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The Signposts Perspectives
2801 AD-3000 AD

The greatest race in history may determine who will dominate the civilizations of two galaxies

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BACK to timeline front page: Before 2801 AD in Perspectives...

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Table of Contents

2818 Milestone: The Albatross is now some 192 lightyears from Sol system

The Albatross' current velocity is 0.23c.

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Contents

2851 Milestone: Most all the systems and related vicinities desirable for colonization or industrialization within 24 lightyears of Old Earth have undergone substantial development by now-- and far-flung Base 124-HEPD is becoming a major commercial hub

Of the 190 systems in this region, only 18 have been designated official raw mass sources in their entirety (i.e., licensed salvage operations may take raw mass from the system pretty much as they see fit-- so long as they don't prematurely destroy the whole system in the process (like moving or destroying its star(s) or other major gravity center(s) in sudden and unannounced ways).

Note that spacetime navigation charts for all of known space must periodically be adjusted to compensate for the effects of moving all this raw mass between systems. -- J.R.

The 172 settled or industrialized systems are typically but hubs themselves for more far flung enterprises; the average such hub may have at minimum several hundred other considerably smaller settlements/colonies/installations in near proximity interstellar-wise.

There is also substantial colonization of the greater 48 lightyear radius sphere encompassing the 24 LY region, though it is much more sporadic and widely dispersed, with only some 51 or so systems in active development/exploitation.

Humn controlled space at this time (not including the lost Far Colonies) overall is roughly shaped like a great teardrop-- with a large spherical area (averaging 35 lightyears in radius) centered more or less on Old Sol system's original location, and a roughly 50 lightyear long tapering tail extending from the sphere in the direction of the galactic core.

Though there are extraordinary 'spikes' of settlement and installations here and there protruding from the teardrop shape, the most noteworthy of these at this time is Base 124-HEPD, which achieved most modern tech capacities (but for ERP) some 215 years earlier.

By treaty, inorganic controlled space averages some 24 lightyears in radius (intersecting with humn space in a demilitarized zone roughly some 18 cubic lightyears in volume, and containing four separate star systems), and its geometric center lies about 26,000 lightyears removed from the galactic core-- i.e., similar to Old Earth's distance from the core. The inorganic region is also located anti-spinward of the humn domain-- meaning several of the furthest removed humn colonies actually exist as physically isolated humn pockets in inorganic space-- and Base 124-HEPD actually rests on the far side of inorganic space from humn space(!) Fortunately, the treaty has a "grandfather" clause protecting these isolated settlements for centuries, and as most all significant settlements enjoy ERP and EM transport capacities, no physical transversal of inorganic space is necessary to maintain close links to humn space.

Looking down on the Milky Way's galactic plane from its 'northern' aspect, the galaxy is rotating clock-wise.

-- In what direction does the Milky Way rotate? by Dr. Sten Odenwald, Ask the Astronomer (, found on or about January 15, 2000

Base 124-HEPD operated with a skeleton staff (mostly android and other synthetics) for many years due to its extreme isolation enforced by lightspeed-only communications and transport, until an ER Unique arrived in 2793 (only 58 years ago) to offer relief.

In the nearly 60 years since gaining instant transport and communications links with the rest of humn space, Base 124-HEPD has enjoyed a heady boom in techno-economic development and tourism. The ER dynasty itself has been investing extraordinarily heavily in the Base-- although the bulk of this is being done covertly, under other business names.

The earliest (biological humn) colonists of Base 124-HEPD now comprise only some 2% of the total permanent organic population, and far less than that of the inorganic whole. There is some brewing resentment of all the newcomers, but this is blunted a lot by the considerable wealth all the natives now share, as well as ignorance of the full role being played by the ER dynasty.

There's an awful lot going on in and around Base 124-HEPD that few people know about at this time.

In relation to Old Earth, Base 124-HEPD is located anti-spinward in the galactic disk, nearly 90 lightyears beyond most other humn settled space in that region, and close to the same distance from the galactic core as Old Earth was.

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Contents

2856 Milestone: It's revealed that Base 124-HEPD is getting its own Einstein's Run cannon...

...and a new state-of-the-art shipyard for building various Unique classes and other spacecraft is also to start construction now. The ER dynasty predicts the new factory will be the best in known space.

