|L5 Station Island One|
|Base Hull||Bernal sphere|
|Drive Rating||stationkeeping only|
|Flag of Record||Fenspace Convention|
|Other Crew||approximately 3,100 residents|
|“|| Island One is a dream only a little older than I am - it was come up with in the early ‘70s. And the place feels like it’s trapped in the 1970s. The habitat is almost like somebody scooped up a chunk of Irvine and rolled into a suburban burrito. Bland, lifeless house after bland, lifeless house cover the interior surface area. The one public building in the place is a looming plasticrete monster that’s part Buckminster Fuller, part Bauhaus and all ugly.
The people are grey, older than the usual residents of Fenspace by at least ten years, and they’re surly. “Don’t you have somewhere to drive to?” was a question I’d get every now and then on my tour of the main settlement, usually with a sneer.
It’s sad, really; the people asking me this were at one point the revolutionary vanguard of the space colonization movement. Unfortunately, like many a vanguard before them they figured that when the Revolution came they’d be the ones in the driver’s seat. When it didn’t happen, they retreated into a shell of nostalgia and bitterness. Most of the locals don’t leave Island One often, and even then it’s only to hit up the Convention and exposit on how the rest of the Fen are doing it wrong.
This is where dreams deferred go to die.
In all this gloom and ‘70s hell, there is one spot of light: the Robert A. Wilson Memorial Chicken Ranch. Set up by a few of the last of the red-hot hippies, the Ranch sits 180 degrees off the main settlement, “so somebody’s always looking down on somebody,” our guide (and an old friend of the family, from back in the lean & hungry years) cheerfully explained. It operates as a good old-fashioned commune, everybody pitching in and helping with the work.
Mostly the Ranch raises chickens for trade with the habitat’s other residents, but they have other income streams. One of these is quite possibly the finest breed of cannabis that I have ever tried in my life. Barnard Black is all home-grown in specially-prepared soil, none of that hydroponics stuff the hemp growers on Mars use, and is doped up with a secret blend of neurotransmitters. It’s all quite potent, more than a little psychedelic and this is true: the first time (as far as I can determine) an AI ever got totally stoned on quality hash was when I saw Sora take a couple of tokes on some Barnard Black for politeness’ sake. She spent the rest of the evening giggling quietly on the couch.
Moonbeam Lifeflower (from The Ranch) was the first of the "new blood" members of the L5 All-Stations astroball team; she joined the team in 2012.