Wednesday, 10 November 2010

2310 - The Space Setting


Mankind has lived and worked in deep space for centuries. We have the means to survive indefinitely between worlds, but as organisms, as animals, we haven't changed, haven't evolved to this environment.

We don't belong here.

To make a 21st century analogy. Working outer-system is like working on an oil rig, in the arctic ocean, in a tornado, in eternal night.

Space is lethal. One faulty seal on suit; dead. A bad CO2 filter, dead; a solar flare and a poorly calibrated rad-shield; dead. And even when you're safe, life is hard.

When you're not in cryo-sleep, you're living on recycled air, water and synthetic food in very close-quarters, it takes its toll. Suicide is rife, murder is not uncommon, throats slit over a card game or using the wrong coffee cup. No sky above you, no soil beneath your feet, a dozen souls in coughing distance and a centimetre of steel between you and cold, godless vacuum.

But there are rewards.

A typical shift for a gas miner is 2 years, a merchant navy-man 5. It's dangerous, very dangerous, but a couple such shifts can set you up for life, life in a decent settlement or orbital.

But if you want more, or want it quicker, there's always salvage.

NEXT: The Job

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