All the space stories you’ve heard of have been about smugglers, or rebels, or explorers, or soldiers. Mine is different. I’m just a normal guy. Mine started just about a week ago, and I can pretty much catch you up until now. Then we’ll have to live through it together.
I live on Juno. Got here two years ago on the last immigration ship. There aren’t too many of us yet. There won’t be until the next nav-window opens in six months and they start sending the really big star cruisers through.
Anyway, a week ago, on my way to work, I saw something. I know that you think I’m going to say an alien, but that wouldn’t be shocking. Everyone knows they’re around. They keep to themselves, mostly on Minerva. No. I saw something much weirder—a stranger.
This is the kind of planet where everyone knows everybody. The journey is a decade long, and all of it is spent in the chill. The asteroids and the sun only align to allow passage once per local orbit. My point is, it’s not an easy place to get to. You might say that it’s impossible. But I know what I saw.
I pulled over to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me, but there she was. The first time I saw her, she was looking the other way, trying to stay hidden behind the dumpster at Ernie’s Restaurant. My first impression was that she seemed scared.
It was later that I found out this wasn’t true at all. But that’s jumping all ahead. To understand where I’m at now, let me get back to the story.