The storyline of the music album of the same name
It began five centuries ago. It is impossible to say exactly when, because time is relative, and history itself is very long. In that era, humanity has already acquired immortality. Not absolute. It’s just that no one could say for sure how long the youngest would live – their biological bodies were no longer subject to such rapid aging, were invulnerable to pathogenic microorganisms, did not wear out to the extent that it still happened at our turn of the millennium. The natural mortality rate has approached zero. And this was the impetus for the colonization of the planets of the Solar System – earthlings settled and adapted them all for a comfortable life, including large asteroids and ice icebergs in the Oort cloud.
Interplanetary communication technologies have brought astrodynamics to the level of cellular communications in the past. And at the same time they opened a new way to interstellar travel – it turned out that the required speed can be developed not so much by engines as by gravitational maneuvers – both in the gravitational fields of the planets and in the stars in the way. Of course, the journey to the first star remained very long, but the very first expedition managed to reach the Alpha Centauri system and gain a foothold on one of the planets. According to indirect information, they managed to establish colonies and other pioneers of the Earth – near more distant stars. Humanity has become not only an interplanetary species, but also an interstellar one.
However, it could not yet be considered a galactic civilization – a lot of white spots on the galactic map remained even then. The opposite sector of the Milky Way, on the other side of the center, was completely unexplored. It was inaccessible to the space telescopes of the Solar Commonwealth, and even the colonists from the nearest stars could not learn anything new about this “Sector C”.
It was in the direction of this Sector that the most daring expedition once started. It was necessary to fly “to the other end of the Galaxy”, and it was initially impossible to plot a clear course. Gravitational jumps from star to star, accelerating the ship to almost the speed of light, were visible only a few moves ahead, and there were supposed to be thousands of them. There was no exact map of the Galaxy, taking into account all the movements of the stars for thousands of years ahead. Yes – it was thousands, tens of thousands of years to fly. This flight, in addition to everything, could become a test for immortality – will there be enough biological resource of the ship’s crew to get to the target? The flight turned into the passage of an endless maze, where each next step – a wrong turn when choosing the next star for a jump – could lead to a dead end, but could also bring it closer to the goal if you were able to guess.
Surprisingly, even then, the earthlings had not yet met brothers in mind. Several radio signals of clearly artificial origin were received, which could not be deciphered. And once in the vicinity of the solar system, a strange apparatus was caught – a semblance of an automatic station, which was launched from Earth in the second half of the 20th century. The technical level of implementation of the device was extremely low. And in the Solar Commonwealth, the opinion has strengthened that we are the most advanced civilization in the Galaxy. This had to be verified. Although there was another point of view – that more advanced civilizations do not consciously manifest themselves.
It makes no sense to describe a flight of two hundred thousand years. The expedition successfully reached Sector C. And although they were already completely different people – time without communication raises the mind along different branches of development, but in any case, these were the messengers of the Earth, who went through a grandiose star labyrinth. A series of final jumps slowed the ship as it approached an open cluster of stars shrouded in the veil of a planetary nebula – a supernova exploded here thousands of years ago. From the side of the ship, the flash was not visible – it was obscured by an extended dusty nebula. In addition, none of the crew could be sure that the star maze would lead to this particular cluster – Sector C is like an orange slice – a significant part of the Galaxy. And you could finish anywhere. Fate suggested this nebula.
By the time they arrived here, the messengers of the Earth did not grow old and did not stop in development. Indeed, in flight, it was necessary to solve all new navigation problems, and between jumps it was possible to improve something in the design of the ship itself. Over two hundred thousand years, this led to the fact that a completely different starship reached Sector C – it would not have been recognized on Earth and might have been mistaken for an alien transport. And the cosmonauts themselves were already of a completely different kind – the proportions of the body had changed and many physiological processes were not to be enumerated. The main thing is that they continued to consider the Earth and the Solar Commonwealth as their homeland. And everything that they tried to learn here, they did for humanity, of which they continued to be.
The first impression of the system of stars inside the nebula was similar to that which occurs on the ruins of ancient cities, or, perhaps, in a cemetery. The Messengers of the Earth have not experienced these feelings for a very long time. Such experiences, one might say, were beyond the scope of their life experience, but here it was felt in such a mystical way, as if they were catching the broadcast of someone’s experiences from the past.
