In These Celestial Spheres: A Trilogy of Cultures

In the year 2520, the resources of the Earth have finally been depleted. The Wars of Desperation shrunk the human population to three remaining strongholds. These three city-states, Americus, Asiatica, and Africana, using all of the remaining resources in this once technologically rich planet, built and manned three separate space colonies in one last ditch effort to perpetuate their kind. These three self-sustaining colonies have now traveled over three centuries in parallel courses, perpetu

In the year 2520, the resources of the Earth have finally been depleted.  The Wars of Desperation had shrunk the human population to three remaining strongholds.  These three city-states, Americus, Asiatica, and Africana, using all of the remaining resources in this once technologically advanced culture, built and manned three separate space colonies.  These three self-sustaining colonies have now traveled in parallel courses for over three centuries in parallel courses, perpetually orbiting the sun and the major planets.

  CHAPTER ONE

The Willow Woman

"They say that Earth was once a blue, sparkling jewel, like a Topaz wrapped in a wispy gossamer of clouds."

"Yes, she was, young one.  They say she looked like Life itself."  So spoke the Willow Woman as she was called, by all the younger ones.  This grey, grey woman with her sky blue eyes had a voice that sounded like wind whisking through willow branches, hence her name.  She was the Wisdom Teacher for the children, the old one who met each day with the younger souls of Americus.  Mercy was one of those children and she was the one who had remarked about the Earth as the class gazed through the clear ceramic glass that enclosed this little world of theirs.

The Celestial Sphere as this miracle of technology had come to be known was an ever-expanding lattice work of clear ceramic glass cast in hexagon panels and a spider web of polycarbon mullions.  The construction crews were always adding new extensions that eventually merged into a newly completed sphere, one hundred meters greater in its diameter.  This ongoing construction was just one of many matters that Mercy and the other children had always known.

"Mercy," the Willow Woman said to her inquisitive pupil, "the Earth was once beautifully blue form the oceans of water found there. And those feathery clouds were creations of the vapor of that water.  But as you can see, the Earth is now but a rusting brown.  And even that  is turning dustier with each time we pass her by."

Mercy and the other children, twelve in all, directed their eyes toward the barren planet and had little sense that this was their ancestral home.

"If you look carefully, there at the line between night and day, you can see the shape of Americus.  How many of you can make it out?"

One by one the arms of the children came up.  But the children did not see the mist that was filling the eyes of the Willow Woman.

The End

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