These spires soar like birds into the dusty pink sky. I marvel at this, my new home. The planet I’ve dreamed of since I was a boy with a telescope, peering at that warm red light, hope of our overcrowded planet.

What I’ve been working on will solve all those problems. Developed in these laboratories built to my specifications, by my handpicked team, these nanites will double, triple, maybe even quadruple construction rates, reduce colonist casualties, and serve us in our spread across the system, then across the stars. Our first replication chamber sits beside the Cosmodrome, ready to outfit the colony ships.

Dr. Willa Bray herself came to congratulate me.

“You’ll be able to expand soon,” she said. “Into the space currently occupied by the Shirazi Lab.”

“Are they relocating?” I said.

“Moving on to other opportunities.”

“I can’t imagine a better place to be,” I said.