Fiction

Staring off into the illusion of distance

Looking up, you wouldn’t know how artificial the sky is. We haven’t experienced a real sunset for many ages.

The mechanochemical shell of our sphere is basically the same stuff that we use to fix broken bones, super hard and only stronger when put under stress. Bit by bit the atomic structure of it is repaired and updated in an un-ending process run by nanobots linked to the central AI. It is this AI which gives us our fake passage of time.

We still talk about days and years, but really, the only true known time is what is recorded against our health charts. The cumulative age of cells. This body has lived this time-span. It was born when this body before it was so “old”.  The cells in it have been replenished so many times. I guess it might be longer than on Earth. Each lifetime sees the health of all improve. Forty is the new twenty, they say. How long have we been stretching out our lifetimes?

This was the great problem with leaving Sol. We lost an important time-marker. Sometimes though, you have to go while the going’s good.

Jaxon was on a hillside sitting quietly with his friend Henri, watching the slow creep of dark as the lights got shut off one by one. 

“I checked out some glass on Ancient Earth.”

Henri was rolling a ten-side die. “Eight and higher I will read it.”

“Serious. It’s hard to picture. Like trying to see a different dimension.”

“Seven… too bad.”

The temperature dipped. It was an important part of the nightcues. 

“I can’t imagine being warmed by a star.”

“We’re always warmed by a star. That’s why we travel, to keep within warmth of a star.”

“Well yes, but I mean, directly.”

“You want to be an asteroid jumper? Enjoy the radiation death Jax.”

That wasn’t what he meant, but he played along. “I guess the pay is good.”

 

 

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