They floated in Venus’ golden skies, 30 klicks above an inferno of broken rock and simmering volcanoes, in a city suspended below a cluster of silvery gossamer balloons. Amber clouds rose into the gray-blue firmament like the pillars of a Greek temple, bending at their tops, great banners of mist flagging across the cloudscape. The air here was laced with toxic vapors that tinted the sky far greener than the skies of Earth. On the western horizon, lightning lanced through a scrim of sulfuric acid virga. McMurdo IV’s gleaming hydrogen-filled envelopes loomed above the station, glistening in the hot Sun, undulating in the zephyrs.