Farside City, The Moon. November 9th 2111. 0600 Hours.
There were many ways of waking up that Ameer Anwar didn’t enjoy. Being besieged by the latest United Nations Employment Allocation Services prompt was one of the ones he particularly hated.
The rest of his apartment in Farside City was just visible beyond the translucent in-vision display window that was demanding his attention. Tucking his left hand behind the back of his mess of dark hair, he concentrated on the screen in front of him to let his neural computer work.
[This is a message from the UNEAS. Ameer Anwar, you have two months left to find employment on the Moon or one of the various space stations. Failure to do so will result in deportation back to Earth. Would you like to perform a job search now?]
It was all designed to keep crime down away from Earth, Ameer knew. By sending those not properly seeking new work back to the surface, the aim was to avoid the formation of slums, black markets and the lure of make-money-now criminal schemes, physical and virtual.
Clicking on the virtual ‘yes’ button, a chunk of further data fields emerged listing the total number of vacancies currently going in space.
“Hide jobs I’m not qualified for.” His voice was soft, even with no one in the apartment to wake It was just a force of habit. The number of available jobs went down by just over half.
“Hide jobs I’m ineligible for.” The number reduced further as his profile was checked against work that needed certain permits, licenses, and the rare few gender-specific jobs still present. He didn’t mind that last one as much, it took a strong stomach to work something like the position of an abuse counsellor, male or female-specific.
“Hide jobs that my cybernetics are obsolete for.” Came the next order as he glanced at his battered old, UN-issue cybernetic right arm sitting in its charging holster near the bed. If he concentrated very hard on the installation point where his shoulder and armpit should have been, he could make the arm give a little wave to him.
Another section of jobs vanished. For the most part, his various synthetic parts and augmentations were military issue from the Annexation Wars. Twenty-five years was a long time in science and technology. Most of the professions that were left for him were in the service, custodial and data industries. He didn’t much fancy the thought of passing coffees over a counter, competing with service bots for cleaning, or mindlessly filing data.
Ameer’s last job had been enough of that.
A long sigh escaped his lips as he shut down the search for that day, sinking back into his bed. A more important question would be if he was going to leave the apartment today. The better question would probably be if he was going to leave his bed for more than the essentials.
The march of progress casts technology and men aside as they grow outdated. He’d been cutting-edge once, back in the military. He’d been places, seen things. Not all of those places happy, not all of those things good. It was a job he left because he knew it would crush him to stay. And the mundane work he did at the Daedalus Radiotelescope at least took him away from Earth and the memories there.
And then he became obsolete there, redundant as the future was now happening on Mars, not the Moon. To go to an even more soul-crushing job? He might as well-
“No.” He growled, pushing himself up and out of bed, the motion easy thanks to the reduced gravity. Scratching at his untamed beard, Ameer knew he needed to stop that rut before it consumed him. He knew he needed to go out and get some proper food, get away from his boxy abode.
With even more vigour he scratched. He had to trim and shape that despondent soul patch that had threatened to overrun his chin and jaw. With determination, nay, urgency he strode to the bathroom. Most of the urgency came from the need to relieve the pressure on his bladder, but one of his trainers always told him that ‘you have to use what you can to motivate you’.