Kara Wesley awakens in her bed on the First of July, 2203. She slides both her legs out of the luxury bed, where she’d swaddled herself trying to keep out the inevitable chill that settles over the spaceship as it almost maintains its temperature in the face of the frigid void.

    She plants a skinny leg on the yellow-died, synthwool carpet, and curls her toes into the abrasive material. She walks over to the marble sink on the other side of the room, stepping over a few rough piles of expensive clothing.

    Kara stares at herself in the mirror, for a moment. Low cheekbones and sunken eyes, with a smattering of freckles that look like a lazy artist’s stippling job. She brushes her teeth with a half-empty tube of Nano-Kleen.

    Slow to regain the faculties lost to sleep, she stumbles to her personal washroom. Steam fills the bathroom and dampens the marble floors as she showers. Ten minutes later, she exits, nearly slipping as she does so. Kara wraps two towels around herself and sits down at her personal terminal, which sits, neglected, on an oak desk in the corner of the bedroom.

    Welcome, KARA WESLEY.

    She navigates to the emails section. One orange rectangle stands out in a sea of messages. Click.

    FROM: Mom

    It’s your mother. I hope you’ve been enjoying your first solo-trip as a representative of Wesley Enterprises. You have, no doubt, checked your itinerary, but let this message serve as a reminder that you have a meeting with Mr. Hasegawa tomorrow. Don’t be late.

    “Shit,” Kara murmurs, rubbing sleep-crust out of her eyes. Her eyes flit to the Closet — a voice-activated, pneumatically sealed chamber that contains the clothing too precious to be dumped on the floor. “Computer, unseal the Marino.”

    The Closet slides open with a hiss of equalizing gases, and the Marino comes sliding out on a clothes rack. A black skirt-suit with gold-inlaid buttons. Embroidered on the left sleeve are two interlocking circles in golden thread, that represent the quantum entanglement technology that earned the Wesley family fortune.

    “Computer, flats.” A pair of equally expensive black shoes slides out from a bottom compartment.

    Appropriately armoured for the projectiles of corporate politics, she grabs the small black tote that hangs off her terminal-chair. Kara leaves the protection of her private suite, and enters the Spire.