The main settlement is on Discovery, a planet with an oxygen atmosphere and, like
others of this type is used for agriculture to feed the rest of the galaxy . For those
unaccustomed to living under a red giant, the red light of day is rather unsettling, particularly
during the summer when there is permanent daylight, such is the inclination of the planet.
Some find it disturbing and locals regularly see newcomers in a state of hysteria as they try to
get passage home prematurely. 'Red people' as they are known are said to be strange and this
is attributed to the colour of the light.
When the first settlers arrived, life was at an early stage of evolution, so was easily
replaced by the species introduced. Despite the knowledge in the field of ecology, humans still
manage to end up with an imbalance due to the complexity of building a system from scratch.
Evolution still does it best, but then it does have time on its side.
Due to the orbital period, seasons last for around seven Earth years. This is quite a
daunting thought when that can mean seven years of almost complete darkness or daylight.
For this reason, those who can afford it have two homes, one in the southern and one in the
northern hemisphere. If they are very fortunate, a person may have a residence in another
system. Those who are less so, make do with artificial lighting to provide the wavelengths
essential for human survival. Even so, the suicide rate is always high in the winter years.
People born in different seasons have distinct personalities, due to their formative years spent
in one extreme or the other.
The inhabitants of the Arcturus system ignore warnings from the Stellar Monitoring
Service, that the sun is not stable. Reports suggest that is likely to collapse into a white dwarf in the next few thousand years, but some studies say that it could be in the next hundred.
Collapse would produce massive doses of radiation which would be received by all orbiting
bodies, killing all life. Still, the locals insist on staying. Any change in the sun's state will be announced by the S.M.S. so visitors should not be put off.
Entry by Kathy Dickinson