Ventures into space

[The Balance of Souls]

This is part of a world descript for a science fiction setting. If you got here by accident, hit the back button on your browser.

Here is a bit from Into the Unknown describing one of N’s daydreams and some early space travel from time point two:

“I let myself picture a grand starship in the distance. It was early into reentry – I could barely see enough details to identify it. An old-style G20. One of the earliest still in commission space vessels (according to my time, anyway), it was so named for its twenty types of old-style weaponry: from pulse cannons to improved railguns and prototype laser weapons. When the G20 was invented, humans had limited knowledge of what they would meet out there, so they tried to prepare as best they could. The ship’s design itself was especially utilitarian. There was no way just the three of us could pilot one of those. They would need a crew of at least forty to perform maintenance, staff the weaponry, and have adequate shifts.”

After that first terrified venture into space, humans encountered an already-established alien peace. So, humans automatically fell into that peace under the alien guidelines. It’s very basic: don’t interfere with other species, only land on planets with developed species (capable of space travel) if their leaders formally welcome outsiders, if you built it you maintain it, all space stations must welcome and respect alien travelers, do not arrest or detain any member of another developed species, and no armed conflict with other developed species (otherwise the entire combined military of the peaceful species will descend on you to forcibly end said conflict). Our own solar system and Alpha Centauri (A, B, and Proxima Centauri) became the main highlights of the human territory. The station officially named Centauri Space Station was nicknamed Wayward Point since Proxima Centauri had some unpredictable effects. Soon, it was a common stop for human explorers traveling to and from Sol’s system. Space Travel has advanced enough that humans can get from Earth to Wayward Point in roughly three weeks (by time point three, that becomes three days).

At this time point, humans are hard at work building new space stations and exploring human space territory. Wayward Point is the only entirely complete station (since it was granted quickest access to resources). There also exists what’s called the machine planet. It is an acquired piece of alien technology (gifted to humanity by the Anacondri’i who routinely construct dozens of these things in one earth year). Essentially, the machine planet is a gigantic space vessel shared like a hollow sphere. It is capable of changing size in order to routinely encircle other planets. The main function is to mine the planet it encircles, but the vessel is self-sustaining and faster than any vessels humans have built (it can get to Wayward point in half a day). Humans use it more often for exploration and longer distance space travel. However, it should be noted that (as per agreement with the Anacondri’i), the machine planet can only be used in human or unclaimed territory. Otherwise, it will be seen as a declaration of armed conflict (despite the vessel’s distinct lack of weaponry). In the event of an attack, the machine planet will pull itself inside out, moving the habitable areas to the inside and creating a durable shield over the outside. This has yet to be done by the human one.

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