Chapter Nine: Epilog


<<<In the trenches>>>

This is now fifty years later. Myrtle is on her show celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the departure. On the screen behind her, first there is a scene of the mother ships departing the Mother Ship Asteroid city complex, then there are scenes of little happening. The city complex is shown as mostly ghost town.

Myrtle says, "Earth and the Solar System were not the same place after the Mirondian visit. The social unrest caused by Mirondian products, technologies and blip lasted for fifty years after the departure.

"But, the biggest difference was mankind now had the tool for star travel! Humans had done most of the 'back work' building the Mirondian starship, and they could do it again, if they had the will. And whether or not to have 'the will' was one of the topics argued hard about during the fifty years of unrest.

"There were a lot of people dead-set against it. There were attempts to sabotage the starship-making infrastructure. There were attempts to cannibalize it to make other things.

"But, in the end, it was decided that the Solar System was such a much better place that, 'Yes!', mankind should follow its dream."

The big screen behind her now shows a new mother ship at Mother Ship Asteroid.

"In 2500, a new star ship was dedicated. How many will follow is a question yet to be asnwered."


<<<The Big Picture>>>

An alien space ship arriving at the Solar System will bring about big changes to how the people of the Solar System live.

But, unlike Christopher Columbus landing on an island of the New World, the change will not be just the first step of many. Alien visits will remain isolated, one-shot events. This will be so because, using the physics we know today, star-to-star travel will always be an expensive process and one that requires years-to-centuries long journeys.

This combination of high expense and long journey times limits commerce, and commerce is what sustains large quantities of travel.

For the same reason the number of interstellar ships that the Solar System will create and send out will also be small. Without profitable commerce the main reasons to send off ships will be to satisfy scientific curiosity and to solve bitter social issues by sending off mal-contents, an example of the latter is the people getting on the Mayflower to try their luck in the New World.

In sum, visits from aliens will be exciting, but rare and random events, and even when the Solar System develops interstellar ship building capabilities the number of ships produced will be small because commerce won't be driving the activity.


-- The End --