In outer space, they say, no one can hear me scream Because of the not-quite vacuum Sound cannot travel there Despite the plasma, the hydrogen, the dark energy. Mal-adapted to outer space, we creatures of air And carbon. Yet made since the first fire Spurred on by cold war To venture out there. To outer space. The non-terrestrial Contains us, and rocks condensed from gas With molten cores. So standing on the surface of Mars, for example, look out and see Horizon. That line between the ground and the pink sky, another sky. Beneath it lie valleys, mountains and caves. In another landscape We see a topography both known and unknown. And so having come so far, we find ourselves some way home.
Embarkation on Sirius One is a rough and tumble affair. This venerable spaceport has retained its grimy, industrious atmosphere and the weary traveller is likely to get jostled and disoriented. Keep your nerve however and you will soon work out what’s going on. It’s a small planet with a lot of traffic passing through. Accommodation ranges from pods to rooms in ‘Houses’. Houses exist that cater to all the major species and cultures, and usually include with shared kitchens, washroom and workshop facilities.
Sirius One, ‘the Crossing’ as it’s sometimes still called, was the first colonised planet in the system. The pioneers found a lifeless rock with enough of a radiation-temperate climate to make exploitation of its minerals realistic, and a well placed staging post in the system.
Today a busy spaceport, the slightly run down feel is attributed, by supporters of Sirius’ dominion movement, to decades of neglect by Earth Central. Their opponents counter that Sirius One could never survive as a private or indie concern, at least not for many decades to come. The indie sector is making some inroads however, with the new ‘Strontium Service’ retro-fitters and augmentation services being rare examples of collaboration between the rival Androzani networks, and about half the accommodation is privately owned.