Episode 1: Welcome to Tenacity

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"Go ahead." Dean Westley gently pressed his son Benjamin's shoulder blade with the palm of his hand, encouraging him towards a cheery blonde woman with a microchip gun in hand.

"Why do I have to go first?" Benjamin mumbled over his shoulder.

"Go, Ben."

Ben flushed red and stepped towards the young woman bearing a warm, understanding smile.

The woman reached out with her free hand. "Arm, please." Ben offered her his left arm.

"Right arm," Dean whispered loudly as he peered over Ben's shoulder. Ben could feel Dean's breath on his neck.

"Actually, it doesn't matter," the woman said as if she was sharing delightful secret. "Our chip readers are incredibly long range. No holding your arm up and waiting for a beep. You're from Earth, right?"

The woman held the microchip gun against Ben's left wrist and fired the trigger. The mechanism clicked softly and Ben felt a pinch so faint it could hardly be classified as pain.

"Born and raised," Ben's mother Alicia said.

Ben rolled his eyes. The woman winked at him and directed him to move forward, towards an intimidating set of reflective, white double doors, the words "New Citizens" in bold black letters above it.

"Thank you, Ben. Dean?"

Dean stepped forward and offered his right arm to the woman.

"Well," the woman continued while she worked. "I think you'll really enjoy it here. Some of the other space stations have started to catch up with our technology, but still, there's nowhere like Tenacity Prime. Alicia?"

"I haven't shut up about it since I was here two months ago," Dean joined Ben at the white door. "I can't even imagine what it's like beyond the Visitor's Deck."

The woman smile widened.

"Welcome to Tenacity," she said as she inserted a microchip into the last Westley in line, Ben's older sister, Molly.

The white doors opened, revealing a large atrium flooded with natural light, or, some imitation of natural light. It was bustling with activity, people walking in and out of countless storefronts. Pleasant aromas floated by in waves

A handsome young man in a striking blue suit stepped forward and greeted the family.

"I'm Henry, your onboarding specialist. Throw any questions or requests my way. I'm sure you're tired, should I show you to your new home first?"

Mr. and Mrs. Wesley nodded emphatically. Henry chuckled and beckoned the family to follow him.

"It's much more peaceful in Tenacity proper, we'll be out of this crowd soon," Henry said over his shoulder, raising his voice a little so the Westleys could hear him. He led them away from the crowded atrium and down a narrow hallway lined with doors on one side and windows on the other. Ben looked out the windows and marveled at the realism of the busy city streets. He felt as though if he tapped on the glass, the people walking by would stop and look.

"It's a live feed. Downtown Denver, today," Henry said. Ben looked up to see their guide looking back at him and smiling.

Dean, Alicia, and Molly stopped to admire the view.

They continued down the hallway and came to a set of heavy doors, guarded by two large, imposing men in black military uniforms behind a desk. Henry greeted them they nodded in return, maintaining their somber expressions.

One of the officers tapped a couple of times on a screen, and the doors slid open.

"They look so badass," Ben whispered to his sister as they continued on.

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