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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon Alexandria is named for the famous city in Egypt, founded by Alexander the Great and the seat of learning for the Mediterranean world for half a thousand years. The eastern side of this grand Martian metropolis is Pharos, a Science city; on the west bank of the river is Rhakotis, an Artisan city. The bridges which connect the twin cities are, of course, a metaphor. I'm a sucker for a metaphor.

The two halves of the Martian Alexandria are named after the fishing village, Rhakotis, which once stood on the site of the ancient city, and the island, Pharos, on which the Lighthouse of Alexandria once stood. None of this is germaine to our story, but I'm also a sucker for ancient history.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs Hmm, Benjamin looks a little different lately. Well, I'm sure there's no real significance to it. That's the new coat (duster) which Caprice gave him, by the way.

Our heroes are arriving at Alexandria around local sunset. Sunsets are peculiar on Mars: because of the way the light is scattered at a steep angle through the Martian atmosphere, sunset is the one moment when a homesick astronaut would see a familiar sight -- a yellow sun surrounded by blue sky. If and when Mars is terraformed as in MoS, there's no telling what the sunset might look like, but I felt like indulging myself a little.