Image from Steve Bowers
|Tierra del Fuego, the original world of House Stevens|
SNAPSHOT- The Johnny StevensPeter-Swifttop Johnny Stevens introduced me to his household, the Swifttop building (named for being built on top of the hill just outside Swift, typical Stevens literalness). The city beneath looked like a toy model in a shop window in the brilliant cold sunlight. The Swifttops is an uniclone household, consisting solely of Johnnies. A greyed old Johnny was trying to organise ten Johnny children to tend the garden, while three adolescent Johnnies immediately seized upon the chance to speak with a real outworlder (no doubt curious about our reproductive practices). It would have been hard to recognise Peter unless I hadn't memorised his stripes of facial paint. He told me that it was a common game for the children to switch painting and try to trick their parents. Surprisingly often it failed.
Imhotep 12, 764 AT, Prima Station, Epsilon Indi orbit The oldest of the female Indis moved forward slightly, then stopped. She was attached to a thin dexter-arm, the same silver colour as the walls, which held her in place in the microgravity. Now I noticed that the other clones, about twenty in number, were each held in place by similar equipment. On the other hand we newcomers were drifting and jostling each other, grabbing each other's arms and bouncing off the walls. Not a very impressive sight, it must be said. The woman looked at Ellie and myself, with a small flicker of interest, before addressing us in a loud voice.For some years the two groups were effectively isolated from each other, with the Stevens stage-managing any interaction. Eventually new, radical elements emerged among the Stevens clans, which favoured more open and equitable relations with the other colonists. A short conflict between the Stevens factions occurred, with casualties both in orbit and on the surface of Tierra. Eventually the radicals prevailed.
"People from Sol, I greet you. I am Barbara-Prima Barbara Stevens, of the Stevens family. Your arrival is unprecedented and unexpected; our family had thought the Old System dead. Still, you are here, and this is as it must be. With your help we can start to make this system into a new home for our people." The plastic membrane she wore vibrated when she said certain words. Something in her manner seemed dismissive, perhaps even hostile, but she seemed to address her remarks mostly towards my clone cousin and myself. Acting Captain Konrad was fretting nearby, apparently unhappy at being ignored. -From Voyages of the Starlark