Author's Commentary: "Kappa Salvage"
Topically, this week’s story probably isn’t the cleanest of the bunch. I do try to keep the story on-theme, so to speak, but it just so happened that as the story evolved, a few elements from the upcoming topics (which I’ve been thinking about) wormed their way into this story. Absent megastructures, for one, and (a minor spoiler) black holes, as well. I think the premise of this one may go all the way back to the classical architecture and archaeology I studied long ago. I always found it pretty interesting that a city can get buried under layers of newer civilization and dirt. I don’t remember the exact reasons that cities like Troy got buried under great big mounds of dirt, but they did. In Rome, I know they expect to have to go down quite a bit to get to the Classical Rome layer and dig it up, unless they’ve already dug it up for tourists to come visit or are still using it, like the Pantheon of Marcus Agrippa.
So, what would a space archeologist find of space civilizations? I always had this idea of things millions of years old still being pristine and looking new after thousands of years in a vacuum. But then you hear about the strikes that the Voyagers have taken over just 40-50 years and the fact that the Webb has already taken a strike too, in like weeks! So, it’s hard to believe anyone finding one of the Voyagers in a million years will be playing that golden record. Moral of the story, I guess, entropy wins…unless it doesn’t. Hat tip to the Civilizations at the End of Time series.
Hope you enjoy!