The Worlds of Alpha Centauri Alpha
It was about three quarters of a century after we got to Atlantis, the fairly
habitable second planet of Alpha Centauri B, before we bothered to cross over
and take a look at the worlds of the big star in any detail. Even though
at closest approach the big star was only about as far away from us as Saturn
was from Earth, there just wasn't a lot of enthusiasm for it. There were
better things to do, like getting settled on a hostile world, and the proposals
to fire up the coils on one of the Cityships to take a tour never got anywhere
-- too much mass to move around.
It wasn't until we build the Palmer and scared up enough xenon to fuel it that we made the crossing. We Atlantis-born didn't even call the star by its big Ancient language name. We'd taken the Arabic version and split it: the big star was 'Rig' and ours was 'Ken'. 'Prox' was a red spec in the sky, even less useful than Rig. And I have no idea what the old geezers back in Chiron were giggling about when they talked about naming Cartagia's moon Refa. But since a lot of them are about two centuries from their first stint in diapers, I think the cold sleep and regenerations must have scrambled their brains.
It doesn't matter. The old generation has settled down in their Chiron apartments or Primus Valley villas, leaving the exploration for a generation that's only seen Sol as a bright star in Cassiopeia. It beats driving shuttles to orbit, and we might even find something useful.
--Viggo Turki, Captain, AES Palmer, Alpha Centauri Alpha Expedition 2184-7
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by Geir Lanesskog, All Rights Reserved