Background Story: Norwegian Wood
The radio started to play Norwegian Wood. Kitty who was until now sitting on the porch with her eyes closed, shuddered. She went to the device, turned up the volume and sat back. She loved this song. It reminded her of old times when she first heard it. She fell in love immediately. With the song, the radio programme and the radio presenter.
Not much changed in Kitty's life since then. She read cheap old space pulp fiction and dreamt of adventures and adventurous men. Normally everyone outgrows this period. But it was not exclusively Kitty's fault that she didn't. Daydreaming is the sport of the hopeless and hopelessness is rarely chosen.
Kitty's home planet was once a flourishing titan planet. Its prosperity stammed from the constant arms race, and although as a typical colony most of the profit was pumped out of it, the workers and miners could still make a decent living. And so would have it been till the end of times, were the planet not lying on a triple border. This geopolitically unlucky position led to systematic lootings and conquests. The local population could tolerate this, but finally after one of the empires occupied the planet, it decided to exploit it permanently.
Resources were quickly exhausted due to high production and the economy collapsed. This time not only the profit left the planet, but capital and finally the workers as well. Average lifespan jumped to 67 years in a couple of months and the youngest person was well over fifty. The planet was doomed. Its dwellers having tea and waiting to die.
Kitty was not young either, she was just over 61. And why didn't she leave the planet as the others? Perhaps she was too naive and did not believe it was the end. Perhaps she was too patriotic who loved this snowball so much she couldn't just leave it behind. Perhaps she was just too slow to decide and by the time she made up her mind it was too late. For it was too late now. No spaceship capable of flying, no man capable of driving was left on the planet. Nobody and nothing came here except for hyperwave radio broadcasts. The remaining population switched to self-preservation.
Kitty might have lived her life like this till the end, had not the long awaited adventure caught her up. A stray pirate ship crash landed near Kitty's house due to a failed engine.
Getting over the first shock she became very enthusiastic. The pirates were a bit scruffy but really friendly. Especially after they tasted Kitty's food. During their first lunch at her they joked about inviting her to be the chief cook on their ship. It took ten days to fix the engine. Although mines and factories had closed long time ago there were still enough spare parts. The pirates were preparing to leave. By this time they loved Kitty, this dear old lady so much as if she were their mother. So this time their invitation was not a joke.
Kitty could not sleep a bit that night, she was just flouncing in bed. All her life she was waiting for this. To set sail to outer space with a bunch of pirates and experience unbelievable adventures. And yet now that her dream was about to come true she became uncertain. She had to realize that dreams elaborated for fifty years outshine reality. Even this one and a half weeks were enough to see that these pirates were not exactly as she had imagined. What whould happen if she spent a month, a year or even more time with them? She would probably get disappointed not only in them, but in space, spacetravel and adventures. She realized that the perfection of dreams outmatches the reality of reality.
Next morning the pirates could not understand why she said no. Kitty didn't tell them the real reason, because she did not want to hurt their feelings. It's not their fault that they don't compare to the non-existent pirates of her dreams. She baked them a few pans of pine nut cookies as a farewell gift.
Kitty was sitting on the porch when they took off. She looked up to the sky above the snowy mountains but she only saw a blur of light instead of the receding pirate ship because of the tears filling her eyes...
She never heard about them again and died a few years later. So she didn't know that these nice pirates left the galaxy not much later. She didn't know that although they were defeated in the Pirate Civil Wars they survived and fled. She didn't know that once they arrived at the Cartwheel Galaxy they decided to give up piracy and populate it as ordinary citizens.
And she didn't know that a pine nut from one of her cookies was planted and from that single nut during the next hundred years a whole wood has grown. A norwegian wood.