ntroduction The back-story for H2LiftShips, following our intrepid sentients in the void, the Luna Casino, and the Asteroids, with a little old school school and celebrations. This is where we fill in the answers to some of your questions: · How did an asteroid citizen, born and bred, learn to drive a sports-car on Earth? · What happens to you after being abandoned on a divorce asteroid? · Why is Jack so afraid of prison? What traumatized that poor little puppy? · Are the bioGels sentient? And are they plotting against their owners? · What does it take to be a SolarSail Captain? · Do octopuses really think that they are better than the terrestrials? (spoiler, yes they do).
Everywhere she looked, it was gray. And black. The ruby-red laser flashed once, twice, pushing the flat, nano-spider fabric out, a spinnaker filled with photons, pulling the ship with it. The Lunar sentients; humans, simians, canines, or octopuses, seldom went out or left their cozy caves for a walk-around. If they had to work in the airless dust to service the ammonia generators or solar cells it was not for pleasure. Just get out, do the work and scurry back to the safety of home. Quonset huts clustered around the cave openings, storing equipment or used as dormitories for the gig-workers, resting between short shifts. The scenery was an unending gray against a black, cold sky, except during the Lunar day, when it was gray, overly bright, and hot. The only colors were those imported by the sentients from that distant blue and white rock, filled with water, clouds, plants, and cities shining against the firmament. Her spacesuit was a little tight in the wrong places and too loose in others. Humans seldom had their own spacesuit. Everything was modular and shared between similar-sized humans and primates. Canines had their own shared suits. The octopuses never shared, they were much too picky about their environmental wet suits. To tell the truth, everyone who had worn a suit left their own private aroma as a mark of ownership. Putting it simply, they stunk, and there was no way to escape the odor as long as the helmet was on. Taking the helmet off in this situation was not a great solution, so she left it on and shut down her olfactory nerves as best she could. Graciela enjoyed her time alone, away from the tiny dorm rooms of the Academy. Even her parent’s Solar Sail cargo ship had more sleeping space than her current rock room. This wasn’t the first LiftShip launch she witnessed, but the first after entering the Academy. She mulled over her situation; Someday, soon, I’ll get my own ship, maybe join up with family in the Asteroid Belt. Who was she kidding? She knew deep in her soul the real reason she was going through all this pain. And math. If I ever get a ship, I’ll show those irritating family elements what a real Captain can do! The ship continued up, above the edge of the moon, moving away from even a hint of gravity, into the solar stream. Graciela flipped the helmet telescope into view as the ship pulled on its lines to change the spinnaker to a triangle, angling against the sun to move along a vector. She plotted the path in her mind for practice and thought, probably heading toward the Lagrangian boost cannons before punching out. Those massive lasers, hanging forever between Earth and Luna, were required for any ship delivering fresh supplies to the far-flung inhabited rocks in the Belt.
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