Not a month had passed since the stories of the oxygen riots and the fires on the space station just past Mars. The latest news was breaking. It was bad. The price of oxygen was going up, even for those in transit, and this meant, of course, the only way out was to gamble. To bet on making enough to arrive and leave and not be stuck somewhere between slow death before bankruptcy and an eventual evacuation of the air lock. Or an instant internment for labour at too low a rate to avoid perpetual oxygen debt.
Ever since the human condition was turned on its head, there has been a movement to gain acceptance for the fullness of space, and the emptiness of matter. The gravity of space itself slowing light compared to the emptiness of matter bending light to make it look rebounded had got things so bad with the dogma of the physical law. Oxygen was charged at a rate exceeding the expected costs, as the legal linguistic operators had become rejected by the universal engineering guild and the extra socket charges for inefficient lingo jangling.
It was hence illegal to electrolyze water without a licence, engage a solicitor without a translator, and incidentally drink without putting an option on the nitrogen recycling. This meant shares in the processing of nitrogen had the largest profit per invested sum and were the gamble to choose if only a share could be bought. The buyers collective could be joined for a fee, and a part of one share could be bought. But the price of the option was on the rise, as the oxygen destitute all had the same idea from the free news source representing the people.
Many people were looking to get vacc'ed that summer in the coldness of space, so there was also a slightly smarter option of buying into shares from the air lock crews, who were obviously well paid. Yes, it was a risky life, but not as risky as leaving the AI to make a decision in cryostasis, or hoping the insurance would pay out for extra oxygen units. Everyone had heard of the long hack of old, and so had no faith in either.
After all, things weren't so bad said the news, so given the price of oxygen, the space package holiday was getting cheaper. The crews of many transport ships were, on the other hand, worried about the interest rate on emergency social security loans, and ship mortgage negative equity. There looked to be more rioting on the horizon.