Twice in a Blue Moon
After three successful test runs the first laser satellite went live in early June 2028, it's focused energy stream pinpointed to the prism on the first crafter rig, "Moonsong". News-feeds showed the dials on the ship's readouts flickering to life, history being made at a startling rate with success story after success story following.
Within three months Moonsong had managed to fully form the first totally enclosed cavern space, dubbed thereafter, inventively, "Site One".
The first team were in and setting up the initial bio-gen troughs by new year's start 2031.
The lead of that team was, Sally Fisher, a 43 year old former architect who began from that time to unofficially lead all cavern operations "on the ground". Her reknown was for getting the job done, talking no-nonsense and having little time for the media.
Sally was sat at one of the two large mess tables, starting on the first spoonful of sea-rice the cavern had self produced, a cheer went down the sides, almost all twenty of the first two teams were joining the first meal
In reality the crop was a month overdue and the schedule was slipping in many areas with knock on delays, however Sally's smile was filled with honest hopeful joy at that moment, they could've been much much further behind and overall the project was running smoothly
One of the techs had taken a snapshot of the moment, the look of jublience caught on the faces of the crews. The shot was years later etched into a large stone facade that greeted visitors passing through the entrance gates of the first port.
By 2018 the first residential hubs were up and functioning, Suzannah was in the first intake of fifty new citizens, she along with the other forty nine stood waiting in Hub-I's hall area awaiting the now famous first crew's leader and their new governor de facto.
The crowd hushed as Sally flanked by a large giant of a man strode through the hall, she turned and addressed the pioneers, 'Welcome to your new home!' a cheer went up from the citizens, 'Tomorrow you have orientation, then it's work time people!'
'Now to your, new, homes' the last two words fell into a murmur as the commander put her finger to her ear,
'Okay listen up, slight change of plan' the lights in the hall flickered to orange 'there was a low level solar flare a few minutes ago so we're off to the shelter complex now, this way' she began ushering the crowd through an adjoining bulkhead 'one of the disadvantages to not having an atmosphere yet, sorry folks'
The conditions were cramped inside the complex, the new citizens forced into stranger's personal spaces
'We only get them rarely, just extra precautions' Sally's shouts echoed from somewhere deeper in the complex
A few more suited tech crews came shuffling in, the dense space became even more tight
'I'm Bio-lab T1 too', another citizen was telling Susannah from the other side of the corridor they stood in, the lady was holding her badge up with a bright green rim, the same shade that hung around her own neck, 'Jez' she produced her hand and reached over, as she did so misjudged the height of the lip of the central strut, she began tumbling, realising, Anna began toward the centre, she made exactly the same mistake, the pair clattered together, their heads crashed temple to temple in a loud bang that reverberated around the corridor
Both were left with gashes severe enough to warrant a trip back to the ISS on the shuttle they just arrived on for head scans meaning they both gained a place in history as the first people injured on E2 and the first to have a second journey there who weren't pilots
They sat side by side with another 48 new citizens on the shuttle sitting in dock at the ISS awaiting the departure on this second journey, the other citizens were asking them repeated questions of their very limited experiences on the project
The two had quickly become friends sharing a similar sense of humour and love of botanics, as the questions died down they continued an argument about who's name should go first on the wikipedia entry of their now infamous "first casualties"
There was noticeable increase in the murmuring in the rows, Jez asked the woman sat next to her 'Whats happening?', 'Not sure' she replied, 'Might be something on the news' she winked three times in succession, activating the news feeds in her specs Jez guessed, that or a serious twitch.
Some of the passengers had gotten out of their seats and were going to the shuttles limited windows, Jez unstrapped herself and went to look what the gathering crowd at the nearest porthole was so interested in, there was a sense of uncertainty in the air.
'There, you can see it just at the edge' a middle-aged man was gesturing,
the man he was speaking to replied 'That's just the shadow of the dawn'
'Look, there' both were from the press corp,
'What is it we're looking at here?' Jez asked 'Or not looking at, as the case maybe'
Both of the newsmen took slight steps backwards letting Jez to the window, Earth, whilst still mainly carpeted with the dawn shown brilliantly azure in the moonlight, 'There at dawn's edge' Jez followed the man's pointed finger though could discern nothing out of the ordinary.
'I can't see anything?'
'My point exactly' the other newsman agreed with Jez, 'What are we meant to be seeing? she replied.
Sally joined them as the newsman showed the stream on his mini-tab, the feed was from GCN a station neither had heard of before, the video was of a female anchor who looked very uncomfortable and flusterd, without the sound it was unclear what she was trying to convey however the text at the bottom was clear, BREAKING : Surprise Hurricane.
'It's not being reported anywhere else yet, they say it's somewhere north Russia or Europe, it's odd though none of the weather channels are saying anything about it'. Jez looked at the man's ID badge, 'Thanks, John, I still don't see what the big deal is though?'
'Well, for a start, hurricanes don't just appear, and certainly not in northern Europe or the Antartic', he paused and glanced toward Jez's own tag 'Jessica'.
'The BBC's picked it up now' the other newsman cut in, 'They're calling it a storm though, not a hurricane'. Sally peered out of the portal, everything looked normal, 'hmm, this is odd, they're saying there's claims it's a hoax'
The news seemed to have travelled fast and most of the groups returned to their seats, Jez and Sally joined them. No sooner had they sat down, John, still at the window shouted, "There!" and began gesticulating, both women let out a sigh and re-joined them.
'I can see it' John was now talking to someone loudly on his tab, 'he's right' the second newsman confirmed, pointing out the portal. She had to squint, though Sally had to admit there was clearly a very large black smudge on the edge of the horizon's band.
... Will be uploading as time allows ...