Margo, Time Liaison

Margo wanted to be an astronaut beginning at age three, but she couldn’t because she was a girl, and females could only be cosmosnauts. Rather than join the ranks of those fools, she settled on being a time liaison when she graduated advanced school.

Cosmosnauts rode rockets into outer space in search of new worlds to colonize, but astronauts piloted cargo between the spaceports, of course there were the Intergalactic Tribal Wars to worry about and only one out of sixty astroplanes made it through the laser beams and space mines. Not a single cosmosnaut had returned yet and not one astronaut had made two flights alive. If successful, they retired after the lone flight with a parade, full benefits and pay, and celebrity status (though on the spaceport far from home). Margo believed she could make it from Mars to Earth’s Moon, but never Earth, in one flight, pilot take all, but she couldn’t get the chance.

Not in these times. That left two options to fulfilling her dream: a sex change or time traveling to the past to change the laws before women were outlawed from piloting astroplanes. Long ago there were women astronauts; she knew from the legends her grandmother told.

She choose the difficult path because she liked a challenge, and she really didn't like the idea of standing to pee. As a time liaison, she was required to escort those who were nearly dead to moments in their past, when they were happiest, so they could die peacefully while reliving their memories. The job was personally rewarding, but brought her no fame or fortune. Dead people didn't even thank you.

Every time she entered the past, she tried to find the point where women were forbidden from being astronauts but never could find it. Eventually she grew old and weak herself. It was time for her to visit a time liaison, to relive her best moments until her end, but she couldn’t think of any. Her only pleasurable memories were watching someone else relive their past.

Instead she decided to engage in an experimental treatment for old age. They wired her brain and put her in a sensory tub. Some machine fed her brain memories, not her own. She blasted off from Mars, glided through space, dodged asteroids, outmaneuvered yon-fighters, landed to a raucous crowd, and paraded through the streets on her distant ancestors’ home, Earth. It was a little more than she had thought possible, but still believable. Margo closed her eyes and smiled.

She was nearly there, the light was blinding. In the instant before her death, she had one last thought, though fleeting, “No, I don’t want it to go away.” Her smile faded; as did her last breath.