Classification: TOP SECRET / FAR HORIZONS EYES ONLY
Location: Scattered Disc
We already know the Factors don’t trust the Pandora gates and they have managed to survive for quite a long time, so placing backups for human civilization on a world easily accessible via Pandora gates seems foolish to the extreme. I’m betting the Factors are correct, which is why Operation FAR HORIZONS is pursuing a radical alternative to the various refuges. We recently constructed a small micrograv habitat with the same capabilities as Operation FORCED RETIREMENT sanctuaries inside a large Kuiper Belt object, then built a small torus around it. Then, we ﬁtted it with a magnetic sail and, three months ago, launched it. We’re using a magnetic sail because a fusion drive ﬂare would let everyone know exactly where we’re going. Currently, the only way to locate the cometship is to know exactly where to look for it. So far, only a few astronomers have noticed it, and the cometship looks no different from other efforts to colonize the Oort Cloud.
Our plans, of course, are to go a whole lot further. Our destination is Lalande 21185, a red dwarf star 8 light years away. We know it has one gas giant the size of Saturn, another the size of Neptune, a pair of terrestrial planets, and a large asteroid belt. It’s not a big planetary system, but it should have sufﬁcient resources for any reasonable purpose. The magnetic sail powering the comet has gotten it heading out of the solar system, but at its current speed, it will take around 20,000 years to reach its destination. We trust our nanotech, but that might be too long for anything transhumanity can currently build. However, we’re working on constructing a series of particle beams at various points around the Kuiper Belt that we will aim at the magnetic sail. If we succeed in constructing these particle beams, we can get the ship going 30 to 150 times faster, allowing it to arrive after only a few centuries.
Our plan is for the ship to activate once it is within a year or two of its destination, bringing a few dozen of the stored minds to consciousness and starting to grow or build bodies for the rest. We picked Lalande 21185 because no one has found a Pandora gate that accesses this star system, and it’s near enough for us to possibly reach it within a reasonable time. We also hope that it will be too far away for anything that destroys transhumanity in the solar system to worry about.
Currently, the ship is at around 300 AU from the sun, meaning that it’s barely within egocasting range. We plan to send out occasional one-way forks with updates on a periodic basis for as long as we can. These forks are under orders to conduct maintenance tasks and then put themselves in storage. They are to maintain radio silence unless there is an emergency on the ship.
The backup server that completed and launched the Grailhunter is very proud of the cometship and hopes you will be too. The future of transhumanity may very well rest on the efforts of long-term survival projects like this.