Age of Cosmic Exploration

Author: Zhttty

Translators: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lonelytree, _Dark_Angel_

Editors: EndlessFantasy Translation , Lucas


Chapter 139: This is Space!

Yao Yuan had been thinking about the warp 6 months prior to his announcement.
The thought was initiated by a sense of lethargy that he felt was spreading through the Hope.
It was not that the people had gotten lazy, it was on the contrary. Everyone worked their hardest, way into the night. Everyone contributed their best!
This lethargy came from another source… complacency. Even since they left Earth, it was a series of disasters, one after another. It was impossible that the citizens didn’t get fearful for their lives. Even Yao Yuan had startled himself awake as memories of the past surged into his dreams. He would lie awake in bed for hours on end every time after such nightmares.
If even Yao Yuan was exposed to such frights, it would be worse for the normal civilians.
Therefore, this period of relative peace had ushered in a sense of contentment all over the Hope. Even though they were still surrounded by an empty space, at least they knew there weren’t monsters lurking behind the darkness, because the area had been thoroughly patrolled by the Hope’s troops.
A small segment of the Hope even expressed the willingness to stay forever, while the majority wanted the Hope to stay longer, to wait until they went through the 4th industrial revolution and maybe even entered the 5th… But was that even feasible?!
Mankind’s life expectancy was only between 150 and 200 years!
Of this current generation, a majority of the citizens were in their 30s, while authority figures like Alan and Silewei were in their 60s or 70s. Theoretically speaking, they could live for another 100 years, but could mankind feasibly step into the 5th industrial revolution in the next hundred years?!
Obviously, the answer was no! Mankind could barely step into the 4th revolution in the next 200 years if they hadn’t come across the junkyard!
According to the records siphoned from the alien battleship’s mainframe, this alien race had been surviving in space for at least 1,700 years before they met their end!
Within the records was also the mention of their encounter with a small alien spaceship that teetered between the 4th and 5th revolution. The strangers announced themselves as space-travelling merchants who dealt with technology, materials, and information trading. According to the records, the merchants had been stuck at the end of their 4th revolution for almost 10,000 years! Their spaceship engine, even though of fifth revolution quality, was traded from another civilization!
Based on their many observations, the alien race that ended up in the junkyard came to the conclusion that since every revolution after the 4th was going to be ground-breaking , it would be incredibly difficult to start a new revolution. They themselves were the perfect example because when they left their home planet, they were already in their 4th revolution, and even before they perished, they were still stuck in the same revolution!
Nevertheless, there was another set of data that pushed Yao Yuan into deciding on a space warp.
This data revealed detailed information about the Homo Evolutis, or as they called it, Cosmic Adapters. According to their historical data, when they left their home planet, there were 14 Adapters, among them 1 Perceptor, 1 Diviner, and 1 Soul-Web User. It was this trio that helped them overcome many troubles and enabled them to survive for as long as 1,700 years in space!
But as time passed and more generations were born in the spaceship and deprived of the embrace of the blue oceans and emerald skies of their home planet, the number of adapters gradually started to fall off. The last known Adapter, a Whisperer, died 900 years ago, and when they met the space merchants 600 years after that, they were left with 2 Adapters, but neither of them had any observable powers… Regardless, the space merchants were willing to trade the 2 Adapters for 2 technologies from the fifth revolution. Obviously, the Adapter served a necessary value in space travel. Perhaps they had a surprising use during the 6th or 7th revolutions, but that usage was an unknown even for the alien race.
After compiling all this information, Yao Yuan had a long meeting with the Academy. They came up with the conclusion that after a civilization left their home planet, the lesser their technology and the greater their inability to adapt to the space environment, the higher the chance Homo Evolutis would be born.
As they got familiar to life in space, the need to adapt would naturally decrease. Unless there was stimulation from great events, like war or societal reformation, every civilization would reach its eventual technological stagnation. However, unless faced with an outside threat, these events would not happen organically in space. And for war, at least one side was bound to fall, another reason why the cosmos was such a harsh place.
Because of all these reasons, Yao Yuan had to space warp instead of waiting for them to move further into the 4th revolution. Currently, the citizens of the Hope still had memories of Earth fresh in their minds, and there were plenty of documentaries available for those that wished to reminisce about their home planet, but could this visceral yearning for home be maintained across 2 or 3 generations?
If they were to stay, they would be walking the same path travelled by the alien civilization they had been plundering from.
Yao Yuan would not allow that to happen!
Riding on the fever of the 4th revolution, Yao Yuan felt this was the perfect time to venture further into the cosmos, to further their minds and to unlock the mysteries of space. This would help collect information to lay a firm foundation to welcome the Hope’s 5th revolution!
Based on the data taken from the alien race which they had previously bought from the merchants, space civilizations could be ranked into levels according to their technological level. Civilizations prior to the 3rd revolution are level 1, or primeval civilizations. They are at the satellite stage and they have no usable spaceships nor the ability to terraform planets.
Level 2 civilizations have command over the creator’s particle and are in their 4th revolution. They are able to build bases on terrestrial planets as pit stops during space travel. Thanks to the long-ranged defense offered by the creator’s particle, to a small degree, they are not easy pickings for even level 3 or 4 civilizations.
Level 3 civilizations are at the cusp of entering the 5th revolution. Their spaceships have the technology to travel at superlight speed, but they can’t solve technical issues like the great energy drain compounded during curvature navigation.
Level 4 civilizations are rare in space, or they are just elusive enough to avoid detection by the space merchants. They have perfectly mastered the technologies offered by the 5th revolution and have conducted early trials of wormhole technology. Their technology isn’t stable enough to create star gates, but they already have access to humanoid robotics!
Level 5 civilizations and above are an unknown, as there are no known records for them.
Other than these descriptions, Yao Yuan also found a space law that dictated that level 4 and 5 civilizations have absolute control over level 2 and 3 civilizations. The more advanced civilizations are allowed to raid and capture all Cosmic Adapters and less than 50 percent of the lower civilizations’ total population without any compensation!
Failure to follow this law will lead to… annihilation!
All of this information was kept in the Hope’s top secret files folder, buried deep within the ship’s mainframe. Without Yao Yuan’s permission, no one could have access to them.
Another facet of the cosmos revealed by this data was that space was not as lonely as Yao Yuan thought. The reason it only appeared that way was because they had escaped to space without the necessary preparations. Things would have turned out completely different if they had run into any sentient alien race with the intention to harm!
This, therefore, became a case of the more you know, the more there was for you to be afraid of. Yao Yuan, however, wasn’t struck by fear. He instead felt the weight of responsibility on his shoulders increasing. His decision alone could cause the downfall of the entire human civilization. There was no time for them to be complacent!
Just as Yao Yuan was deep in discussion about the need to warp with the authorities, a piece of news broke and instantly the decision to warp was made.
"Captain, we’ve hacked into the battleship’s mainframe fragment. A surveillance video was retrieved from within it… it has recorded fully how the fleet was destroyed!
"The enemy was only one spaceship, but it was involved in space warfare that was completely out of the ordinary…"
Yao Yuan saw the video for himself and quickly decided for the Hope to warp. The video fully showcased an eternal truth of the cosmos… the weak are nothing but toys or inconveniences in the eyes of the strong, and the will is never with the weak because they wouldn’t even have the chance to run!