The year 2073 had been a great year for humanity.
More specifically, it had been a great year for Dr Levi Goldschmidt, the leader of a scientific space organization that he himself had founded, called the GASO: the Goldschmidt 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 spaceship that had ever been built: a space hotel to orbit Earth. He named it the SS Exodus and on the 29th of March 2073 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 SS Exodus 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 pub-restaurant, a coffee bar, 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 engine room underneath the whole vessel, full of machines and pumps along with other technology too complicated to even begin to explain.
Levi Goldschmidt designed and built the spaceship – with help from his brother Jonah and the GASO - for the purpose of letting other people share his love of space and stay amongst the stars for one year at a time. He and his family, however, would live there permanently.
Unfortunately, his plan didn't work out quite as he intended.
The Great Fire Tragedy of 2076 spread through the quiet town of Ruhigdorf. It claimed 200 lives and left 150 seriously injured.
It included the life of Dr Levi Goldschmidt.
His daughter - a young girl by the name of Cassiopeia (who preferred to be called Cass) was saved, though, by an android that her father had built.
The android's name was Mason.
Mason was, inevitably, harmed permanently by the flames while 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 SS Exodus 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 parents, deactivating her was simply out of the question.
After the fire, 40 of the residents of Ruhigdorf who survived moved onto the SS Exodus, 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 cooks.
The whole thing became 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 2083.
The year 2083 was not a great year for this little fragment of humanity, but without it, we wouldn't have a story.