Age of Cosmic Exploration – Chapter 9

Night mode

Decision!

 

“The US had discovered a fallen spacecraft around the 1950s but that is not entirely true. Yes, there was a discovery of a spacecraft but it wasn’t an astrological find, it was an archeological one. Carbon dating put the actual year of the crash to be about more than eight thousand years ago; it was merely unearthed in the fifties.

 

The carapace of this craft was made with a special kind of alloy that is until now still unknown to man. Even though we’ve built spacecraft ourselves, the actual component that is the shell of that spacecraft has yet to be analyzed and known. This proves how incredibly backward our technology actually is.

 

Along the same vein was the difficulty the government had encountered just trying its way in. Why I’m saying so is because it has taken the government two decades to gain access into the ship, and it was through a sustained virus attack on its internal system. That is why there has been an intermittent influx of new viruses over the years on the electronic web. The government required a continuous stream of powerful viruses to crack this door so in between months, they release these rogue viruses into public domain in the hopes that programming experts would pick up on them, counter them and in the process evolve them. The government that would collect these improved strings of viruses and siphon them into opening this spacecraft. The US government was actually farming the work out to the public without the public actually realizing it,” and here the old man laughed awkwardly, “I suppose by now you could guess where I come in, Yao Yuan. As a renowned encryption expert, I was approached by the government in this project’s infancy. I was in a team that was rounded up to uncover the electronic information stored within this spacecraft’s computer mainframe. This was around the start of the new millennium, and the team consisted of other encryption experts like myself, programming experts as well as expert linguists from all over the world. Even with our best man and woman as well as a few supercomputers, the deciphering operation took us about a decade to complete.

 

Information that was dug up, especially intelligence on advanced technology was shared among all the participating countries. After all, this was only a public secret, among the countries’ higher officials, it was pretty much a non-confidentiality. As I’ve said, this involves countries from all over the world, countries like England, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Japan.

 

Each of these countries got their fair share of information. Of course, since this was an international affair, a lot of diplomatic maneuvers were involved. A lot of behind-the-scene deals were made between the US and these countries because it was after all the Americans that made the discovery. For example, your country, China struck a deal to liquidate a fair portion of US’s national debt. Instead of going into these diplomatic matters, I’m going to focus on some of these found technologies. One of them was for a device called gravity manipulator. It could be used to manipulate the gravitational force within a specific area, increasing it or decreasing it as one will. And that heavily plays into the size of this Noah Two and its multiple complications regarding its ability of flight.

 

Luckily, the unearthed information did not contain any weapons technology that some of the countries wanted. It would appear the ship was only an expedition ship with only one member on board that we’ve found dead… Anyway, I won’t go into the details here because they are all on the ship’s computer mainframe, you could easily access all those using the decoding key that I’ve given you.

 

The single most important thing that has come out of our ten-year effort though was the technology of space-warping! The one technology that had all the countries fighting for it.

 

First, I have to say, we have simply no clue about how this technology works, its theoretical basis, practical application, basically every single one of its details was out of our comprehension. Even the best physicists among us couldn’t wrap their heads around it for it defies physics’ most basic tenets! How could you use such minimal energy to deconstruct and then reconstruct physical arrangement of atoms across space? It was literally unreal,” at this point of his monologue, the old man’s pained expression was getting more pronounced. He removed his glasses and buffed it before continuing,

“Nevertheless, even without us truly comprehending it, the technology was there. That much was true. And this meant that for humanity, or rather for these countries’ government officials at the time, the reality of space travelling was possible! Its implication on the advancement of physics and science in general aside, this technology would handily resolve what was by then the biggest crisis facing mankind, earth’s dwindling resources. Population boom and environmental deterioration had made it so that humanity is living on earth’s limited sustenance. The fact we that could find a new hospitable planet beyond the confines of solar system was huge! It means that when earth is no more, life could still flourish outside of it!

 

Therefore, with this greater good of humanity in mind, all these countries headed by the US pooled together their resources to build two gigantic spaceships as contingency plans. This was around the year 2004. The ships were built in two separate locations and each took about twenty years to complete. The long construction time was due to, first, its size, and second, our unfamiliarity with the technology. It wasn’t a process that could be easily sped up even with massive human and material resources. They were named Noah One and Noah Two, representing a lifeline for humanity should the apocalypse befall the human race…

 

Noah One was test ran in 2027 and it was a horrendous failure. On it were about three million passengers from multiple countries, half of them was military while the other half consisted of experts and academicians, who were too late to discover that during warp, the critical mass of objects boomed and thus the energy required to warp it won’t increase proportionally in a fixed ratio, the ratio actually quadrupled, differing dangerously from their initial formula and calculation. As a result, the warp failed, the energy expended went way over their reserve and Noah One went off in an explosion in space…

 

Everything else that followed was, I’m sure, to your knowledge. After that first experiment, almost instantly, our astronomers picked up the appearance of a neutron star fragment that was hurtling towards our solar system at a lightning speed.

