'Beautiful Beautiful' is the sequel to 'Brothers By Numbers' and you better be prepared to dream deep for this one! In 'Beautiful Beautiful' Mark and his small crew are now aboard the fastest, deep space, science ship ever made: the Nina, - and they are taking it to where no man has ever been.
So, what is a soldier to do when it's time to retire? In this case he lives five hundred years into the future. And also at this time, there is still a tiny pearl of a planet called Earth but it struggles to support the one hundred million or so souls that still remain there; the rest of humanity has long expanded light years beyond its tiny orbit to near and deep space colonies that support trillions.
Mark has an idea though. He'd like to hunt for what every man for the last four centuries has dreamt of - discovering another inhabitable water planet. One unaffected by the man made hydrocarbon imbalance that had ruined his beloved home. And one that with a little good old human adaptation could become virtually 'move in ready'. It has happened once before after all, with the relatively easy discovery of the planet Paris Nouveaux. Why can't it happen again?
Well, many men have tried, even immortal men, and almost endless amounts of technology have been applied to this quest over the centuries, but they were not Mark and they did not have the Nina. So in this story a soldier retires and an adventurer is born.
For a more satisfying reading experience it is recommended that the reader should first read 'Brothers By Numbers' before reading its sister book: 'Beautiful Beautiful'.
I swear - I’ve been growing greyer by the day.
Some days, I hardly recognise myself when I look at my reflection. It seems so unfair when one considers the still pristine appearances of both Tia and Midge; they’ve not changed one iota since I first met them. They are designed for deep space travel, and I am not. Where there is still some muscle tone, I look pretty good if one discounts my skin color. My head however, is not just grey in color it's also quite swollen. I bet that I’ve grown at least two hat sizes since we first boarded the Nina. I’m certain that just the sight of me would near petrify a young New-Euron child with fear. I’m certainly not by any means the romantic image that we all once dreamt of as a deep space explorer. It’s no wonder we leave most space exploration to remote technologies, but we’d have no heroes if that were always the case now wouldn’t we?
A few months of some real sun light and a bit of gravity of course would fix most of this, but there will only be a week or two of respite from deep space travel when we dry dock on the bright side of planet Zeta 50071’s only satellite for a quick overhaul and a 'look-see' as Midge describes it. I’ve been dreaming for months of just walking about freely inside the rather un-spacious confines of the Nina’s tetra. A few meters this way and that way will seem like heaven to my aching legs. There will even be some soil to kick around. I’ll have to be careful kicking the dust up because the gravity on the satellite will be only fifty or so percent of what I would call ideal. It’s true: Until it’s gone you can never imagine how much you miss something and especially so for something like the feel of earth beneath your feet. I dream of dirt. And I dream of a real wind and how it feels blowing over my uncovered flesh.
Our crews’ first goal is almost within reach: Donald’s Great Abyss and aptly named after a man who spent his entire life exploring nothing but that vast empty space. That was all near one hundred years in the past now and no one has found anything much larger than a dinner plate in it in all that time since, but they didn’t have the use of the Nina – which is a superlative science ship as ever one was designed. She was: tiny, extremely fast, and outfitted to maintain herself from top to bottom and a small crew too, – for fifty serviceable years guaranteed. And, she was just a baby. Not yet fully commissioned even. Tia estimated that the Nina in ideal conditions could perhaps double the speed of the Beagle, – literally out run any weapon that we were aware of and of course I was banking that she could find whatever there was on the other side of Donald’s Great Abyss.
Zeta should be the last time that we’ll need to watch our backs. We’ve been on the lam since the destruction of the Olympia and it’s a certainty that at least some of the Colonists’ depleted resources are being spent at this very moment in an effort to capture those who were responsible for her demise. The remaining crew of the Olympia would have reached port months ago and the logical need to recapture the lost Nina and her crew of pirates would become a priority of no small importance for the Colonist fleet. So as soon as we can get Zeta behind us the better will be able to rest our worries.