Infinity and Beyond (Fiction)

My own opinion is that interplanetary travel by human beings is not a good idea. Humans have evolved over millions of years to live on Earth.  We are developing robots and AI at an increasing rate and these seem to be the sensible way to explore the solar
system – or even the galaxy. 
Would the AI benefit from a human self identity? – Maybe. It could change the clock rate to alter it’s perception of time and automatic systems could control  the emotional behavior
and simply apply a “reset” in the case of it instability.

Am I human? I feel like a human being. I’m Jack Hawkins, married with two children. But that was a very long time ago. I don’t look like a human being. I have no flesh or bones, I never get hungry.

Actually I’m a starship, or more like a star drone really as I’m unmanned. An unmanned man!

I’ve been travelling for thousands, (well actually 17654.238) years by Earth time but it only feels like a few months to me. Time compression due to my speed accounts for a very small part of the difference. Most of it is due to simply a reduced clock rate. for example I have been travelling over 100 earth years since the I checked the clock a few seconds (to me) ago, (well actually 125.632 years).

I keep dropping relay stations into space. Then I send my data to one and its sends it to the next and then to the next and so on back to Earth.

I wonder if Earth is still there. I had a reply a few days ago but I’ll have to wait a week or two even at my current timescales for a reply this time.

But soon I’ll be in a planetary system and I’ll speed up the clock. It’s quite an experience when the clock changes, and one which a regular human can never experience. At a few micro Hertz the stars move and I can see my destination getting closer. At a few giga Hertz I can see the languid eruptions of plasma from a star.

They did worry about me going insane, knowing that I will never see another human being again and I would live forever (or until something goes disastrously wrong) .

I feel fine, but I wonder if I have gone insane in the past and been re-booted. My memory would have been automatically adjusted so I would not actually know. It may have happened more than once, maybe hundreds of times for all I know. Whatever Jack! Live in the NOW.

The planetary system is a day away at this clock speed. Time to slow a bit.

Oh, here it is, I’m coming in at almost right angles, (well actually 78.2 degrees) to the ecliptic.

Sun – bigger than Sol (1.28 times).

Hotter than Sol  (7200 degrees).

Six planets, three gas giants, one small one too far out to be in the habitable zone, TWO in the habitable zone. Wow that’s a first. Let’s get closer.

Planet A – very young, recently formed or reformed, all lava and volcanoes under the ash clouds. It has a very wobbly orbit. That sucker has been hit hard by something.

Planet B – very old – strange – no atmosphere, no water.
There’s no life here, may as well move on.

I’ll do a slingshot maneuver around the sun (I like doing that, reminds me of a roller coaster) pick up some matter on the way for fuel and head to the next port of call.

That didn’t take long, (well actually 35.286 years in Earth time).

Data sent back to Earth, if it’s still there!

That reply for my last transmission should be here soon – (well actually 1768.239 years in Earth time).

Onwards, to infinity and beyond – oh good old Buzz Lightyear. My kids loved him.

Oh, here’s the reply from Earth now. Let’s see who is in charge now.

I wrote this following another non fiction (well I think so anyway) article on AI