Hot Red Rocket
Steamin’ down the skyway ‘tween Deimos an’ Mars
Lookin’ out the window at a sky full o’ stars
Cruisin’ with my lady an’ I’m tryin’ to be seen
In my hot red rocket...
With the star-bright sheen
Hot red rocket, star-bright sheen
Never has there been any rocket so mean!
Whoa, whoa! Hot red rocket, star-bright sheen
Cruisin’ with my lady...
In her tight blue jeans
Tight blue jeans
Oh them tight, tight, tight, tight blue jeans
Carl Perkins #5 hit, June 1959
A Cold Space Tale by Dan "Pounce" Potter
Roger never in his life would have imagined that a space ship would be so loud before he took this job. Since then, he'd learned that sound is life. Where there is sound, there must be air - or at least gas - and that was much preferable to the silence of a vacuum. When you couldn't hear the rthymic shunk-shunk-shuck of the Solothurn drive's core you knew you were in trouble. Roger had worked in the engine room so long that he couldn't sleep without that sound.
There were, of course, more than a couple sounds that Roger had learned to fear - sudden pops, cracks, and anything that disrupted the pulsating harmony of the engines. Now it was a subtle hissing that reached Roger's ears. Not all hissing was bad - the life support systems hissed all the time - but this hiss was constant, not rythmic. Something was leaking.
Roger paced around the engine room, trying get a bead on where that hiss was coming from. He swore when he found it. It was in Roger's least favorite place, the spider's nest he called it, a tangle of cords, hoses and pipes. Everytime something went wrong in there, Roger broke something getting into or out of it. Sighing, he grabbed a roll of duct tape and a flashlight. With the flashlight clenched in his teeth, he crawled into the nest.
The leak was pretty far back and judging from the smell of freon probably had some thing to do with the coolant systems. Then he saw it. A grey hose indistinguishable from all the others lay on the floor like a holy grail, isolated, spewing mist from a vertical slash. Roger stopped. Something was wrong, hoses don't develop tears like that in the middle of the floor, unless... That was when he felt something cold and hard press againist his temple.
Cold Space covers the years 1949 to 1989, after swiss scientists discovered a faster than light drive and antigravity using obscure physics principles. The Soviets quickly stole the idea, and the race for the stars was on!
The ships they flew in were crude, rough, and apt to fall apart if not tended constantly, but they worked!
The Cold War has moved into space, where the Americans, Soviets, and the rest of the nations of the world move in a political miasma of espionage, proxy wars, revolution, deceit, and betrayal.
The years 1949-1989 are a time of profound cultural change, from sock-hops to discos, from Studebakers and Kaisers to Deloreans and Z-cars, from sliderules to micro computers, from the nuclear family to extended step-families, single moms, and gay parents.
Cold Space has 50 extra-solar colonies on 23 planets and moons, as well as Mars, the moon, and other colonies in our own solar system. The older colonies grow into maturity and power, while the young colonies live in a frontier state, where the latest tech may be a liability because no one can fix it. There are revolts, insurrections, and coups, shadow wars and assassinations, and political allies with radically opposite means and ends.
The pdf includes a star file for NBOS' AstroSynthesis Program.
Cold Space is not part of the StarCluster 2 Line. It is a separate product using the StarCluster 2 Engine.