Monday, March 13, 2017

Microstory 536: Meganexa Completed, Core Construction Finished

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Two-thousand and four hundred years ago, the largest project in the Lactean galaxy began. Over the course of the millennia preceding this endeavor, races from many planets started finding each other. We shared technologies, initiated trade agreements, and started a few wars; nothing too serious. Faster-than-light travel is practically effortless. Put a little energy in, flip over to a simplex dimension, and regain all the energy you lost while inside...enough to get you back out, and then back in again later. Still, it would never have been the difficulty of interaction that bothered us. The fact of the matter is that we love each other, and we wanted to be closer together. And so a plan was formed. We would abandon our respective planets, for the most part, and move into one solar system. But what system could that be? An average of 3.4 planets can be found within the habitable zone of any given solar system. That’s technically enough space for everyone, if we were to be really clever with megastructures, but we didn’t want to have to do that. We wanted space, and we wanted it to be perfect. Nature just doesn’t accommodate such a dream, and as they say, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

Fortunately, with our combined technological prowess, and our capacity for patience, we didn’t need to find a solar system large enough for this new culture. We could just build it ourselves. We spent about a hundred years doing nothing but drawing up plans. Architects from all over submitted their visions. Discussions and bureaucracy took up a lot of time. Public perception needed to be adjusted, and acceptance achieved. Just because a group of dreamers thought something was a good idea, didn’t mean that everyone would, or like what we came up with. We would have to play the long game, and not all of us have chosen a post-organic virtual immortality lifestyle. Some people still choose to eventually die, so asking them to help with a project they won’t be alive to see completed is not entirely reasonable. After the planning stages were finished, though, we could finally begin construction.
We formed an entirely new star, one generated by siphoning off energy from the simplex dimensions. This allows us greater control over solar weather, and ultimately creates a more hospitable environment. After that was done, we started building planets and moons. When you can manipulate gravity itself, you don’t have to be limited to a single planet in a single orbit. You can squeeze them in together, and watch as they perpetually follow each other around the star, neither one ever catching up with the other. All in all, we built 121 planets, with a total of 400 moons. Some of these carry atmosphere, while others rely on self-sustaining enclosures. Some are for living, some are for food, and one planet is just for parties, and other special events.

Four years ago, primary architect, Cillian Hême reluctantly stood before a press conference, and announced the official completion of our great new system. But he was not satisfied with this. He felt that something was missing. Then he saw it. The vorther planets. Two sentries floating farthest from our host star, used for deep space telemetry, and not much else. They’re also only marginally more helpful as a warning system than anything else we have, and only if a threat arrives in realtime from a limited set of directions. They were really only built for the symmetry. But Hême realized that they could be used for something else. Though intergalactic travel can be done with a ship, it still takes some time. Our most efficient form of travel is using a Nexus machine. Unfortunately, these are rather small, and accommodate only a handful of people, or minimal cargo. If, on the other hand, we altered the plans by several orders of magnitude, we could drill a giant hole in the vorthers, and create a new kind of Nexus. We call them the Meganexa, and they allow vast numbers of ships, or one gargantuan ship, to travel to the far reaches of space nearly instantaneously. Today, Cillian Hême stood proudly at his podium, and announced that this marks the true completion of the Core project. We now have a fully functional star system, and we couldn’t have done it without the hard work and sacrifice of people who died long ago. A system wide party is being planned on Arion within one month’s time. Details will arrive at a later date, but literally everyone is invited. Somehow, we’ll fit all hundreds of billions of us on one planet.

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