Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Echo-Lance Starships

Excerpt from Starships Now!!! 
 by Robert Duncan-Enzmann

Prologue: Let the Wagons Roll
Jewel Box Star Cluster

Wagon Train: Out of the Night, Into the Light

The Infinite Ocean of interstellar space, an infinite sea,  
is without knowable boundaries.  

Stupidity, President Grey, along with other national leader’s “Great Boondoggle.” More Government make-work projects. Oh sure, Yes, and Yes, it was done by private industry - but who financed the Hungry Horse aerospace venture? The taxpayers - of course. A big fanfare send off; interesting to begin with,  tapering through less-and-less communication, into a nothingness - silence from one, two, then all of the ships.

What happened?
Who, knows.
All too soon.
Not much of anyone cares.
Over thirty years most everyone forgets.

Lagoons of Light
That was then. This is now. Thirty years passed in silence, and then? News! From one, two, then the three ships that sailed together:
Success, a song of success in aces,
We landed, here's where!
Just look at these places.
Sweet success, we refueled - here's how!
Watch the videos.
We're coming home!
Yes, we were cut off,
Here's what happened.
Return takes another twenty years. That’s a generation on Earth. It’s another two decades ago, added to thirty years already passed by; a bit over a half a century has passed on Earth. For the explorers, only a few years have passed. Starship voyagers are, in ways, blessed; in other ways, cursed when cruising at full speed between the stars, where, for them, time dilation slows - almost stops - the passage of time. Their communication continues:

This is what happened to cut us off, 
It will happen again. 
But once through that region 
You will hear us loud and clear! 
And, yes, before you ask, 
We talk with each other, 
Except there.

Twenty years out. Several years of communication before the mid course black-out. What Earth hears fires imaginations, an effort that slowed-down but never really stopped accelerates into a planetary boom.

Here we must digress for moments to repeat what every generation seems to relearn:


How easily the utterly obvious is overlooked. One politician after another bemoans the fact that 90% support 10%; with industrialization, 40% support 60%;  then automation begins, develops, and expands, until 5% can easily support 95%.  Why bemoan and worry the World?

Not politicians, but visionaries electrify, fire imaginations, galvanize the potential work force, which “mobilizes itself” and Earth’s industries roar-as never before.
Four words by an astute politician mark a watershed:


Only five, mankind’s first explorers, casted off a long half century ago. Two ships that sailed, each to a different destination stellar landfall alone, now at last are back home.

Three Echolances that sailed together at these very moments exit the timeless seas of no-when, where time for them slows so much it almost stops.  In no-when, decades, even centuries may pass for us on Earth, but aboard the starships? At most only days for the voyagers.

Three Echolances that sailed alone, each to explore a potential New Earth, have returned.  All three modestly successful; they return with gold. All three are docked, being repaired, refurbished, and their relatively small crews trade, and their officers negotiate with colonists.

The fleet:  Rainbow, Glory, and Aurora. Their explorations about the Jewel Box Star Cluster are a  resounding success.  Even as they approach Earth, their officers negotiate with a huge Wagon Train  they will guide to and about the Jewel Box of many-colored stars and a number of habitable planets.  One is especially so - in fact it seems nicer than Earth itself.

This is the beginning. Mankind, at the very edge of the interstellar sea, knows only a little about what lies out there.  So far mankind has succeeded only in finding some promising landfall.

To date we know only of us. Lone explorers Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and the Rainbow, Glory, Aurora fleet have found occasion vegetation; but no intelligences, no signals, nor any animals - only some algae, lichen,  moss, and fungus-like vegetations.

And fortunately have found no dreadful virii, bacteria, or other pathogens.  It’s sort of sterile out there.

And so I ask:  What  do we really know about much of anything out there? A great adventure of discovery is waiting.

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