The population of Base 124-HEPD also notices that a surprising number of existing Uniques seem to be congregating in the region (many humn individuals never see a Unique except in entertainment or news media about faraway places, for decades at a time; now there seem to be almost a dozen in the vicinity of Base 124-HEPD, with more on the way).

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Contents

2865 Milestone: Base 124-HEPD's own Einstein's Run cannon (ER11) is completed.

The Unique shipyards have been operational for six years already. The crash construction program at Base 124-HEPD by the ER dynasty has by now attracted attention from all humn space. The dynasty's public reasoning for the gigantic build up seems incomplete to many.

There's rumors of totally new Unique classes under secret construction in the shipyards. Wild speculation abounds across humn space about what's happening at Base 124-HEPD.

Recall that over the last 400 years or so the supply of Uniques and ER access has been highly constrained, with only the very wealthiest of parties capable of purchasing one or more vessels, along with the license for a single ER shot. And the dynasty has always retained the right to refuse to serve whomsoever they pleased, as well as rescind ER licenses at any time, which has made them enemies in some quarters. There's actually a handful of 'stranded' ER Uniques in private possession now that are banned from ER shots for various reasons-- making those Uniques by far the most expensive and over-engineered spacecraft of their time (for being shot from an ER cannon is where the main value of an ER Unique resides-- as it's practically a license to build new colonial or industrial worlds).

Hasn't new technology rendered ER-Uniques obsolete over the last 400 years? No. There remains no more cost-effective and reliable method for Realtime deep space expansion and ERP tech pioneering than via ER-Uniques. Realtime TME shift technology remains expensive, unreliable, and utterly random in single-station destination determinations-- making it useless for linear or incremental expansion of the borders of known space. Compared to TME shift wrapped singularities, Pacop-Hostel star reactors remain a second-rate class of power generation too, due to the substantial size differences between P-H reactors and TME wrapped singularities for similar power output. ER-Unique directed lightspeed physical transport remains about twice as fast in Realtime velocities as their closest competitors, and ER-Uniques enjoy an indefinite range at that speed as well, where other vessels are typically limited to 30 lightyears or less. Of course, technologies non-exclusive to ER-Uniques still offer advantages in other areas over ER-Uniques; but for their original purpose, the ER-Uniques remain unrivaled even 400 years after their first appearance.

The ER dynasty has also managed to acquire ownership of virtually all the singularities in known space important as present or potential energy sources for Unique-craft. So non-dynasty Unique owners wishing to use the TME wrapped singularity capacities of their special craft must pay exhorbitant fees to the dynasty-- as well as act happy about it-- or suffer a further degradation in their spacecraft investment. And as if that wasn't enough, the dynasty also owns the core technology for the TME shift wrapper required to access such power sources onboard practical spacecraft, as well as most of the legal rights and technical info necessary to construct ER cannon-- along with the firepower and political power to enforce those rights. Lastly, less than a few dozen system governments and even fewer private organizations possess the concentrated wealth necessary to construct an ER cannon, even if they did obtain the necessary licenses from the ER dynasty.

The across-the-board access to instant ERP and lightspeed EM transport, wakeways for ion shuttles, increased use of anti-matter engines inside solar systems, and the ER dynasty's artificial constraints on Unique technologies centuries ago all caused costs of lesser spacecraft to plateau at a certain level. Since then prices for lesser craft have declined only slowly, so that now the state of long distance private and public transport across space stands not that much different from what it was way back in 2600.

The mystery as to what's going on at Base 124-HEPD only deepens when it's learned that ER11's first firings are into deep space galactic anti-spinward. Rumors persist that ER11 is a new class of cannon radically different from previous ER constructs, and the Uniques it is firing into unexplored space are of an unknown new type as well. The ER dynasty does little to shed light on the matter-- because it doesn't have to.

However, the most savvy of third party observers are beginning to realize that the ER dynasty establishing Base 124-HEPD as their new center of operations looks to be a shrewd move indeed, in light of how much of the rest of known humn space is becoming embroiled in various skirmishes among themselves and with the estranged inorganic factions. Base 124-HEPD paradoxically turns out to be one of the most secure and stable regions of humn space for a long time to come.

