The following text was intended to accompany the drawings that were published in the CLOG: SCI-FI issue from 2012. The drawings obviously spoke for themselves…
The 100 Year Starship.
What started out as an exercise in the fiscal stability needed to support such a venture, strangely enough materialised. Nobody, not even those that instigated the project could have imagined that it would actually be built. Even the dreamers.
And so, over the course of a hundred years (give or take) a starship was constructed in a high earth orbit, keeping it beyond the ever expanding belt of debris, but also as was widely acknowledged at the time, beyond threat.
First world nations, supported by their largest multi-national corporations, mined the Moon successfully creating 3d printed silicate structures and panels. This technology combined with the use of abandoned space stations to form a skeletal structure, ensured the slow but steady construction of what resembled a city, taking shape in space. Gigantic, extruded, square profiled sectors grew from a central mega-truss, the birth just within eyeshot on a cold, clear night.
The starship was sent out from its orbit to slingshot through the gravities of other moons as it made its way to uncover possible second homes. It mined as it circled these celestial bodies, supplying a new religion of architected construction that provided some form of occupation for those generations forging an existence aboard. 3d printing machines became churches, to a background of air-conditioning hum, unpredictable mechanical clanging, and revolutions…
The heliosheaths of many suns and stars have been passed through by the one hundred year starship. The solar sail that once caught solar winds from within the Milky Way has been tossed and turned so that it now resembles swaddling, wrapped over the platonic form.
It appears motionless in a distant galaxy. A traveller from an antique land. A colossal wreck, boundless and bare. Intact for the most part, there are moments when life once struggled to escape it’s greebled carcass. No passengers are left now. They are all long since departed. The last one died thousands of years ago. The last of his species.
A reliquary of progress, it has outlasted its creators. Technology has triumphed over man. It has left him for dead. It is now utopia incarnate. At least for another five hundred thousand years or so. Its course will be interupted by the supernova of an aging star. The starship will travel directly towards the gravitational collapse and be intercepted by the star’s expelled material at a combined velocity of sixty thousand kilometres per second.
A product of the Enlightenment, it will end in a burst of radiation that will outshine stars.