Today is the day that starts the rest of my life. At the ripe age of seventeen, I, Sirius Juinez, have been recruited as a ship member of Mother, the largest space station in the United Milky Way. Only the best are chosen, and despite most of my skill coming from helping my dad fix cars, I am apparently one of them.
I lived with my parents and siblings in an old house back in Arizona. The town was small, and not much of a tourist trap, so when I wasn’t ‘enjoying’ the dusty desert atmosphere with the only other kid my age I was helping my dad with the shop. He’s a mechanic of the only car repair place in town, which he inherited from his dad--poor gramps died a few years back of heatstroke. He was a little too eccentric of an old man and thought it would be cool to jog to the next town over without water on one of the hottest days of the year. Fortunately dad is saner than gramps, and limits his exercise to the occasional heavy work of repairing a car.
Mom was a pretty busy lady, usually pushing babysitting my four younger siblings onto me. She had a couple part-time jobs to fill in cash where the car business was lacking, which to us kids meant we’d be getting more pizza and less ham sandwiches. Even with all her work, Mom managed to raise the five of us pretty well. She even named all five of us--Mom really didn’t want us to be named after car parts and had to have the nurse wrestle the birth certificate from Dad each time she had to visit the hospital.
Ain, Castor, Sirius, Geidi, and Sarin, all after stars. Mom really had high hopes when she was naming us, and I guess she was right to. Castor and our sisters are still too young to have accomplished much, but they’re already shaping up to be pretty smart. There isn’t much else for them to do really, and now that Mom quit her jobs to be able to watch them--Castor is eldest after me, but at nine he’s already managed to explode enough microwaves that Mom sees him as unfit for babysitting--they’re going to have even less to do around the house.
The slick ATV I’m in bounces harshly as the driver speeds over a pothole, knocking me back into the now. I was picked up yesterday with just a backpack of some of my most important items; Apparently clothes weren’t needed as they would be provided, and ‘any clothing articles new ship members bring will be incinerated to help keep Mother sanitized’. The driver only spoke to me once so far to inform me that my belongings would go through a machine before I could actually bring them onto the ship. To me it all sounds a bit overdramatic, but I guess space diseases are probably a big problem--there was word about an outbreak on a smaller station a few years back, but that’s all anyone I know has even heard.
I can finally see the base I’m going to be dropped off at, a big shimmery dome of glass and metal. I’ve been here once before--that time was what led up to me being recruited in the first place--for a contest testing youngsters around...