The year 2133 had been a great year for humanity.
More specifically, it had been a great year for Dr Levi Geistreich, the leader of a scientific space organization that he himself had founded, called the GASO: the Geistreich Aeronautics and Space Organization. He'd spent 40 years in secret, hiding away in a clandestine, cave-like underground workshop in a largely uninhabited region of England that I won't name, designing and building the most luxurious spacecraft that had ever been built: a space hotel to orbit Earth. He named it the SC Ginga and on the 29th of March, 2133, he successfully sent it up into space for the first time, piloted by five of his closest friends. It came back down to Earth a month later after being tested
The SC Ginga itself housed 62 guests, including androids. The ship had, along with 27 individual rooms to house two to four people each, many different amenities: a restaurant, a café, two shops, various stockrooms and a giant lounge-type area at the back of the ship with three glass walls and ceiling so that you could gaze out into space and admire the burning stars around you.
The whole thing was powered and maintained from a gigantic repairs room underneath the whole vessel, full of machines and pumps along with other technology too complicated to even begin to explain.
Levi Geistreich designed and built the spacecraft – with help from his brother and the GASO - for the purpose of letting other, normal people share his love of space and stay amongst the stars for one year at a time.
Unfortunately, his plan didn't work out quite as he intended.
The Great Fire Tragedy of 2136 spread through the quiet town of Ruhigdorf. It claimed 200 lives and left 150 seriously injured.
It included the life of Dr Levi Geistreich.
His daughter - a young girl by the name of Cassiopeia (who preferred to be called Cass), who had short, blonde hair and who was a bit of a tomboy, even at 11 years old – was saved, though, by an android that her father had built.
The robot's name was Mason.
Mason was, inevitably, harmed permanently by the flames in her saving Cassiopeia. Unable to be properly fixed, she lived life, worked and functioned as normally as possible despite missing half of her face and a good chunk of programmed data.
It had been in Dr Levi's will (along with the plans for the SC Ginga which would be left to his younger brother, Jonah) that Mason would not ever be disengaged unless by her own decision, so she was kept activated, even though her circuitry was… more than just a bit faulty. Besides, she was Cassiopeia's only friend now, after the loss of her father in the fire, deactivating her was simply out of the question.
After the fire, 40 of the residents of Ruhigdorf who survived the fire moved onto the SC Ginga, but half of the ship still remained uninhabited: 9 rooms left to no purpose at all.
Some people worked aboard the ship as cleaners, shopkeepers, waiters, nurses, pilots and, amongst other things, the most intelligent were tasked with building more robots to serve aboard, too.
The whole thing became like a loving community of people who immensely enjoyed living in the Earth's Thermosphere, looking down to the planet every day, and everybody was relatively happy with their lives up in the stars.
That is, until 2143.
The year 2143 was not a great year for this little fragment of humanity, but without it, we wouldn't have a story.