Note on the title: This scene has existed in my mind for quite some time and has gone through multiple iterations, including a rather substantial change in setting, while the title stuck around. In the release version it will most likely not have that title
Neu Bochum-Colony, Polaris
11 years ago
The Park Tangent was cool and serene.
Ruhr was high in the night sky and the light bouncing off it onto Neu Bochum created the illusion that the planet itself was the moon – a reversal of the relationship these two celestial bodies shared in reality.
On the other side of the central shaft a crab like mining rig emerged from below and briefly flashed on of its lights across this section of the Park Tangent, dispelling the night’s embrace and revealing the soothing green that artificial light would bring to the attention of all visitors during daytime.
Jonah had not seen Sam since dinner and had come here looking for her. It was not unusual for his little sister to go out late, and no one in Neu Bochum actually minded that teenagers like Sam roamed the quite spaces of the Habitation and Park Tangents. Life on the moon offered so little privacy otherwise, that to the children and teenagers it would otherwise find it to be suffocating.
Any other day Jonah too would not have minded. But today was the last day he would be in Neu Bochum for long time. For the first time since taking up military service for the GTVA he would depart on a mission that would take him beyond Polaris. When the Erikson left the system it would not return to port for entire duration of the journey. And the destination of its deep space exploration mission would take it to a remote system outside the Sirian Transit.
He, by himself, was delighted to have this opportunity and not only because Commodore Bosch had been selling it had as great career move. As much as he wanted to make this tour, however he would not leave without his family as a whole giving him a proper send-off before.
He finally found Sam sitting underneath a tree that with years to grow might turn into beautiful willow, hanging its branches down to the waters of the Park Tangents largest lake. What gave her away was the tell-tale glow of two handheld computers, one which rested in her lap and other which she had left in grass next to her.
“So this is where you have gone to.” Jonah said announcing himself.
“Did mom send you to fetch me?” Sam replied without looking up from the screen in her lap.
Jonah leaned against the tree so he could see over his sister’s shoulder and read what she kept her locked to the screen.
“It’s Paula new screenplay.” She offered up, preempting his question, while reaching for her second device. She typed something into it and the screen flashed to a Datasphere page, which was quickly read and then put aside again.
“How is it?”
“It’s Paula. She spends so much time trying to say something that she ends up saying nothing at all.”
Jonah could never tell if critical remarks such as this from his sister were truly statements of a discerning mind or just a teenager’s attempt to appear beyond her years.
“So she handed it to an Ashcroft for feedback? A family practiced in saying so little that we hardly seem to be speaking with another at all?”
Sam chuckled and finally tore herself away from her friend’s work.
“You didn’t come out here to debate a screenplay you will never see made into a movie.”
“I will make sure Paula hears that you said that.”
“Oh, please don’t.” Sam replied overly theatrically. “How will my social life survive this?”
As much as he enjoyed this kind of verbal sparring with his sister, he had to cut right to the case.
“I don’t want you to say out late today. I rather not have you miss my send-off tomorrow.”
“As if I would miss the opportunity to show you how glad I am to get rid of you and your speeches.”
Jonah shallowed a sigh. “I mean it, Sam. I will not be back for two years at least, maybe even longer if Commodore Bosch gets his promotion. As much as I like to go, I don’t want to leave without a proper goodbye.”
Only just then he realized that Sam was staring at her feet now.
He did not need her to say any of the question that probably bubbled to the top of her mind right now. She probably was not saying any of it because she had not sorted them out just yet, but Jonah knew them all the same since he agonized over possible answers.
But he knew something that would help break the silence.
“How about one more speech before I leave?”
“I’d like that.”
Jonah lowered himself to the ground, sitting down shoulder-to-shoulder with Sam. From this position he briefly scanned the sky, searching for a familiar constellation. Once he found one, he pointed it out.
“Do you see these stars out there in the distance?”
“There are people in the universe that think one of specks is the most important place in all of universe. They believe it against all evidence to contrary, despite the fact that almost all of night sky, here and on any other planet, is pitch black.
“This light in the distance is unimportant. Every other light in galaxy is unimportant. Actually they are the most boring things imaginable.
“They are rendered insignificant by the vastness of space, which makes any one place small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things…
The scene above is part of the effort to connect the player to Sam's motivation for being with the NTF, even though she is neither one of "good people making a bad choice" or a die-hard fanatic (or any of the stripes in between).
The question(s) Sam is looking to answer are all concerning the whereabouts of her older brother Jonah, who along with the corvette under his command disappeared months earlier. While everyone else in her life seems to have resigned themselves that Jonah is dead, Sam is actually holding out hope that he is alive somewhere - esspecially becasue if he had died, she figures, the Ashcrofts would have been told as much.
Joining with the NTF fighter corps is one of the last options she has to gain information about what happened to Jonah and if need be to find him and bring him back home.