The roar of two dozen engines woke me before sunrise. I guess none of them wanted a drink before departure.
Grandmother always said it was her need of a gin and tonic that set up her purchase of Buber. Back then a trip round the Scar was a year long slog in a metal tin. She saw Buber out of the window, then an unidentified green rock, and thought what a perfect spot it was for a boozy afternoon lunch.
She considered the crisp, bitter taste of that aperitif classic past wave after wave of ship destroying rocks. Upon arrival at her destination, before even taking her first shower for twelve months, she researched how much the claim on the land was.The rights belonged to some faceless science company, who mothballed the planet after some nondescript chemical samples.
It’s easy to see her purchase as genius business now, but consider how rough those first five years were. This is before the robots. Winds battering a landscape litter more than moss. Waiting on supplies that roll in at most every six weeks. Planting trees and growing crops with only a few hired hands offering supported, when you don’t even know if the soil can cope with them. Wondering if this would even be of interest. If there was even any point.
She discovered the scorch marks of other ships at some point in her second year. Those with less savvy minds would have thrown rocks at the trespassers, demanded they leave, or charged an exorbitant landing fee. Not my grandmother. She invited them over for a gin an tonic.
By the time The Haircut started, Buber was a crucial pit stop to a constant stream of refugees, army ships, and medical and food supplies. By that point my parents and I were inhabitants too. And the first of the farmers clicked around the fields.
All from that look out the window long ago.
At this hour a constant flurry of shooting stars burn through the sky above Buber from the tail end of the Scar. It’s hard to know what to wish for when they come so often. Instead I try and be thankful that I get to see them.