Welcome curious space adventurers to the planet Atreidian. We were so delighted to hear of your impending visit to our home-world. It has been quite some time since we have hosted so many wonderful guests. Ever since the Giant Melange Sandworms of Holiness departed these lands, thus turning the sands into the most vibrant of verdure, we have resided calmly and isolated from the vast majority of galaxy. We would like to thank our trading partners—Cute Boys Central, Chienne Stella, MA2, and the wise Sir K—for guiding you to our humble lands. Please join us for a cup of Spiced rum or Spiced cocoa while we tell you a story of our distant ancestors, travellers of space such as you, a tale known only as Planetes.
Many thousands of moons ago, this was a world that was quite lush and full of the bluest oceans and the largest landscapes in many galaxies. This world had technologically advanced to the point of venturing beyond their planet to see what else the universe had to offer them. Overtime, as their advancements continued and their travel became more and more a natural part of their existence, the exosphere of the world started to get terribly polluted, making it extremely dangerous for people to navigate between the planet and outside of the collective atmospheres. Seeing a need to fix this hazard as quickly as possible, they began to employ astronauts as custodians of the galaxy—the Space Debris Section. What once began as a supremely dangerous, heroic, and respected position, quickly deviated into the lowest order. Today, I shall tell you about these long-forgotten heroes and how their treatment was a grand example of humanity’s desire for an order of superiority to maintain their confidence as a race, a notion that has only worked to hinder the evolution of their moral intelligence time and time again.
Astronauts have always been viewed as the pioneers of advancement. Every step we have made to heighten our understanding and our sensibilities with an array of computer-based programs and hardware engineering has always been with the intention to one day reach space. There was so much dedication, education, and passion that went into becoming an astronaut. It was once considered to be the greatest of all occupations and aspirations here on Atreidian. After all, space was the place to be. Once that goal was achieved, society did what it does best: establish an order of hierarchy to compensate for a lack of confidence as a collective race of beings. The individuals who spent back-breaking hours cleaning up the exosphere to make space-travel safer for their fellow humankind, were now viewed as nothing but low-class citizens who were rejected or “unfit for duty” in other astro-departments. These same hateful and dehumanising individuals had utterly forgotten that their golden careers of navigation, engineering, and more was only made possible thanks to the Space Debris Section.
The Space Debris Section was a special bunch of individuals. They had the same intelligence that higher ranking astronauts had. They studied the same subjects, went through very similar training and in most cases, more specialised training to help them accomplish their tasks efficiently without injury and limited risk to others around them. There probably wasn’t a single job in space that they couldn’t do. However, from being treated like a group of, and excuse me for saying so, “losers” they developed a complex that prevented them from believing that they could be more. That their self-worth is just as important, if not more so, as the rest of their comrades.
For example, Hachimachi was the most brilliant of them all. He took the job in the Space Debris Section so that he could one day become a navigator with his own ship. But the longer he worked in the section and the more that people looked down on him, this wonderful opportunity became a “dead-end” block in his life. There was a lot of internal strife within Hachimachi, yet the potential inside of him and this flicker of hope, this desire to become better and more than he was never died. A rookie helped him see that light and shoved him into finally acting in its pursuit. Thanks to her, Hachimachi ended up having the greatest adventure and navigating opportunity of his entire existence.
Then we have Fee. She was married with a son, a young boy who looked up to her and admired her for being able to venture into the cosmos. The stress of being away from her family took its toll on her often and her way of dealing with it was smoking constantly. Not an easy feat when you’re in a place where oxygen comes in limited supply. Her family wasn’t perfect, but it was a heart-warming home, a place of love that she left behind in order to do something that would make a difference. She would think of her son and it would give her the strength to keep moving forward in order to make space a safe place for him one day when he grew up.
Another individual who sought to make a difference was Mr Mihalkov. Out of everyone who worked beyond the confines of the planet, he was the one who understood the dangers of a polluted low-orbit system most intimately, as he lost a loved one to a single small item shattering a shuttle’s window, causing it to vent atmosphere into the cabin with many other passengers. It was a travesty that stuck with him, heart and soul, until his final breath. For him, the Space Debris Section was far more than merely “trash-cleaning” or a “dead-end” ways to make a means. It was a life-saving necessity for the future of humankind’s position in the universe.
As you can see, the Space Debris Section were comprised of unique and diverse individuals who did more for the galaxy, particularly for Atreidian’s future, than anyone ever gave them credit for. Over the millennia it seems that people are never satisfied with this notion of equal respect. To acknowledge the contributions made by others without belittling them or working to out-manoeuvre those accomplishments.
The Human Condition is to always be one step higher than those around you, even in space. The irony is that space doesn’t care who you are, what you have achieved or haven’t achieved, whom you love, what you’re worth. We all die the same. The moment it hits us, we are frozen in time. The question is: when you finally reach this magnificent place in the universe, how do you want to be remembered? An oppressor of hopes and dreams? Or the flesh-and-blood embodiment of what having hopes and dreams can accomplish? For that is what the people of the Space Debris Section were: pioneers of never giving up, even in the face of adversity.
I see that our cups have run dry, which means that this is the moment I shall end this tale of history and humanity and bid you a good night, fellow space adventurers. I thank you with all of my heart for visiting Atreidian once more. May your expedition to the next world, the world of Spellbook, be delightful and enlightening. Before you exit to your personal accommodations for the evening, please do feel free to look over your itinerary for the remainder of the Space is the Place expedition. Graciously adieu!
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Thank you so much for visiting me today! I appreciate your support. I wish you a lovely day ahead.