by Mary Sisson

Published by Mary Sisson at Smashwords

Copyright 2011 by Mary Sisson

To Beth Trilling

Every writer should have a friend like you.

Chapter 1

August 31, 2113

It was the greatest event in the history of the space program—quite possibly in the history of Earth. It marked the dawn of the Golden Age of Space, a time when space captured the popular imagination like never before. It was a seminal moment, the kind of watershed event that changes everything afterward.

But to Wouter Hoopen, general manager of the Titan station, it was just another fuck-up. Another embarrassing, stupid little fuck-up by his station, which was embarrassing him enough as it was.

As Wouter would later note in his own, very private defense, the timing could not have been worse. He found out about it just as he got back from a weeklong trip to a Space Authority conference on Earth—a conference that was supposed to be a break, a rest from the claustrophobia of the station and the stress of seeing the same damned people every damned day.

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