Ganymeade – A. Martinez


“I would have liked to have seen Saturn. They say the rings are something you can’t really appreciate unless you see them in person. Just the sheer scale of them…”

“Uh huh. Listen, Dad, the doctor said…”

“Never did make it out there, though. Couldn’t for a long while, of course. The distance from Jupiter to Saturn is longer than the distance from Earth to Jupiter, you know. Wasn’t until Ganymede Base was up and self sufficient that people could start making it out to Saturn. They call it just Ganymede now, I guess, but we called it Ganymede Base back then. The military was still kind of in charge of everything, but of course they ended up hiring civilians to do all the real work. Did I ever tell you how I helped build Ganymede Base?”

“No, I don’t think you did. But listen, Dad, I…I was thinking about the fishing trip we took up to Lake S. Claire, in Michigan. You remember that? It was my senior year of high school, and that April for my birthday you told me you were taking a week off from the University and pulled me out of school, and we went up and stayed at that cabin on the north side of the lake. We had that guide who couldn’t say his R’s right, but got us into that big mess of walleye?”

“Fishing? No, I never was much of a fisherman. Always seemed like a big waste of time to me.”

“No, Dad, you…you actually loved fishing. We used to go to Kaw Lake near every weekend during the summers.”

“No, I never was much of a fisherman. I always had my eyes looking up, you know. Couldn’t wait to get on that work crew headed out to Ganymede Base. Did I ever tell you how I helped build Ganymede Base?”

“….No, I don’t think you did. Tell me about it.”

“Well there wasn’t no pleasure cruises out to Jupiter in those days, of course. If you were headed to Jupiter, it was either to help collect gas or help build a base of some kind. And it was hard work, let me tell you. You basically were welding or hauling or assembling something for twelve hours a day, then went and passed out for the next eight hours. I never did understand why they kept us on twenty hour days instead of twenty-four. Something about Jupiter’s rotation…”

“So you…you were like a construction worker?”

“Yeah pretty much, kind of like the guys that built the skyscrapers in New York. At least that’s how we thought of ourselves. Besides Ganymede they were building orbital stations around Europa and Io, another base on Callisto, even Lysithea later on. But Ganymede was the crown jewel. Individual quarters, hot and cold running water, the works.”

“That was a big deal, huh?”

“Oh yeah. It’s all about energy when you’re out there, you know. Io had the geothermal, that they were eventually able to tap into, but back then the automated plants were just starting to be built. But Ganymede had this big ocean of water sitting just below the ice, easy as sin to tap into, which made it the richest moon in the system. It’s all about water when you’re out there, you know.”

“Yeah…water was always important to you…wasn’t it?”

“Well sure, can’t live without it, right? But especially out there, not like there are just oceans or rivers with all the water you need. Although I guess in this case there were…”

“No, but I mean…when you and I…when you were younger, still…here on Earth. You really liked going out and being on the water, remember?”

“Yeah, I guess I kind of did. I always found it relaxing, when you’re on a boat, just kind of drifting…”

“Yeah, me too. I remember when we went fishing up on Lake St. Claire, we…”

“Oh, I was never much on fishing. Always kind of found it a big waste of time, to be honest. Gosh, I’m tired, I’m just gonna close my eyes a little, OK?”

“OK, Dad…”

“Anyway, I always wanted to head out there, you know, couldn’t wait to get on a work crew building Ganymede Base. Did I ever tell you how I helped build Ganymede Base?”

“No…I don’t think you did. Is there any water up there?”


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