 

Other than the black hole, which we also know nothing about, the neutron star is the second densest material in space to our knowledge. It would be impossible to retrieve just a fragment from a whole. Even if two neutron stars were to collide with each other, the chance of them fragmenting off is nil… And yet here we have one, one that had appeared out of nowhere! It could only mean one thing… It was warped there to target us!” Barely reigning in his anger, the old man shouted, “it was an attack from the aliens! A lot of scientists have speculated that alien life forms are most likely to hostile. The idea that aliens are all scientifically advanced yet benign and friendly races is a fantasy fed to us by science fictions. History has proven again and again that the greatest catalyst to advancement has always been war! And let us not forget that war isn’t won with brute force but with intelligence and we have just shown our hand!”

 

Calming down, the old man continued, “Sorry but I digress, so back to this spaceship… Noah Two has the same structure as Noah One but since its miscalculation catastrophe, it has been given the necessary tweaks. The number of nuclear energy generators has increased from the previous one to three, and now they’ve also been empowered with a uranium base solution. Factoring in the amount of supplies and an estimate of five million people on board, it could support survival in space for about five years and could do around fifty space warps… But you have remember one crucial point, every single gram that is added onto the craft, the energy exhausted during warp will have an exponential increase. When you’ve rounded up a mathematician or physicists or experts from those fields, you could refer them to the technology’s theorems and formulas that I’ve left in the ship’s computer memory.

 

Other than that, because a lot of energy would be used in that short period of time, or essentially non-time, it might cause overloading or in some cases, destruction of certain components. Know that this is unavoidable because we are messing with technology that is way beyond our understanding here… We’ve essentially skipped at least a thousand years of research in between! Imagine the troglodyte with a gun, we’re the troglodyte and the technology’s the gun, more often than not, we’re going to end up shooting ourselves in the foot. Due to this fear of uncertainty, almost all of the countries have abandoned their hope on Noah Two but had instead started building their own smaller spacecraft, crafts with about maximum a thousand people worth of load, for their own government and people. However, these short-sighted fools don’t understand that in the vast space, the smaller your base is, the harder it is to control and survive.

 

Nevertheless, because they are smaller, these one-thousand-populated crafts could survive decades in space and even warp jump at least a thousand times with ease. As long as nothing happened to their nuclear reservoir, for quite some time, there wouldn’t be an issue with energy depletion. This much the human technology could still manage. Which lead to me believe that, by the time you see this video, Yao Yuan, most of the higher officials from earth would have already disappeared.”

 

As the man drew to his conclusion, he sighed, “Yao Yuan, or whoever else that is seeing this, bless you, because the last issue and the one I feel that is the biggest about Noah Two, is that because of our current technology, we still have yet to learn how to control the destination that the warp would end up at. In other words, if you’re using Noah Two, it’s all luck of the draw and, I’ll be honest, chances aren’t stacked in your favor. To have to land exactly near a planet that is hospitable to us human among the endless space, the probability of that is so small that it can’t even be calculated… So, bless you… and bless us all, Amen…”

 

As the video ended, the screen reverted back to black and the expression of everyone present was equally blank.

 

Only Yao Yuan’s reaction was otherwise, the video seemed to have brought him great relief for all the strain and pressure from before had melted away.

 

“Alright people, things turned out to be in a better shape than I’ve expected. At least, the ship’s functional, and most importantly could warp us away from this solar system, that’s the key point!” rounding everyone up, Yao Yuan commented, “now, let’s get moving. Zhang Heng, I still need you to locate the map, we need to get to Central Command and assume command immediately. After that, we’ll have a meeting to discuss and decide in detail our next course of action.”

 

Surveying his audience, he continued, “But generally speaking, over the next few weeks, we are going to start searching for supplies like food and machinery as well as survivors. Our tentative target is to save at least ten million people, prioritizing scientists, academicians, technical workers, managerial experts and able-bodied public. Of course, we should also focus on getting the police or the army that has not gone crazy but has been protecting the public all this while…

 

And after all that… Destination: SPACE!”

 

Author’s note: First update of the day, still in the 3k club. Please do continue your support. And for those who think this book has potential, I thank you very much for your faith, I’ll work harder to live up to your expectations.)

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