What are some elements of culture in the Procyon sector, including spacer culture?
There’s unspoken but ironclad rules that many spacers obey: if the room is leaking air, you plug the leak. If someone’s trying to get out of a depressurized chamber, you don’t close the pressure door in their face. Leaving someone to die choking and gasping is an act of war. Not everyone in the sector abides by these rules, of course. But like ancient codes of hospitality, people who do observe them take them very seriously.
Buoyancy and Ballast
Spacers appropriated and redefined terms from terrestrial sailing. When spacers talk about “buoyancy” and “staying afloat”, they really mean the social aspects of keeping a ship in space. Ships are “afloat” if everyone is doing their job, working together to do their respective jobs. Highly automated and sophisticated (and expensive) Hegemony cruisers can afford dilettantes or rich layabouts. But aboard a tin can, fifty million miles from any help, everyone contributes, or the ship can “sink” (and sometimes literally, if a ship breaks down or is destroyed).
This culture extends beyond spaceships. Cargo workers on space-docks, space habitat personnel, etc. are part of a shared culture, and recognize that bond even if they are rivals or even enemies. Crew from different ships will sometimes work together to load cargo, perform external ship maintenance or refueling, or similar tasks where the help of a stranger doesn’t threaten the safety or security of the ship. Crews use these moments to network with each other, building up a web of favors and trust that help them get new jobs or uncover new business opportunities.
Anyone who doesn’t contribute isn’t part of the crew - they are “ballast”, no more than dead weight. They’re to be left behind at the next port, denied rations or shares, or otherwise “encouraged” to get out. There are some who take the term “ballast” literally, and threaten to jettison such people from a ship in flight, but that’s a bad way to retain crew or attract passengers unless the services you offer make such a risk worthwhile.
Does this work for you folks?