The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hypnale, Day 3

Day 3

            Today was uneventful, yet far from boring. As I began to study the data on Hypnale that came in while I slept, I received a most pleasant surprise. Venture Star picked up a data stream from Earth. This meant little to the Spacers save what useful information they could mine from it, but it meant a great deal to me. I want to get on the line and beam back everything I learned about Hypnale (including my right to register the new name), but hold off for the time being. If the warp gate works as advertised, then delivering all of the findings in person would be much quicker.

            There was little actual news of Earth itself. Terran society has changed little in centuries, and has certainly not changed in the fourteen years since the broadcast left Earth. I suppose it is the thought that counts. It gives me such a warm feeling to know that Earth has not given up on us. They knew when we would arrive and timed their transmission to hit us the moment the crew was revived. Ok, they were a few days late, but so what? A colleague from Recife was kind enough to forward my mail through the data stream. I have no idea what sort of strings he had to pull to achieve that, but I can imagine that a few flaming hoops were jumped through.

            I had to invest an hour just wading through it to discover the few items that were not junk. Over a decade worth of backlogged periodicals. A new planet was discovered orbiting Delta Triangulum. This in itself would not be all that exciting, if not for evidence of life. The planet’s water vapor content was low, so it was likely an arid world similar to the one around Ross 248, only much larger. The new world was interesting, if only in an academic fashion. Any voyage there would have to wait tens of generations—to Delta Triangulum I mean. Ross 248 might be reached in only a few generations once the warp gate proves itself.

            I would not mind taking a look at Ross 248 b. It was a tidally locked world like Hypnale, but by all indications was almost as dry as the Atacama. There was a sea on the planet, that much was sure, but spectral analysis insists that it covers less than twenty percent of the surface. It makes Mars look like downright humid in comparison. Alas, the arid world will be the problem of another lifetime. I curse the speed of light, and not for the first time. There are just so many wonders in the universe that I will never see. I cannot help but feel a massive injustice in that.

            The lack of any familiar news distresses me. Are all my relatives dead, or do they just assume that I am. Perhaps they simply did not take the speed of light into account and are just now sending messages. I do not take the assumption of my death personally. Considering the fate of Trail Blazer it would be little wonder if they did not hold a funeral in my honor as soon as Venture Star began its acceleration away from Sol. I hope they recorded it, for it strikes me with a morbid curiosity to see my own funeral.

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