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Beneath The Darkest Sky

A remake with a new sky and better lighting....
Every so often an interstellar visitor passes the Solar System.  In 2156, the comet HC36 passed just inside Neptune's orbit on a fast hyperbolic trajectory. With the last of the ramships in mothballs, Captain Rajiv Kumar and the crew of the Deep Cruiser Athena were dispatched to examine the alien clump of water and hydrocarbon ices.

The comet itself was nothing really spectacular, but it was headed out towards Taurus, away from the Commonwealth.  In defiance of the decades-old Ban on interstellar travel, the Athena's entire complement of one hundred and thirteen decided to stay on the speeding interstellar interloper.  They dug out caves in the eleven by five by four kilometer rock-hard ice, leaving the sun behind, until it was nothing more than a cold bright star.  It would be tens of thousands of years before their descendants would feel the warmth of another sun, but at least they would be free.
 

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