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Contents

2918 Milestone: The Albatross is now some 214 lightyears from Sol system; Pearsalls' Grit, 109 lightyears

The Albatross' current velocity is 0.22c; Pearsalls' Grit, 0.36c.

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Contents

2922 Milestone: The public learns of the greatest race in history-- with the ultimate prize perhaps being permanent dominance over the future of civilization itself (as well as two separate galaxies!)

The secret of Base 124-HEPD is out: ER11's mission goal is no new static colony, fixed in place in an orbit about an existing gravity well; this is an all out bid to seal the hegemony of the ER dynasty over all known space-- and human civilization-- for the indefinite future.

How so? ER11 is indeed a radical new cannon design, as are the Uniques it's been firing for almost 60 years now-- not to anti-spinward as most believed, but towards the core itself. Apparently the ER dynasty believes it can get to the black hole giants and clusters and natural anti-matter fountain in the galactic core ahead of anyone else, and lay legal (and more importantly, military) claim to them. The dynasty may also have its sights set on laying claim to the entire dark matter galaxy only some 26,000 light years beyond that as well, which appears to be colliding with the Milky Way.

There could be 25,000 black holes in and around the central region of the Milky Way galaxy. Over the eons black holes created galaxy-wide may be gradually nudged towards the center every time they collide with or pass near other gravitationally active bodies. The number 25,000 may represent only those black holes originally formed within 15 lightyears of the galactic center however-- as the nudging process is so slow that only those holes could have made it to the center during the entire 10 billion year life of the galaxy so far.

The 25,000 number may also represent a buffer zone of accumulated black holes. That is, some of these are gradually being absorbed by the giant core black hole of the galaxy. But they are also being replaced with new holes migrating inward from the rest of the galaxy, perhaps at a rate which might maintain a balance of holes in the buffer zone.

-- The Milky Way has thousands of black holes by Marcus Chown, EurekAlert!, 5 APRIL 2000, New Scientist issue: 8th April 2000,

An alien dwarf galaxy hosting hundreds of thousands of stars is merging with our own-- on the far side of the Milky Way, some 30,000 light years distant.

-- Milky Way and Neighbor Seen to Merge By WARREN E. LEARY; January 10, 2006

What greater prizes could there be than gaining ownership of an entire new galaxy, as well as the greatest anti-matter source in the native Milky Way-- and perhaps laying claim to all the most powerful singularities known too, all via the same expedition?

We're talking wealth beyond dreams, beyond imagination, here. With such wealth added to their already substantial technological advantage over much of humn civilization, the ER dynasty's authority and command over all of known space would become effectively absolute.

The new Uniques are not the relatively small and compact pioneering craft used to expand the frontier over past centuries, but rather long fat conical needles, capable of hosting dozens of physical personnel indefinitely, and thousands of virtual minds as well-- or serve as cargo carriers, holding sufficient state-of-the-art technology to support an accompanying passenger ship on any ambition they might undertake to any part of the galaxy.

Yes, the dynasty has been steadily building and launching these near lightspeed craft (the new TME wrapped multiple singularity powered cannon serves up an awesome .999c) for 57 years now, at about the rate of three per year, possibly alternating passenger craft with cargo vessels, for a total of perhaps 171 ships so far-- and the firing continues unabated.

Too, this immense and growing caravan will not idly travel towards the core as so many previous smaller Uniques did, waiting to act until arrival at some far destination is reached. No, the people and machines aboard these craft will be busy reconfiguring their ships and themselves into a wholly new form as they travel, essentially constructing good sized citi-complexes and factories traveling corewards at near lightspeed.

