Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Microstory 543: Ashil to Become Site of First Off-world Settlement

Ever since the discovery of faster-than-light plex travel was made public, everyone and their mother wanted to take a ship to a distant star system. Many of these endeavors have been fruitless. Nearly, if not all, stars carry with them daughter planets, but not all planets are at all amenable to life. Some are too small, some are too large. Some are too far away from their parent star, some too close. Some have no life, some have dangerous life. Still, as the mapping of the galaxy is increasingly crowd-sourced, some hidden gems have also been found. One of the first systems to be explored was that of a blue hypergiant not too terribly far from the homeworld (in cosmic scales). Scientists were not expecting to find any life in this system, as blue hypergiants are generally too unstable to support it. They also tend to burn hot and die young, remaining stable over the course of only millions of years, rather than billions. The scientists were shocked to learn that this star was as old as the universe itself, and provided single-cellular life to an eden. They constructed an outpost there to study it in more depth, and named it Old Blue. After that came Lai and Dolinarad, the latter of which was claimed by the infamous Meekas family. Just six years ago, we finally found Ashil. Ashil was no better than Lai in terms of its similarity to the homeworld, nor was it better than Dolinarad. It has, however, been determined to be the site of the first permanent human settlement beyond the homeworld.
Though Lai would like this title, they unfortunately did not in time qualify for certain criteria. To be considered a permanent settlement, a significant number of passengers must have immigrated there. These passengers must have no present intention of leaving, and they must lay down permanent structures for housing, and other basic community needs. An autonomous governing body must be established, along with everything that goes with it; its own currency exchange, public services, etc. Though referred to as a settlement, there must actually be at least two settlements, and these must be geographically separated from each other, in order to count. There are a few other minor details that Lai simply did not achieve, though they are expected to by the end of this year. They are also reportedly working on legal arguments to contest this decision, and attain the honor of first exoplanet colonization themselves.

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