by Tina Connolly and Caroline M. Yoachim
Heads. Most people wouldn't decide to ship out to the colonies on a coin flip, but we're not most people, right babe? When they said you wouldn't come out of the coma I had the medical team transmute your consciousness into a gold coin. The head is your lovely face; the "tail" on the back is a double helix segment of your DNA. You're in my pocket forever, my lucky piece. You know how we used to fight--no, not really fight--love fights, little kitten tussles--about who got to make the decisions? Well now it's all you. I flip the coin, you decide what we do. You are still in there, aren't you?
Heads. I'll upload my consciousness to the shipboard computer, and put my body in stasis. Your coin will remain safely in my pocket, keeping my body company for a trip that will take decades for you but only an instant for my uploaded mind. You know me so well, babe. You know I desperately want to see the colony itself, and not languish for decades on a stinking colony ship, only to die en route or arrive too old to enjoy our new life. I hear it's like the Wild West out there. Cash for the taking, if a man is bold enough to stake it. I hear you saying reckless, but you're wrong. Not reckless. Brave.
Tails. I didn't pay the extra charge for the body replacement, so when we arrive I'll go back into my own body, no upgrades. You are so sentimental, to have me keep my physical form. Is it because you lost yours? Or because you're worried about the expense? I know you're always trying to rein me in, but this time you'll see. There's so much land, a man can stake all he can claim. A new gold rush, with crystalized rocket fuel instead of gold. You'll see. The wildcatters are out there, staking their claim on all the riches a planet can hold. We'll be in the money for good. No more disasters.
Heads. Are you mad at me? Have you changed your mind about the colony? I thought for sure when I flipped you to see if you wanted company in my pocket you would say no. The handful of quarters I'm sending with you can't talk, you know. They won't have consciousness. They're even one step down from that lunk you found at that bar in Miami. Fine, whatever, if you want to rub up against them for 80 years, see if I care.