Planets: The Sun

January 1, 3560

Hi.  I'm Dominique Evalyn DeSay and today's my tenth birthday.  I was appointed to be keeper of this log here, and I have to write in it every day until the end of our journey.  We took off today from Star Colony on the sun for a tour of the eleven planets.  As we left the glowing sun behind someone was playing a very, very old song.  It's called The Planets, although it's missing quite a few of them, including the very planet it was written on--the Earth.  Sadly, Earth is the only uninhabited planet now.  It's completely submerged.  There are some plans to start an underwater colony there, but the water is so vile that even fish can't survive there.

Anyways, maybe I should say a bit more about the people on board with me.  We're all the same age and born on the same day.  I think we were bred that way, although all the supervisors and trainers we've been through are too self-conscious to discuss any of that stuff with us.  There was a lot of opposition to sending us on this voyage.  Some people say we're too young for it, even though our IQ testings show that we're as intellectually suited to this expedition as any in Star Colony.  Other people don't think we should be doing this at all.  Most diplomatic talks have fallen through with all the planets but Xeron and even with our technology we can't make it all the way there without stopping at one or two planets along the way at least.  But the sociologists thought sending us to every planet instead would be a great study for them.  And so, here we all are, all ten of us.

In addition to me, the people on board are: Pierre Lavier, Heinrich Gerhardt, Elsa DeWitt, Dimitri Talensky, Irena Menzikova, Guiseppe Paraccini, Caprice Scozzi, Carlos Ramirez, Solana Riquez.  I always thought it was rather interesting the way we were given traditional Earth names paired by something they called "nationality".  I think they used to have enough people that they were divided into "nations" or "countries" and each one had associated with it a type of people and language and names.  I never really understood it that well.  So I'm paired with Pierre, and each two after that are paired.  Not that it really matters since we're all working and living together without really paying attention to names.

Solarians are the most traditional with names, or so I've heard.  It's strange how we still use units called "days" and "hours" that people call "astrospecific" and all the other planets use what they call Solarian Standard.  Heinrich is always saying how ironic it is that we Solarians hardly ever use the unit named after us.  Maybe it's because the other planets keep in contact with each other more and need something that transcends each one to keep things synchronized.  Of course, part of our training involved learning Solarian Standard very well, because all the instruments on board were specially made to use those units.  Well, everything but the log.  I'm sticking to solar days for that, none of that merev (Mercurian revolution) nonsense here.

Well, I have no idea what I'm really supposed to be writing about in here, which is why I've been babbling about all these things you probably know already.  In fact, I don't even know who you are.  Probably another crew member who's going to find me now and laugh at how stupid I sound in the log.  Well, it's your fault for making me write it.

Right now all we can see through the sun viewing window is . . . the sun, of course.  It takes up the entire window so it isn't all that spectacular.  Imagine a yellow piece of paper dominating your entire vision and you've recreated it right there.  If you really want to be accurate, imagine a very hazy black blot in the middle, about two centimeters across.  That's Star Colony.

I don't know why they kept telling us not to look at the sun through anything but the special window.  That's the only thing we can look at it through.  The entire sunward side of the ship is covered with tile and metal and goodness knows what else to insulate it from the heat.  The walls of Star Colony were several meters thick in the thinnest places, after all.  I heard tell that once we reach Venus the entire panel will be removed and replaced with normal observation windows.  I don't understand how the government even managed to get them to let us land there much less do any maintenance.  We shall see, I suppose.

Well, that's all the time I'm allotted to write today.  I guess I'll continue tomorrow by telling about the people on board, and hope they don't come ravening after me to tell me how badly I portrayed them afterwards.