Misjudged Situations

A Star Atlas Christmas Story

Timan Rebel
5 min readDec 23, 2023


After abruptly leaving 20 years ago, successful Sogmian science officer Aeshia returns to her small-town home comet and is surprised by what and who she finds.


Writers: [AEP] Trebel
Producers: Funcracker, TomQH
Production Company: Aephia Entertainment

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 94 minutes — 1197 words
Rating: TV-14

Release date: MUD Christmas Day, 2623
Filming locations: Commet X24A in Freehold, New Amsterdam in Freehold


She can’t believe it has been almost 20 years since her mother took her away from this place. And now she’s back. Would anyone recognize her? Probably not. She has changed so much over the years; she was only 15 when she left. And maybe that would be for the best because would anyone accept her? Her mother broke her personal rule as a Sogmian, which meant the end of their social standing. Instead of living in shame, her mother decided to flee and take her with her.

20 years. Would her father still be alive? Would he still own that little comet? She has fond memories of growing up with the guests. Strange, she realizes, that people from such different backgrounds and even factions would holiday together at Gregor’s Rock. But it was also beautiful. Who could have thought it possible a mere 100 years ago!

With the skills of an expert pilot, she lands her ship “Exinade — It’s what inside that counts” on the space dock. She’s nervous, she realizes. But it’s also good to come home. She needs time to reflect on all the chaos of her work. With a few bouncy steps she reaches the main biodome.

Cycling through the airlock, her second heart skips a beat. There he is, that is her father. Older, but definitely her father. And he recognizes her!

“Aeshia?’, he asks, “Is that really you? What are you doing here? Are you supposed to be here?”

- “Hey, Dad,” is the only thing she manages to say before he pulls her in for a warm embrace.

“Where are you staying? Does anyone know you are coming?”, he continues, “Why don’t you stay in your old room, that might be best?”

- “Oh, okay! Yes, I would like that actually.”

“I really have to get to work, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know you were coming. But are you open for dinner tonight?”

- “Yes! Yes, I see you then”.

After bringing her bags to her old room she decides to go for a walk. There is this beautiful path next to the glass dome with a perfect view of the gas giant.

Sitting on a large rock, she soaks in the starlight. “Be careful,” she suddenly hears behind her, “these rocks can be treacherous here with the low gravity,” the voice continues. Like she doesn’t know that. She grew up here! She puts up her favorite smirk and tilts her head around. Oh, he’s actually kind of cute. For a MUD!

But her glare does not have the right effect on him. His left eyebrow tilts up, and he starts to smile. “You don’t remember me, do you?” the MUD continues, “James, I used to holiday here?”.

Annoyed, she tries to stand up and slips. Dammit, this was not supposed to happen! She tries to compensate but isn’t used to the lower gravity yet and only worsens it. Ouch, that hurt. Luckily, James grabs her hand and pulls her back in. “I thought you grew up here?” he laughs. “Just leave me alone..” she grunts and stomps back to her cabin. Her pride is hurt more than her head.

She had a massive crush on James 20 years ago. He was a few years older than her and was already allowed outside. They even almost kissed once after a party at her father’s biodome. But when her mother broke her personal rule, he refused to acknowledge her, just like anyone else. He really broke her young heart.

Coming back to her lodge, she looks in the mirror and sees a nasty gash on her head. She starts looking for some antiseptic to clean the wound when she hears a soft knock on her door. Expecting her father to check in on her, she is surprised to see James standing at her door.

“Hey there, again”, James starts, “I wanted to check up on you. I even brought my first-aid kit!”. With a big smile, he holds up a small bag and enters the room. “These lodges have no proper bandages, and we don’t want that to scar, of course.” With a sigh she sits down and surrenders. It really does hurt.

“This might sting a bit,” James continues, “and what about you buy me a coffee when we are done here to pay me back?”. She really doesn’t want to, but her personal rule is to be always open to love, and she still likes James, she realizes. “Fine… let’s go!”.

Arriving at the coffee shop, she orders two coffees, and they sit down near the window. Before she even has a chance to thank James, his communicator chimes in, and he says he has to take the call. He walks up to the shopkeeper, says something while looking at her, and walks out the door. The shopkeeper keeps looking at her, and suddenly, his expression changes into anger.

“Is that you, Aeshia?” the shopkeeper asks, “Aeshia Gregorchild? Daughter of Captain Keira? What are you doing here! You and your mother are no longer welcome, you know that! Leave, leave my shop now!”. Heads are turning, and she suddenly realizes that she might have wholly misjudged the small-comet mindset. She thought she would be welcome, that the sins of her mother would not be her own, but no… Even after 20 years, they still hate her! Tears well up behind her eyes, and she quickly stands up, bumping her coffee off the table, which loudly crashes to the ground. She runs out in tears and flees back to her lodge, where she quickly packs her bags and rushes to the airlock, back to the safety of her ship.

Back at her modern apartment on the 245th floor in Nieuw Amsterdam, Aesiha opens a bottle of wine. She pours a glass and sits down at her bar to drink it. Alone. Even after the long trip home, she is still shaken about what happened at Gregor’s Rock.

When the doorbell rings, she slowly gets up to see James standing in the camera view. She picks opens the mic and asks, “What are you doing here, James? Haven’t you done enough? Come to gloat? Why did you tell the shopkeeper who I was!”.

- “What do you mean? I walked up to the guy to say I would pay for the coffee and left to take that call! Coming back I learned what happened and you were already gone when I got to your lodge.”.

“But 20 years ago you dropped me like everybody else when my mother broke her rule, why should I believe now is any different?”.

- “I was a shy 17-year-old Aeshia, not knowing how to behave towards the girl I liked so much. I should have done things differently; that is why I’m here. Your father told me where you live. He has always kept tabs on you and is very proud. But your mother forbade him to risk his reputation by ever contacting you. Can you forgive me, can you forgive the both of us?”

She might have greatly misjudged the situation after all and slowly opens the door to reach down for their first real kiss.

The End



Timan Rebel

Managing Partner at NEXT Amsterdam. Startup founder turned investor.