Today was tomorrow yesterday.
Since the former tomorrow no longer exists, time is now, not tomorrow, to finish what was started yesterday when it was today.
12499 Earth days to go.
On Earth, in this location, it (the sky? the planet?) rains.
A small glass jar labeled YANKEE CANDLE MOUNTAIN LODGE(tm) contains coloured wax slowly melted by a bouncing flame which reflects off three or four burnt jars that once reflected their own wicks on fire.
Smoke rises from the megagrill of our next-door neighbour, the neighbour who once kept two or three food trucks in his yard, scenting the neighbourhood with refried beans and taco meat cooked in preparation for street fairs and lunchtime business customers.
In preparation for today’s event – the release of the second version of our journey to the Moon, Mars and beyond – I reflect on what fuels my fire: the depth and breadth of experience.
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Every character has a background story, an origin tale unique yet shared with others.
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To show they cared for each other more than they planned, Lee and Guin shared their private lives, exposing themselves to personal ridicule and pain.
Both had experienced a breaking of trust they had placed in another, which made them stronger in some ways and weaker in others.
Both had suffered body damage from motor vehicle smashups.
In older retelling of tales, we might have said Lee and Guin had character flaws but as our society’s enlightenment has grown, we’ve come to realize the word “flaw” implies the opposite, a pure, untouched version of a character with no flaws which does not exist.
Instead, Lee and Guin, like everyone else, had established character traits through living.
We choose to live in the social circles we choose to live in.
We often associate ourselves with subcultures that best reflect back to us ourselves.
When we accept the written and unwritten guidelines of our chosen subculture, we can let go of old thought patterns that might have rejected ourselves.
Lee and Guin were chameleons, contrarians, and people pleasers.
They did not have to have each other as friends but friends they had become.
As chameleons and people pleasers, they tended to blend in.
As contrarians, they tended to stand out.
They loved without question, they lived with conviction and laughed at convention.
And then there was Bai. And Pierre.
A host of friends living a subculture of polyamory in the fluid flow of primary and secondary relationships.
Several of them had experimented with monogamy, finding it satisfactory in many ways but not in others.
Just like life in general.
No lifestyle is perfect.
They wanted what anyone wants – a waking life worth waking up for.
It was not about money.
It was not about denying the existence of others’ subcultures.
It was about what modern culture (modern in the sense that it has existed since the human species has existed in its current form) has always been about – improving the survival of the species.
Authors have presented us with such futures as “Brave New World” and “Logan’s Run” to gently guide the reader toward the idea of polyamory as the best lifestyle for preventing the minisubculture of the nuclear family from leading to toxic relationships between unmatched parents and children (even if such unmatched relationships can lead to new discoveries not found any other way).
Neither Lee nor Guin owned each other or owed each other anything.
They met unaware of their connection to one another.
But after they met, electric energy in the air sparkled like fireworks whenever they were in each other’s presence, Van de Graaff static electricity generators uniting once and for all.
Like spinning black holes locked in binary orbit, they generated gravitational waves that rippled throughout society, the planet and the solar system.
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So you see, creating a planet[oid] colonisation chart is not just about a story, it’s about a new culture spreading into the solar system, replacing some modes of species procreation with that more suited for space exploration and settlement where resources are shared for the common survival of Earth-based lifeforms seeking transformation into new lifeforms to thrive in new nonEarthlike ecosystems.
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For a brief time in the early years of their relationship, Guin and Lee were separated from each other.
And boy, did they know it! Lee suffered body damage from cardiac arrest and strokelike conditions, leading to permanent hearing loss and migraine headaches he had never felt before, and Guin’s body accelerated cancerous growth which was removed during the first procedure to prepare her body for space travel.
But they accepted these conditions as growth pains like two preteens going through adolescence while corresponding from distant towns.
They were the Martian Pioneers, ready to face incredible struggles to settle Mars after spending time on Earth’s natural satellite, the Moon. Centuries later, they helped set up camp first on Enceladus, hiding from…
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But I’m getting ahead of myself. We should look at their colonisation chart, shouldn’t we, to get an idea of what they planned before Inner Solar System life changed their plans, before the Inner Solar System Alliance grew from a combination of private corporate interests and a subcommittee of the United Nations we haven’t even talked about yet.