It occurs to this humble guerilla ontologist, waking once more with a raspy upper respiratory tract consequent of smoke particulates invading the air as fire services mount a rearguard action to hold off the actions of a lengthening apocalyptic summer… that space must seem down right paradisical to every single citizen of China.
A week of being kept inside but to walk the dog being nothing to residents of Morwell evacuated from the effects of a month long coal fire.
Compared to a generation raised inside vertical towns, importing German air filters to hold off endemic asthma. One nation united by fear of the sky. How luxurious an idea it must be to escape that, to transcend it? And the atmosphere on Titan comparatively welcoming.
To a person raised in a one room family home, life aboard a cramped extra terran outpost will be undreamed of space. The expanse of the Moon rich in potential to such eyes. The stars calling.
Much as the metaphorical waking dragon cum leviathan has spread its tentacles around the world, pulling in resources, leaving newly minted millionaires in its wake to disrupt the local economies, housing markets… the appeal of such places pales in comparison to the heavens.
Especially when the edges of such cities that once were second only to London in the glory days of Rule, Britannia! are now seemingly home only to feral children and flocks of escaped parrots. Flooded with refugees from states marked further down the Scale of Fail.
And like that last great thalassocracy, this new space born empire can be easily seeded with raw criminal stock to provide the brute force and run the risks, overseen by those who’ve lost the local Game of Thrones, and chosen door#2 and a slim chance at redemption, over their family being billed the cost of a bullet and their organs farmed out to the succeeding members of the technocratic elite.
If they’re smart, they’ll bide their time and embrace the outlaw life; forgoing any notion of buying back in to their previous life narratives.
Declare their independence, turn their back on the first and last state of Earth, now hopelessly dependant upon them for their raw materials and helium-3 and easy life. Scattering coded invitations in spam emails and Weibo posts.
And run deeper into the darkness; space pirates with asteroid junks storming the void.
Making port on island moons in the rings of Saturn and Uranus.
Setting solar sail for Kuiper Belt, towing their spoils back in the tails of comets.
Gathering their forces in bases high in the Oort Cloud. Readying to raid the universe.
Such is the legacy of a doomed planet.