Musaira Deshu lived an unremarkable life as such things were measured. She worked for a company that provided the processed food and other supplies for several planetary and asteroid mining conglomerates. When she was introduced to people they invariably commented on how interesting her job must be, associated with such interstellar daring. Space travel, with all its attendant consequences, was still a novelty for most people, who would never so much as think of leaving the planet surface, except to visit a thermospheric resort.
Musaira was in fact one of these. Her job was in payroll and compliance. The closest she came to space was when she calculated the taxable benefits for those off planet, who had different exemptions than those on. She was completely fine with this. The job was not what one would call exciting, but she took satisfaction in it and considered herself quite good at it. She was married and had a young daughter, and much of the joy she found in life came there.
One day, on her way to work, she was nearly hit by a falling pane of glass as she walked by a tower that was under construction. Workers had been installing the windows above and had left one resting against the ledge on the roof. Somehow a gust of wind caught it, lifted it up, and sent it tumbling down to the ground. The police, when they investigated, said it was just poor luck that it had happened, though they expected the construction company to be fined for failing to take the necessary precautions.
For Musaira the incident was a revelation. The glass landed right beside her as she walked by the tower. She could feel the brush of the wind as it passed by, and had actually looked to see if someone was reaching out to get her attention. She turned in time to see the glass shatter and let out a scream, jumping back. In spite of the shards of glass spraying in all directions around her, she wound up with only a small cut on her left hand. People farther away than her ended up with cuts and bits of glass embedded in their flesh. One man even lost an eye.
Read the rest at Circumambient Scenery.
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