"Bind yourself with compassion and knowledge."
Journal of Ulysses Qiao, son of Dean Qiao of Beijing University, Navigator of the Ares One
Path to Ares: 476 days to launch
We were in the Rathskeller. If you don't know what that is—I didn't at the time, but it's a sort of restaurant and bar underground, not far from the bookstore. Hundreds of years old. This wasn't Beijing, back then we lived in Australia. Sydney. And I had gone to have lunch with my dad at the university where he was teaching.
So I'd brought all this information about looking for colleges. I remember we had holograms floating all around the table while we ate pizza and it was a great time, you know?
Anyway there was this TV playing. And that was the first time we saw it: drone footage from the edge of the solar system. Something had come in that no one had expected. My dad looked up and he just froze, like his mind just flipped on and he was lost. He would get like that.
That was the first time we saw the thing that everyone eventually called the Traveler.