Stella Maris: The End of the Beginning.
Someplace to die for, Stella Maris ( 0603 A867883-E Ri 704 Na G1V M0D ) is a garden planet, a golden oasis on the edge of forever. The down port is filled with traffic, millions of refugees have flooded into here, who in turn, those fit enough now serve in the Interstellar Brigades, like lines of army ants, file into waiting troop transports. High above, planetoid monitors, armored rock fortresses of tens of thousand of displacement tons, stand ready in orbit to defend against the depredations of the black ships. Stella Maris will not be as easily euthanized as Chiconautla was, as beautiful the landscape, the industry and spirit of the citizens, both new and old, speak in one constant monotone of rising volume: no pasaran! Forced into a corner, people here will defend what they have and no, they shall not pass, unless all that is perishes from the universe.
Here is also the final destination for the missiles carried in the mother, anti-matter to help defend this island of 733 million souls. Others, of the crew, take their leave, some to desert and maybe others to take their places. Onward now, into the Astron sector, a lawless land, where no great polities hold sway and the individual worlds vy for power. Here now the security teams will earn their keep, where naught is certain but the law of the firearm.
The intrepid adventurers stand on the tarmac of the starport, watching the beautiful sunset.
“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.” Ty mentions the old old seafarer’s saying. Ty looks menacing with a Gauss Rifle in his hands, but when he gets to Stella Maris he’s a family man; such is the jigsaw puzzle of life. Carrying a new doll, anonymous type, configurable to any looks that the child could wish for and hair that can grow out from any styling disaster. In the other hand a packet of papers in a plastic envelope. Meeting a Vlazdhumecta woman on the tarmac, she has a five year old daughter in pigtails with her. Ty hands the doll to the girl’s mother and picks up the girl, kissing her; then showing her the packet of papers, says: “Here is one education from the University of Terrelay.” Handing it over.
“There’s a cred stick in there with 30,000 Terrelayne Creds on it as well as a couple of mid passages, sorry I couldn’t do more.”
“Tyrel, I wish things could have been different, if only….”
“Hush now, there’s nothing left to say.” Ty’s daughter pulling his plastic dogtags from his open collar, one last bit of fascination at her real father.
Forcing a smile, he takes the woman’s hand and glances at the other man out on the peripherary. “Time to go meet my daughter’s new father.” Walking away and maybe he can be seen wiping a tear away, forming at the corner of his eye.
Jimmy “Chicken” sauntering out for a bit of R&R, catches the scene and comments: “You know he’ll be back, this place has gotta be hell for him now.” Before wandering off. The nightlife is good here, a bit rowdy like any frontier area and just maybe forced or desperate, so different though than the dead world the adventurers have just left.