Many planets have been discovered around the stars of the cluster. Almost all of them were once inhabited and looked like the planets of the Solar Commonwealth, but as if a devastating tsunami swept over them. A supernova explosion wiped out cities and settlements from the surface of these planets, leaving only ruins. The study of the ruins on different planets revealed their similarity – the creatures that inhabited them were part of one civilization that united hundreds of cluster stars. Inside it, they created their own transport labyrinth – similar to the one that the messengers of the Earth passed on their way here, only in miniature. Of course, all connections were destroyed by the flash. But apparently, civilization assumed such an outcome and prudently left this place, leaving everything that was once built. But are they all gone?
If it was possible to retrospectively recreate the once destroyed system, it would be grand even by the standards of the inhabitants of the Solar Commonwealth of the XXVI century. By the way, since the start of the first interstellar flight in the Solar Commonwealth, the starting point has changed, and centuries have been counted since the beginning of the Stellar Era – Era Sidereum, abbreviated as ES. The start to Sector C took place in III ES – in the third century of the Star Age. And the messengers of the Earth arrived in the destination area already in their own time system, because during the flight at a speed close to light, the clocks on the ship and on the Earth diverged very much. It was difficult, almost impossible to tell where how much time had passed. Including here – in Sector C.
It may be worth mentioning why “C” is also from Latin – “Opposite Sector” (Galaxy) scientists of the Solar Commonwealth referred to as “Sector Contrarium” or abbreviated “Sector C”. In the Star Era, the linguistic diversity in the Commonwealth noticeably decreased – everyone actually communicated in one language – a new one, which occurred as a mixture of English and Spanish, and since both have rather Latin roots, the ancient language of Rome at some point literally revived from the ashes of history and, in fact, again became the basis of communication at least in the world of science. And in the world of art – too, with the proviso that the line between these worlds was practically erased by the beginning of Era Sidereum.
In Sector C, the messengers of the Earth turned into archaeologists – for centuries excavating ruins on one or another planet, until they suddenly discovered that they were not alone here. On one of the planets – on the outskirts of the cluster – they finally met those whom they had been looking for for thousands of years. These were living creatures – generally similar to Earthlings – if you get used to a number of features of their appearance. Earthlings were highly advanced in technology and biology, but they had no experience of communicating with other cosmic beings. And the first meeting almost fell through. The natives hid in their hiding places. And after a while, the base station of earthlings received a very familiar radio signal – almost the same that was once received by the radio telescopes of the solar system. But now it has been deciphered. It was a warning about an imminent supernova explosion. The message was repeated many times before the Earthlings could reply in the same language. And then the contact took place.
This was the first contact of representatives of the Earth civilization. But it took place not at all on Earth and not even near it, but in the opposite sector of the Galaxy. It was worth the flight for that alone.
It was a contact of completely different creatures at different levels of development. The former greatness of a bygone civilization was not preserved in those of its descendants who chose to stay here despite the supernova explosion. And the destruction of their world threw the survivors back thousands of years. They themselves were unable to rebuild their labyrinth and have not left their planet since. Only occasionally did they send a signal to the star – the same one – the only one preserved in the record. But something else remained – it was their history, their ideas, their technologies, which they themselves perceived as a religion and were afraid to touch, use to restore what was lost. But this is exactly what the earthlings proposed to do. For the messengers of the Earth, it was a contact with the incomprehensible experience of a civilization that was many times superior in development to the Solar Commonwealth, and for the inhabitants of the ruined world, it was a chance to continue their stellar path.
Needless to say, agreement was not reached immediately. But the Earthlings were in no hurry, and the local residents, by and large, did not have a better option, and at some point they trusted the people.
The restoration of the system of this cluster took a time comparable to the time of the flight to Sector C – it was a much more creative and eventful era than the entire previous history of the Earth. You can talk about it endlessly, but probably – in another memory of mine. Here I will only report that when the transport tunnels between all the stars of the cluster again lit up in the night sky of this world with ultraviolet filaments, and the cities were filled with life, the messengers of the Earth remembered their planet.
Somewhere there – hundreds of thousands of light years away, a star named the Sun can also throw off its shell, washing its planets with a hot plasma. Are People there ready to leave everything, go to other stars, so that in the same way – almost from scratch – to build their new world in a new place? Perhaps the experience gained in Sector C will help the Solar Commonwealth as well? And if so, then it’s time to dive into the Star Maze again, jump from star to star, and maybe we still have time to see the Earth before the Sun goes out.
Album “Star maze»Fully presented in the video clip – at the very beginning of the publication. You can listen to it in full on a special page: https://neane.ru/rus/4/katalog/0909.htm… It also offers download options – in MP3 or FLAC. There is a CD.