Note: “The Aerostats are nice this time of year” was a standard joke response to anyone complaining about the weather on the Ishtar Plateau, The aerostat cities were entirely climate controlled, of course, and always very comfortable, but most Ishatarans would sneer at the thought of moving to the aerostats, the same way people living a rugged life anywhere typically sneer at the idea of moving to a more comfortable place. This was so even

before the blockade. Here the joke takes a slightly more sinister tone.