Excerpt from A Past Outside of Time Terror of the Endless Night
Superficially, research and development of lightspeed spaceflight died for obvious reasons: to avoid advance exposure of the existence of Earth civilization by the trails generated from curvature propulsion, and to prevent increasing the Solar System’s danger value in the eyes of observers elsewhere in the cosmos, either of which might have led to an earlier dark forest strike. But there were deeper reasons, too.
From the Common Era to the end of the Crisis Era, humanity looked at the stars with hope. But the first few steps they took toward the stars resulted in failure and pain. The tragic Doomsday Battle revealed the extent of humanity’s fragility in the cosmos, and the internecine warfare of the Battle of Darkness had injured the human spirit in equal measure. Later events, such as the judgment of Bronze Age and the hijacking of Gravity by Blue Space, resulting in the universal broadcast, all deepened these wounds and elevated the pain to the level of philosophy.
As a matter of fact, most of the general public was relatively uninvested in the quest for lightspeed spaceships. They believed that even if such ships could be built within their lifetimes, they would have no chance of making use of them.
They cared far more about the Bunker Project, which seemed the most practical path to survival. To be sure, they also cared for the Black Domain Plan, because three centuries of horror had infused them with a strong desire for a serene life, and the Black Domain Plan promised just such a life. Although people were disappointed at the prospect of being sealed off from the rest of the universe, the Solar System itself was large enough that the disappointment was tolerable. The reason they were more interested in the Bunker Project than the Black Domain Plan was because even laypeople could see the extreme technical challenges of slowing down lightspeed, and generally agreed that it was unlikely for mere Man to complete God’s Engineering Project.
On the other hand, both staunch opponents and fervent supporters of lightspeed spaceships belonged to the elite classes of society.
The faction in support of researching lightspeed spaceflight believed that the ultimate security of the human race required expansion into the Milky Way and settlement among the stars. In this unfeeling cosmos, only outward-facing civilizations had a chance of survival, and isolationism ultimately led to annihilation. Those who held such views generally did not oppose the Bunker Project, but passionately despised the Black Domain Plan, viewing it as an attempt to dig humankind’s own grave. Even though they conceded that a black domain would guarantee the long-term survival of the human race, they saw such life as death for the civilization.
The faction opposed to researching lightspeed vessels felt this way for political reasons. They believed that human civilization had suffered many trials before reaching a nearly ideal democratic society, but once humanity headed for space, it would inevitably regress socially. Space was like a distorting mirror that magnified the dark side of humanity to the maximum. A line from one of the Bronze Age defendants, Sebastian Schneider, became their slogan:
When humans are lost in space, it takes only five minutes to reach totalitarianism.
For a democratic, civilized Earth to scatter innumerable seeds of totalitarianism among the Milky Way was a prospect that these people found intolerable.
The child that was human civilization had opened the door to her home and glanced outside. The endless night terrified her so much that she shuddered against the expansive and profound darkness, and shut the door firmly.
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