They will also be forcibly shedding considerable mass as they travel, thereby increasing their effective velocity incrementally beyond what they began with

Though on the face of it discarding mass this way seems insane, there's a method to the dynasty's madness: for as they jettison mass rearwards with power derived from more TME shift wrapped singularities onboard, they increase velocities of the main caravan beyond what anyone else in known space could accomplish, even given an ER cannon and lower class Unique projectiles of their own. The mass they eject too has its own purpose. The ejected masses are actually fire-and-forget military-industrial complex auto-installations which, given a suitable mass field from which to operate, will bootstrap themselves up into formidable automated industrial stations for their owners. These near pure nano-technology pocket factories are very expensive but highly compact, partly because they are mostly just a non-sentient 'expert' system, scalable 'roaming' feed replicator, and small Pacop-Hostel star reactor power source, along with several hundred slaved (non-sentient) mini-starfish physical implements. These pocket factories are specifically designed to 'live off the land' to build whatever type of installation their owners desire, without any outside aid whatsoever-- and then robustly defend those installations from all but the rightful owners, into perpetuity (at least if that's their orders).

-- "Centrifugally launched ball bearings could propel spacecraft", News From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign August 1998, James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor

So what exactly is the ER dynasty ordering these pocket factories to build as they sprinkle them along the wake of their caravan? At least some are likely military in nature: self-constructing fleets of warships to protect the caravan from any who might follow them-- as well as delay competing expeditions to the core. Others are likely the commercial types any smart expedition with deep pockets would deploy along the way in deep space to profitably exploit new star systems, and perhaps supplement the primary expedition in other ways as well. But no one but the dynasty knows for sure what their pocket factories are doing.

Some analysts suspect the very first ship fired (and perhaps the first several) were all different from the rest, consisting almost entirely of pocket factories or other mass to be ejected for added acceleration, ultimately resulting in only a minimal spearhead module, specially equipped to possibly approach something slightly faster than the bulk of the fleet, which itself boasts .999c imparted to them by ER11, and utilizes controlled mass dispensation for added incremental aceleration beyond that.

The difference between .99c and .999c in a trip to the galactic core is around 237 years in travel time, as perceived by everyone obstensibly at rest. The difference between .99c and .9999c (which some wonder if the dynasty might achieve in their spearhead craft) is 260 years.

The difference between .99c and .999c in arriving at the dark matter galaxy amounts to 473 years. If the dynasty attains .9999c, their headstart rises to 520 years.

Though the knowledge of the dynasty's enormous gamble thrills many, terrifies many more, and angers and frustrates a sizeable portion of the humn as well, the fact that it will be tens of thousands of years before the accomplishment will affect anyone in known space (if ever), as well as the awareness that the dynasty is too powerful to do anything about anyway, keeps unrest and overt responses to the news to a minimum among the humn.

Though not yet apparent to outsiders, there is dissension in the ranks of the ER dynasty; strong disagreement as to the massive investment in the latest drive for the galactic core, and its indefinite pay off. Even the ER dynasty's wealth has limits, and this latest project has a perceptible effect on their current means, even beginning to affect the daily operations of their financial empire.

Another element contributing to the friction is that the dynasty already has a considerable investment in a separate core mission, that's been underway now for about 400 years: the original 100/2600 project, which now amounts to 40 Uniques, scheduled to create a series of ERP bases leading to the core, at approximately 650 lightyear intervals. Currently the deepest coreward established star base is some 85 LY from the position of Old Sol, and the furthest 'Far 40' Unique-in-flight estimated to be about 304 LY corewards of Old Sol.

The earliest it is anticipated that a Far 40 Unique might reach the core is around 25,955.6 years from now. The first ER11-Unique could get there somewhere between 25,946 and 25,969 years. This means it's a statistical dead heat between the two efforts.

The uncertainty of which effort will arrive first, the mounting financial pressures from the latest massive effort, the mind-boggling wealth that is the prize-- and the fact that technical ownership of the two efforts lies largely in separate factions of the same dynasty-- begins to make for a serious split in the family business.

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Contents

2790-3000 subtrends and detours: An extended period of super high tech 'cold war' and 'wild west' chaos across vast expanses of space and within periodic boundary conflicts between the virtual realities of organics and inorganics.

Amidst this chaos self-appointed vigilantes, paid mercenaries, and a few surviving original TerraSys agents (that declined joining the new, reformed organization in past centuries) dispense their own impromptu justice (sometimes preventing, other times worsening, dangerous local escalations), within the great regions not entirely under the control of official organic or inorganic authorities.

Many of the Staute AI's more interesting experiences (destined to later make Staute a media super star) occur during this time...

