A Short Piece On The Design Of A Spaceship For Exploring The Stars And How To Have A Party On The Moon.
1. A spaceship for exploring the stars:
A 3 mile diameter sphere that covers at least 500 light years in at most 6 months. It carries everything it needs to almost copy itself and its contents from what ever resources it finds - suffice to say the manufacturing technologies differ greatly from those in the 20th century. There are stretches inside with holographic ceilings that leave you thinking you never left the ground. About 10,000 crew dedicated to recontacting Earth and others of its colonies after 3000 years, say, about 7,500AD. If you spend time on this ship it's bound to feel like a home with family, to be home, with family. Even if you live 400 years. To start with.
2. What it takes to have a party on the moon:
That ship, after it gets there. Approach that blue and white and brown and green globe set in black, not seen in a very long time by anyone who's anyone. Not enough fun? Then ignore the passage of time - it's all relative anyway - and see a similar ship, grounded on the moon, that goes much faster, among other things, and is crewed by a nation of time travel capable people from oh, say 100,000AD, one of whom is actually old enough to have been on that first ship, celebrating the end of a 20,000 year cold war that culminated with a very hot war that destroyed whole planets, and they are starting the rebuilding of Earth, especially Jerusalem, where someone who was not anyone had to turn refugees away just before all hell broke loose. Um, the war involved a faction of time travelers started by a son of the long-lived person and really took off thanks to another faction started by the son of the son: the first incarnation of a soul split from the long-lived person. What, you think souls can't be fruitful and multiply too?
3. What it takes to really explore the stars and party on the moon:
In the early 21st century the time traveling female reincarnation from 250,000AD (close enough anyway) of the long-lived person meets a time- displaced incarnation of the soul-split person and these two (and many others who probably don't have hyphenated names), as part of a new nation of time travelers born from that war put a stop to certain things propagated in the 19th and 20th centuries by time-escapees (refugees they're not) of said war. Time-displaced incarnations are an occupational hazard of time travelers - whatever you do, try to avoid deceasement before enceasement. Oh, and what they do - or is that don't do? - helps humankind when it comes time for that "First Contact" in the mid 24th century. That, after all, is how humans get FTL drive. What, you thought they had the mindset to think it up themselves?
4. Along the way, pick up the party favors:
A technology for transfering souls and copying consciousness from body to body developed largely as the result of a sentient spaceship computer that wanted a human body. A co-marriage to a woman from another universe - don't worry, the time-displaced soul-split person didn't put much faith in alternate universes either. A co-marriage to a shape shifting alien who's been stranded on Earth since pre-history, is probably the last of her kind thanks to a war with her kind (we'll just say around 50,000AD) and, as a cat, has been living with said woman from another universe, and may very well have once been the mother of an early incarnation of the soul of the long-lived person. Don't worry, things like conservation of mass when going from a human sized bat-like creature to a house cat are easily explained. Oh, and that war is won through the invention of time travel thanks largely to said long-lived person experiencing an epiphany of sorts (is there any other sort?) in the midst of battle. A female-looking hermaphrodite who may or may not commit suicide thanks in large part to a phone call (that may or may not go as dreamed) after a car accident that most certainly happens if only the right bar in Oklahoma is found at the right time and if the nature of revealing secrets can be understood as some kind of universal law by the time-displaced incarnation of the soul-split person.
5. Read the instructions for using a toilet in space:
A logo from a TV show. A girl getting a job offer out of the blue from a very strange company that's less strange than you think, because someone told them to make it. Humans flying by dint of mind alone, among other things, besides flying that is. A few time-displaced incarnations on worlds controlled by time travelers with people unaware of their origins on Earth. Nightmares that convincingly show the only certain things in life and death aren't taxes, but schools and wars and runaway girls.
6. There's always stuff to do when making to-do lists and reviewing blueprints:
Short pieces in the wrong hands can be made large. It's what you think at the beginning that you forget and others remember. Large things in the wrong hands can be made small. Always insist on having portholes to help gauge scale and remind you why you came. Even if the view out shows alternate universes that you didn't invite.
7. Words not used during construction nor overheard by any guest:
Starr, Ultra, Minotaur, Gamma. There's always something left unsaid by someone at a party and always some design flaw overlooked. It's what gets said that makes it work at all and allows for holes to appear in bad places without ruining the party when you're zipping through space at a few light years per second and making a sharp turn at the early 21st century.
8. Don't forget to thank the host and pay the engineers:
All's well that ends well, it's the beginnings that are a bitch. Which is why beginnings must be found and helped by the ends if the ends are to come out well.
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