The Moons of Beta Prime

Beta Prime, the current home planet of Inspector Thomas Sullivan, is unusual enough in that it is a habitable planet with bone chilling weather. If you don’t like cold temperatures, snow and ice, you shouldn’t live on Beta Prime.

Making the planet more unique, or at least, not as common as most, is the fact Beta Prime possesses not one but two planets. Both moons can be seen in the night sky at the same time. Roughly equal in size and mass, the closer of the two moons, named Serenity, appears to be much larger due to its proximity.

The second moon, named Persephone, is further away from the planet, causing it to appear to be smaller in size.

If those names sound familiar, you might be a fan of the SciFi cult favorite TV show Firefly and its accompanying movie sequel Serenity.

Serenity is the name of the intrepid crew’s home, a Firefly class space ship. Captain Mal Reynolds named his vessel after the Battle of Serenity, the defeat which ended the Independent’s hope for victory over the Alliance forces.

Persephone is the name of one of the core planets of the Alliance. Typically a planet Mal and his crew would tend to avoid due to the somewhat and often legally questionable activities.

The first colonists of Beta Prime enjoyed watching this ancient classic show. Feeling a kinship to the mythical crew of the Firefly and their adventures, the early colonists disregarded the names given the moons by the astronomers and named them Serenity and Persephone.

The names stuck and quickly the astronomical charts were adjusted as well.

Both moons are inhabited. Military bases have been established on both moons. Limited mining activity takes place on Serenity. Entrepreneurs have worked to develop inexpensive tourist activities on the moon, aimed at the local population of Beta Prime. Lack of atmosphere has hindered the economic development of Serenity.

Persephone, like Serenity, has no atmosphere. It is a moon rich in mineral resources and efforts have grown in recent years to develop the deposits. These efforts have led to a faster population growth rate than Persephone’s sister moon Serenity.

Life on either moon is harsh and even more unforgiving than that on Beta Prime.

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The Thomas Sullivan Chronicles and Other Stories