I was asked the other day what the most important invention of mankind is. It’s a hard question to answer with ever more contenders but I would say few creations of man have done more to take us far across the universe than the Dark Matter Accelerator. Despite how little we still know about the endless fuel that powered our expansive journey towards the unknown horizons of space there is no destination beyond the reach of mankind. All other leaps in knowledge and human progress seem pitiful by comparison to Explorations Platinum Age. New maps are rendered in four dimensional models that can tell you where each rock formation will be depending on the rotation of that planetary body on its axis and within the rotations of the solar system it rests in and its galaxy.
Cartographers experienced the first boom in their work since the discovery of ‘The New World’ on earth. As well as colonisation and exploration mankind began to seed the universe with life. Panspermia is an old idea finally made not just possible but relatively easy by the leap in transport technology. These missions began as the paving stones for human life but quickly grew into philanthropic endeavours as collectives of humanity sought to repent for the sins of their forebears. We spread our seed far across the universe to begin the reign of life on distant world. What was seen as nature, life in its various forms, was once less natural than the cold emptiness of space. Life was one of the rarest commodities in existence but humanity may put an end to our solitude with these endeavours. Terraforming while much faster is a far less efficient or eloquent means of spreading life. We may become the mythical foregoing parents of life as was so often a theme in science fiction.
I’m not really a scientist, not professionally at least but I do have a keen interest in vehicular technology in the new age of frontier piracy. Most engines that use a D.M.A are piloted by machines that while efficient are hardly adaptable pilots. With endless reflex upgrades and some interface modifications I pilot some of the fasted vehicles ever built which travel without most of the decelerating safety peripherals.
Law enforcement is minimal on the frontier and rarer still are the pilots with the skill to catch me. My crew are more than up to the task of fending off enforcers that would follow us to our hidden base in the asteroid field above an abandoned terraforming project.
I’m not a scientist but I employ many to keep my fleet the fastest in the universe. They upgrade my trans-human crew. The scientists can’t leave of course. I don’t want my competitors and foes knowing where I lay my head. The base is a haven of sin amongst the rocks that look out into space. They can’t complain. I don’t let them.
As soothing as it is to race across the void between galaxies I love the rush of planet based chases. The best getaway vehicles available are at my disposal for the escape after a heist. I don’t pick the fastest racers but the most manoeuvrable. Powder bone speeds make the dodge between planet bound objects the fastest fun to be had. I like to tie my pursuers in knots before leaping aboard my ship to return home.
The oxygen generators haven’t grown to full size yet so the facility still has sealed breathless zones. For that reason I’m stuck wearing this stupid full body insulation suit with the supposedly miniature oxygen generator which is still the size of a large rucksack from the earthy second millennia.
The geeks have been using some of the empty zones as test facilities for void vehicles that work best in a vacuum. Having paid for the work I get to play with the new toys which is usually fun. Some of the archaic idiots still use imperial time. They’re scientists, why? Metric is so much easier to work with on timetables.
I’m hoping we can set up some form of orbital colony system around the planet below. A fleet of fighter ships crewed with good pilots could easily defend this facility against much larger forces using the dynamic asteroid shift predictive maps the geeks made us. Knowledge is king, it’s been known for years which is why I steal more boffins than anything else. Most can be obtained for the right price but others are held captive in the secure research centre at the heart of this base. We began a bail system for them to prove that as long as we know they’ll stay they are welcome to wander the base without limits.
Good pilots are hard to come by in the thinly spread realm of humanity. I run races and rackets on other planets to root out the best of the rest from the crowds. A race track here would be nice, the planet below is enough for now but a more local track would be a good means of honing the skills of our pilots.
The asteroid belt is a bit like my old home when I think about it. Aeris Ventura, one of the endless floating cities of my home world. My feet didn’t touch solid ground until I was fourteen. It’s maybe why I’m such a good pilot. The buildings work a bit like a zeppelin except they’re devoid of anything so fragile as an air filled envelope. That doesn’t stop the vandals, the outskirts are the worst place to live in those cities where the scum tamper with the engines and all too often the buildings rain down from the sky. Something of those days lead me here and I must praise the past for my presence in this time and place. This, my home, amongst the stars of space.