. “Go play with your brother and sisters, I’ll join you after.”

“Yes ma’am,” Monty says. Hanging his head down, his shoulders slump, and he shuffles his feet out of the room. Sasha watches him for a moment, and grimaces at the pain she feels in her chest.

The ding of the chat brings her back to work. Chou Ming of Public Relations writes: I agree. Society’s obsession with SpaceRox has led many to take out second mortgages and malnourish their children just so they can afford to fit in. Let’s not make it worse.

Sasha scrunches her face and stands. She turns off the hologram and picks up the chair she was sitting on, lifting it over her head, then bringing it down against the table. A loud bang echoes. No damage. She pulls at her shirt collar, loosening its hold. Looking across the room, she sees—beyond her glass enclosure—a darkened Earth, shadowed from the light.