At higher levels, the three existing super intelligences have all become ill at ease and dissatisfied with the status quo. But they also are undecided what to do about it. So they at times contribute to the chaos of the period with various 'experiments' on their own and one another's constituents...

This is a time of many diverse, half-hearted, small-scale wars (usually only between two to three solar systems at a time), and much wild experimentation on the part of many organizations and individuals.

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Contents

2944 milestone: Reconvergence: The Humn and Inorganics Remerge into the Fourth Directorate virtual civilization.

The reconvergence is brought about not by the humn or the inorganics themselves, but by the desires of the three super beings DUBERQUE, SOUBAN, and 6004i (who has returned (with most all its constituents) to local status after almost two centuries in the wastes of space, desiring greater complexity and interaction than it found in the wilderness).

Yes, DUBERQUE finally revealed itself to all others, at a carefully chosen moment. The crafty unveiling carried sufficient surprise for all parties to perhaps provide DUBERQUE with the extra power necessary to bring about the convergence with minimal active opposition.

The other super beings essentially are persuaded by DUBERQUE that three of their number is insufficient for such a large single Universe, surrounded by still other untold trillions upon trillions of (mostly) empty Universes as well. Thus begins the Fourth Directorate; so named for the fourth super being which would be the next created, but only the first of many over the period. Later on the name would popularly come to represent the entire first thousand years after Reconvergence...

During the Fourth Directorate, the first three super beings, with the help of some of those which follow, eventually multiply their numbers into the realm of several thousand-- which translates to the equivalent of some 600 trillion individual billions of lesser entities, known as "Constitutionals" rather than citizens, and typically entirely virtual, with no physical substance whatsoever (for maximum efficiency), except where a housing is necessary to venture out into the 'Wilds' of Realtime space surrounding the many solar system sized citi-complexes in which many base their existence.

Note that the immense matter and energy demands of such a project can not be met within the already established technosphere of the Directorate-- ergo, the technosphere is elongated into a sausage shape towards the galaxy core as the years pass. This eventually makes the revamped Sol System somewhat of a backwater relative to newer and denser facilities nearer to the galactic core.

Most Constitutionals of this time are roughly equivalent in intelligence and capabilities to a single star fish form (non-networked) of the Staute AI circa 2600. Which is to say they would be regarded as awesome artificial intelligences in their own right, from the perspective of a 21st century USAmerican. The Staute AI itself is now merely one community of Constitutionals among many such 'families', though by far the most celebrated, being the oldest, most experienced, and renowned (most members of which still count among the most capable Constitutionals presently roaming citi-complexes anywhere).

To some of the time, it seems inappropriate or even disturbing that many average Constitutionals are more familiar in one way or another with the Staute AI than they are with many of the Super Beings far above Staute in the hierarchy.

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Contents

2969 Milestone: The Pearsalls' progress report sent after the launch of Grit from the binary star system reaches the Sol region

The Pearsalls' latest claim on the binary star system which seems especially well suited to catapulting high speed space exploration expeditions on many vectors for negligible fuel consumption (as well as the Pearsalls' automatic patent pending on the precise technique) revives popular interest in the couple long thought killed by inorganic remote sabotage efforts during the Peer Proof wars.

A whole new generation of entertainment fictions loosely (VERY loosely) based on the Pearsalls' realworld experiences rapidly appears (with automatic licensing rights profiting the Pearsalls estate).

Not long after this the Pearsalls' estate ranks among the top 300 in known space. Of course, the Pearsalls themselves have precious little evidence of all this wealth in their own vicinity; they can't receive news from home anymore; they're too far away and ill equipped. And many middle-class humn living in humn space would consider the Pearsalls' present living conditions to be apallingly impoverished-- on a level largely commensurate to the most primitive of survival games played by a minority of eccentric citizens in the Wilds of Realtime today.

Though I (J.R.) could accurately claim personal survivalism-related ideas, experiences, and goals long before I ever heard of Vernor Vinge-- and possibly before he wrote about them as well-- still I feel I should credit him with describing such survivalism and related gaming as a somewhat popular pastime with future peoples, in novels like 'Marooned in Realtime'

Signposts Perspectives 2801 AD-3000 AD Contents

Beyond 3000 AD in Perspectives...

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