What keeps us on the ground.

“The glory of those wolrd-ships, as they cut through the dark fields beyond the great attractor, with the light of Laniakea ‘s billions suns  behind  them. God, can you imagine it? What a beatific vision it must have been for those who had the honor of being there.”

“Your stories never stop enchanting me, grandfather. You don’t know how much I would give to take on the role of one of our ancestors in the colonization era; experience the thrill of not knowing what lies behind the next stellar horizon. I know they were not easy times, but they surely were more exciting. Today there seems to be nothing left to learn.”

“Dear nephew, it is your youth that speaks. it is true, we have walked giant steps since then but the cosmos is still an infinite mystery for us. Remember the trip to the observatory on the great abyss? We still don’t know what is at the exact center of that and every other black stars, we don’t have the metrics to define that terminal geometry. From this point of view we have not advanced at all compared to our descendants on sol. Same thing for gravity, we learned to concentrate great energies and use them to excite gravitons on a local scale, warping spacetime and producing thrust for our ships but we still have not obtained a complete unified field theory, a framework that shows us how the fundamentals forces of nature fit together.”

“When I grow up I will become the biggest physicist in the cluster and I will solve the mystery of black holes and gravity once and for all!”

“I have no doubt that you will, dear nephew.”

end of registration

“Nothing even here. This was the last available record, a conversation between sha’l’ha and her grandfather, when she was only 9 years old. We sneaked like parasites in all the recorded parts of her life and found nothing. We have no hope of understanding how to engineer the process.”

“Damn it! These are tough times for our society. Peace in the galaxy has always been maintained by a subtle balance of technological deterrents but now, for the first time in our great history, a small part of the system has made a quantum leap, exceeding the technological potential of all the other components by millennia. Democracy is in danger and we have no idea how to save it.”

“It is not the first time.”


“You said that we are in this situation for the first time in history. It is not the first time.”

“What are you talking about?”

“When I was little, about the same age as sha’l’ha in the conversation we just saw, I found an old archive. It was an ancient transcription of humanity’s last historical records on sol. Millenia ago, humanity was divided into nations and there was this commercial and military superpower, called America, which for a century monopolized technological supremacy to keep all the others at bay.
Then other nations began to pursue its wonders and to equalize it until, one day, another nation whose name I do not remember, advanced immensely and in just one week became more powerful than the rest of sol’s nations. It could have been the end of everything and the birth of a terrible dictatorship, instead it was only the end of the self-destructive economic system in place and a rebirth for all humanity. In fact, it was precisely the event that started the most important chain reaction ever, the one that led us among the stars.”

“What a stupid story, I’ve never heard of it and it seems to be empty of logical values. Ours is the greatest power in the galaxy and this has so far allowed us to control things and ensure peace. But now, with the work of sha’l’ha, that dirty traitor, our biggest competitors have become much stronger, much more fearful, to the point that we can’t compete. What do you think will happen now? It will be Chaos.”

“I don’t know what will happen and perhaps I am placing my hopes in an overly simplistic view of the world; however I have always believed in the transmutative power of technology in improving our lives, in making us advance towards the sky. Science has not always been used for a good purpose but, when such discoveries become part of our world, there is no going back. And some of these discoveries, such as that of sha’l’ha, are so powerful that they quickly bypass any kind of individualistic interest.”

“You are starting to speak like one of them.”

“Oh look we stayed here all night, our beautiful sun is about to rise.”

“Are you listening to me? I don’t like at all the sympathy you are showing towards sha’l’ha. Are you a traitor too?”

“Traitor? no I’m not. And I think she isn’t either. She is just a great scientist who has done the impossible, and we should all be fascinated by it. It does not often happen to witness a miracle in the course of one own life, but we have seen it.”

“Miracle? what the hell are you saying? Don’t you realize that it will be our end? the end of everything? I don’t accept that you speak this way! I will have to report you! Speak to me seriously, are you one of their spies?”

“Maybe, but I’m also starting to get tired of these us/them unnecessary distinctions. They are useless legacies that we should have left on sol. They are too heavy to carry, they prevent us from flying at full velocity, they keep us on the ground.”


“Now please keep quiet, I want to enjoy the sunrise.”

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