A collection of thoughts and half-formed ideas.
Wealthy family corporate dynasties on Earth started to build massive stations with a network of support vessels and substations to free family money from heavy taxation. No one can tax you in space.
Space Station Downton, one of the dozen Dynasty stations, operated like clockwork. A recent tragedy put the station’s future in jeopardy and The Greater Peer of the Grantham Sector, Robert Crawley needed to plot a path through the treacherous obstacles to a secure future.
Episode One: The Heir
The business of the station revolves mainly around the maintenance and upkeep of the station itself. The Greater Peer of the Grantham Sector oversaw several business ventures but had managers to directly deal with the daily operations allowing him to focus on Space Station Downton.
April 16th, 2712 began like every day on Space Station Downton. Service Droid DZ1 made the rounds, visiting the understaff to awaken them to their tasks. Two events would change the routine of the day. The first, quite mundane, would be the arrival of a new personal assistant to the Great Peer of Grantham Sector. The second event, quite unordinary, would be the news of the Earth Imperial Pleasure Ship Oberonic, built at the legendary shipyards at Utopia Planitia, colliding with a rogue asteroid on its maiden voyage from the Southlun Colony to Europa.
Tragic news at any time but for Downton, it was a personal tragedy. The contracted heirs of the Great Peer of the Grantham Sector, James and Patrick Crawley, were on board the Oberonic. Crawley’s own offspring, three beautiful daughters, never attended the proper Superior Administrative Academies to be allowed to receive the position of a Great Peer. In order to keep Downton’s fortunes within Robert’s direct line, his eldest daughter Mary was set to engage in a marital contract with Patrick.
With the death of Patrick, the next available heir within the Crawleyline happened to be a distant cousin named Matthew. The problem with Matthew, despite none of the immediate family knowing him was the fact he was Earthborn. None of the Dynasty stations had been controlled by an Earthborn for centuries.
To the understaff, the arrival of the personal assistant proved to be a complication in their lives. First they were shocked to discover Mr. Bates suffered from a malfunctioning cybernetic leg which caused him to move awkwardly at times and required him to use a manual stabilizer. The relations with the personal assistant became even more awkward when the understaff discovered Mr. Bates served with Robert in the Vesta 4 wars.
The station seneschal, Mr. Carson, a repurposed AI originally designed for an entertainment station, attempted to keep the understaff working smoothly but reported to the Great Peer Mr. Bates was not working out.
A visitation of the Great Peer of Crowborough Sector created an opportunity for Downton as the Great Peer came from the most renowned Academy in the entire system. Though, this Great Peer’s motives were unclear and once Robert Crawley decided he would not challenge the current laws regarding how Space Station Downton and the disbursement of the financial resources associated with the Sector.
The understaff plotted against Mr. Bates, highlighting his reliance on the manual stabilizer. When the Great Peer of Crowborough arrived, one of the understaff hacked the stabilizer, disrupting the field that kept Mr. Bates on his feet, sending him crashing to the metal station plates. The embarrassment was enough for Robert Crawley to reconsider Mr. Bates’ position as personal assistant.
When time came for the shuttle taking the Great Peer of Crowborough and the recently dismissed Mr. Bates prepared to carry both men to the transport hub, Great Peer Crawley changed his mind about Mr. Bates and accepted him back into service.
Robert Crawley sent for Matthew to join them at Space Station Downton to accept him fully as the next Great Peer of the Grantham Sector.
My wine writing has gotten a bit morose lately but it is still selling wine…
The post-holiday blues are right around the corner. Soon we will be taking down the holiday decorations, planning our fitness routines to lose the holiday weight, and bemoaning the week after week of drudgery before our next vacation. We can find a way of holding back those feelings by treating ourselves to something extra special like the Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Within the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus
The shortest day of the year approaches and we are dreaming of the bright sunny days of the future. But there is a season for all things. Short dark days are the time for complex, intense thoughts which deserve a complex, intense wine for accompaniement. Some of the greatest philosophical thoughts came from darkened rooms lit by candle and firelight as our ancestors sipped their wines contemplating the world and people around them.