Originally appearing in, and winning, the LINKBAIT AND SWITCH Award, Catherine Moller delivers a funny and well crafted piece of futuristic clickbait satire.
Catherine’s first outing for NITH is a good one, with phrases like “who knew silicate could be so sexy?” and “Go see the Armstrong Historical Re-Enactment Village”, she manages to ont only capture the flavour of clickbait, but present it in a way that is both out of this word and yet backed by a strong, slowly unfolding narrative.
It stands as a great short story, a piece of clickbait satire that is well deserving of it’s first place.
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SEVEN HISTORIC PLANETS IN THE COMMONWEALTH YOU HAVE TO VISIT BEFORE YOU REPLICATE
Clickbait Satire by Catherine Moller
You won’t believe number one!
7. Altair 5
Who knew silicate could be so sexy? Birthplace of exo-net superstar Ussain al-Jabr, Altair 5 is also home to the ancient Burj Raddiyah, which, at 2300 years old, is the oldest low-orbit station in the Galaxy. Once you get tired of exploring the dusty corridors and marvelling at the outdated computer banks, head to the viewing deck. Every night, Altair’s surface is bombarded with tiny shards of glass-like particulate matter – an event that locals call ‘crystal rain’. Shiny!
6. Pegasus 3
Unfortunately, the Beta Systems are undergoing massive civil unrest at the moment, with no end in sight. And although Pegasus 3 is technically within the Commonwealth, the system is currently disputed territory. That means you may never be able to see the arsenic falls of Pegasus 3 in this replicant cycle, but if you get a chance, GO! Gene-napping and domestic terrorism is a small price to pay to see the poisonous flumes of St Hotaru’s Downfall, where General Lopez signed the Replicant Resistance Treaty and effectively ceded the Beta Systems from the Commonwealth.
5. Abraxas 1
Compared to the high-stakes casinos of Abraxas 3, Abraxas 1 might seem pretty backwater. But don’t let its out-of-the-way location fool you: descend below the heavy cyanide cloud cover to see the perfectly still ocean of liquid mercury. Stop off in Belerophon City to book a tour below the mercury line, where you can see the wreckage of the SSC Hugo Gernsback, the most advanced ship of her time, where she crash-landed after her destruction in the Battle of Abraxas.
4. Betelgeuse 2
Betelgeuse is humanity’s first colony outside the Sol system. Go see the Armstrong Historical Re-Enactment Village outside Shepard to get a good look at how your great-great grandparents lived. You can even hire historical costumes to really get in the mood. But if you want a truly authentic historic experience, head to the ancient wind-farm on the outskirts of Gagarin. Although much of the original colony wind-farm has been destroyed by corrosion, the Gagarin Historical Trust has worked tirelessly to return the remaining windmills to their original state, as part of a push by the Betelgeuse 2 planetary cohesive to preserve our Commonwealth history.
3. Orsino 4
Orisno 4 has so much to see you might need two cycles to visit it all! Definitely visit Caliban Station, to see where the Founding Parents signed the Declaration of Commonwealth. Then make landfall to hike the Revival Trail to New Trinculo, where you can see the Hanging Tree of Wynne McPhee and walk along the sulphur-basins where the Founding Mother Bernice Lange first had her vision of a united Commonwealth. After that, travel to the foothills of Mt Sycorax – not only the highest mountain in the Veda cluster, but also home to Lake Sycorax, the naturally occurring pit of sulphuric acid in which pre-Commonwealth revolutionaries used to dump bootleg replicase.
2. Hera 12
You might be familiar with Hera 12 from classic holo-noir films like The Planet Crackers and Ramscoop, and it’s true, Herapolis still has that glamourous retro-holowood vibe. But don a thermosuit and step outside Herapolis’ geodome to discover a sparkling desert of frozen atmosphere, relics from the real-life Planet Cracker’s disastrous attempts at terraforming. Take a shuttle to Vale Maximoff, where the planet bore made first landfall.
1. Sol 3
I know, I know, you probably all came here on a school excursion in your first cycle, but the Old World isn’t just a nature reserve. Hike the Euramerican trail and you might be surprised to find the relics of lost corporate-polii. Go camping in the plains of Sino-Russia and look for signs of the lost city of Beijing. Or kayak through the foundations of Brisydney, the conglomerate city that gave birth to Wendy Tsang, inventor of replicase and Replicant technology. Take a chance and get in touch with your origins, before your next cycle begins.
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