Nov 1
Life on Space Station Orca182.1.2

I am, in every sense of the word, a bookish lass. In some other time I suspect that would be an insult, but to me and everyone I know, it is not. I sit and often tinker at my Design in the workroom adjacent to our beautiful abode. My father is a very supportive parent and a doting father. We live alone. He does not invent as he once did, retired after inventing Design in the first place; he now relives his inventing days vicariously through me as I studiously attend to my own Design. We have so far been awarded a high position in society because of my father’s initial success and because of my humble contributions to the vast volumes of science. 
    Today is not of any particular importance. I am not on the verge of completing some new invention or philoso-phy. We are not headed to any societal event tonight, but we are making preparations to go to an opera tomorrow. 
    I pull up schematics for a dressing robot and have it printed out so that it can help me pick out colors and take my exact measurements. I haven’t taken measure-ments for a few weeks you see, and at fourteen years old my body is going through rapid and significant changes worthy of constant remeasurement. 
    The robot appears, as do all objects, to come straight forth from out of my tablet as schematics into a fully-functional form. The robot is printed out exactly accord-ing to the drawing, description and measurements, hav-ing fault only if there is fault in its design. This particular robot is in public domain as are all the greatest inven-tions of our day. This luxury comes from a division of op-erations. I have never seen physical labor a single day of my life, not because I am a girl or a child, but because it is not in my station. 
    As I stated before, we are of elevated rank in high soc-iety because of the inventions we have produced. But that is not our only merit. We have procured sponsors for our inventions by attending various galas, plays, mu-sicals and operas. From what I can tell this form of gov-ernment is relatively new and is therefore somewhat vol-atile. (That is the most exciting of times for any ideology, as those seeking for power are floating loose from their seats of power and are therefore no longer kingpins nec-essary for the lifestyle’s survival.)
    The robot looks something like a tall, thin, bronze hu-man with a protrusion in what should be the chest area but what looks more like a belly. It has several dark eyes but a pleasant smile. With its measuring poles for hands, it begins to carefully lift my various limbs.
    “Thank you for your cooperation,” it says in a kind voice. “Usually I have to convince my clients that I have to touch them to get their measurements, but you seem to get the protocol.”
    My dad enters through the hardwood doors that sep-arate the workroom from the rest of the house. He seems to be interested in picking out his clothing for the eve-ning as well. 
    “What are you thinking of wearing, sweetheart?” he asks. 
    “I was about to tell her that white and lavender with blonde accents seems to be the style everyone is raving about. Lady Berkley is sure to be impressed as she is wear-ing that very style for the opera. She says it best comple-ments the rococo style of Cruise to Jaffa,” the robot insists, “For you sir, I dare say this may be the only time I recom-mend wearing light colors, but try to be sensible. The sh-oulder coifs, skirts, and tights are acceptable. As you well know, sire, men very rarely coordinate on clothing.”
    I stop to think a moment about the pairing. I would prefer to wear a much more constrained palette, as that is my style. 
    “Could you make the colors a bit more rosy, the white a light peach, and the blonde a shade of the white? Then darken all the colors until they are almost vibrant,” I think aloud.
    “I’ll have just the lavender of hers plus a light grey on fourteenth century Italian,” father says.
    “Will these do, dearies?” it asks.
    I peer onto the Design table and see a flowing gown with a high waistline and a conservative top next to a rather girlish suit. 
    “What were they thinking, the Italians . . . these will not do,” Dad guffaws. “Perhaps keep the top, but add metal plates and then redraw more modern trousers?”
    The redesign is much more reasonable. 
    “Is that all?” the robot asks.
    I nod in affirmation and with that the robot disse-mbles from physical form and is absorbed back into schematics on the Design board. Then I flick the design away and pull up my latest project: a new type of long-range cruiser. I am rethinking the typical design, which is function over style and trying to come to some happy medium. The biggest issue is windows which can easily break but which make the cabin feel much more open and the exterior look more appealing. 
    The gowns begin to print from the Design, but before the top on mine prints I add flowers. I figure I shouldn’t look too womanly, as I am still fourteen. 
    “That’s my girl,” dad states, “Always your own flair.”
    “Do you mind?” I ask, holding the dress in my arms.
    He leaves the room long enough for me to don the beautiful fabric. It is soft and comfortable, and fits like a glove. I look into the only mirror we have in the work-room, a smoky one smushed between a stack of books and a mess of parts and renderings. I am happy to see the dress is not very revealing, but doesn’t hide my girlish form. Not that I have much to boast about yet. Perfection doesn’t come in a day or in an hour. Besides where would the fun of growing be if you were perfect from the get-go?
    “What do you think?” 
    I twirl for dad as he walks back in. He puts a hand to his heart and pretends to shed a tear as though an actor in an opera. 
    “Stunning. Bellissima!” he almost sings. 
    “C’mon let’s have you then,” I snicker. 
    When I come back into the room, he’s dressed and positioned as if to woo me from my balcony.
    “Fair maiden. I was planning on wooing my dear Juliet on her balcony as is written by the famed hand of Shakespeare,” he orates, “but then I saw you come on to your balcony from not afar off and was immediately moved to come to thee instead, most wondrous ench-antress!”
    I give him a good push. 
    “Pretty snazzy, huh?” he laughs.

After dad left and I replaced my shirt and pants, I go over to the window to look out into space. I should men-tion that we live on a space station. Our station orbits Orca182.1.2, or Fith’s second moon. Orca is the name of the formation of stars that resembles a killer whale when viewed from the Sol system. 182 is the number of the star system in the Orca formation, 1 being the closest system to Sol. 182.1 means the first planet from the star, and the 182.1.2 means the second moon of that planet. (You could try and find where this is and see where I am going to live in 3006, that is if this is the future you choose).
    We are stationed here because Fith is one of the lar-gest human colonies, so proximity is important for trade and the proper production of all of the vital necessities as well as any luxuries we may wish to have. Fith is not exa-ctly a very hospitable planet. The air is slightly poison-ous and only a select variety of plants can grow there, so most of the plant and all of the animal production has to be done indoors. 
    So outside has a lot of space, but it is difficult to grow much. And then onplanet has more space than offplanet, so those who live on the space stations must be able to perform necessary work in tight quarters. So, you see, division of labor is not only helpful but an absolute nec-essity in our society. If my function in society is creating ideas that benefit everyone, then I am permitted to live in the nicest space station where clean living space is plenty, which is what I aim to do. 
    The view is so lovely from this window. This particular position, although not uncommon on our particular sta-tion, is a luxury few can obtain. It is this view that has in-spired me to increase the amount of window used in space craft, particularly craft which must travel long distances. It can get awfully cramped when you are stuck in a tube or a dish for weeks on end. But windows present a safety risk that is better avoided by having few windows, reinforced to the point that the view is worthless. 
    I for one do not like feeling like I have to peep through a telescope to see the world waiting just outside the walls, I prefer to feel as if part of the vast emptiness. Impossible to feel claustrophobic with all of space in front of you.