# The Captain's Tale ## The Ruins of Enceladus #### by Brent M. Werness ### Preface ![](https://writings.stephenwolfram.com/data/uploads/2015/11/space-network.png) % I'm writing this basically because I think watching documentaries about John Young is incredibly compelling in particular from "In the Shadow of the Moon". I want to envision a future where we can take the roll of a similar character. You look across the table at the woman you are here to interview. Captain Elizabeth Vaughan looks rather unassuming in person---about 5'1", age 75, and slight of build. While she clearly had grown weary with old-age, every so often you catch a glint of fierceness in her eyes. Of course, you knew to expect that. If her work on Enceladus proved anything, it was that she was not timid! Back before the mega-corps bought out the world's governments, she was the GSA explorer who discovered of the ruins under the seas of Enceladus. Breifly, this united the world in a sense of awe. Can't sell awe, and tourism to a distant moon is only the domain of they hyper-wealthy, so the Global Space Agency was quietly disbanded about ten years after the discovery. % The GSA is the global space Agency ### The Interview * hello *everything *hi % A solar-cycler is a solar sail on a cyclical orbit that goes between earth, loops close to the sun, and then swings out to saturn, and back again. The close approach to the sun is to make good use solar pressure. The three-year number is from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_sail "Did you spend three years in a solar-cycler to just stare at me across the table?" *hi *hello there You should probably get your interview started. 1. interview 2. ... 3. PROFIT! $$f(x) = \begin{cases} x & x > 0, \\ 0 & \text{otherwise}. \end{cases}$$ $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac {1}{n^s} = \prod_p^\infty \frac {1}{1-p^{-s}}\text{ for }s > 1\,\,\ (p \text{ is prime)}$$ You think to your neural interface, "Zaphod, begin recording." Without a moment's hesitation, the screen in your contact lens immediately responds. File Opening...Opened. 2173.01.04-Eli-Vau.vid >>>> RECORDING <<<< --> +story ___ > Solar-cycler? > Three years in what? > A solar what? +story --> +iam.naive She rolls her eyes and looks at me with a face half way inbetween surprise and distain. "You mean to say that you spent **three years** on a spaceship, and you never once thougth to look up where it went or how it worked? You were on a solar sail ship that took a dive close in to the sun to get a massive kick out to Saturn. Shaved about 3 years off a direct trajectory by doing so!" ___ > What was the GSA like? > How was it in the Agency? > Tell me about the age of exploration? > What is the GSA? +story --> +story.gsa -test.term She gives a disinterested shrug and shakes her head. "You want to know about that? What's there to say that isn't in the books already? Formed in 2107 by the merger of NASA, the ESA, and JAXA. In 2123, the CNSA and Roscosmos joined as well to form one big happy agency. Explored every corner of the solar system until 2177 when those damned Trillies yanked the inductor on us." % Let's make the year 2187 for the 10th anniversary of the closing of the GSA. % "Yanked the Inductor" is designed to be an inductive charging version of "pulled the plug," and "Trillies" is a shortening of trillionaires. There are 7 of them, and they run the world's mega-corps. ___ > Yanked the inductor? +story.gsa --> "What can I say? I'm a little folksy." ___ > Trillies? > What are trillies? > Not fond of the trillionaires? "Don't call `em that back on Earth? The trillionaires that run the world. The 7 CEOs of mega-corperations that control 90% of the wealth in the solar system." +story.gsa --> +iam.naive ___ > Tell me about yourself. > What's your story? > What brought you to Enceladus? +story --> +story.self "My story? Sure. Born in 2112 in Bozemann Montana. Fairly unremarkable as a child. Spent most my time in the treking in the mountains, and not enough on school work. Learned later that I woulda been good at it, as you know, but it wasn't on my mind." % The "as you know" is a reference to later in the story where she will somehow be dramatically required to learn very rapidly an alien language to escape a dangerous situation (maybe?). She takes a deep gulp from her drink and looked off into the distance. "Due to the lack of significant schooling, when I went for a job nobody fancy would take me. Eventually got into the GSA through an uncle who worked in telemetry systems. Got in through the asteroid mining corps, where I spent my first 5 years. Musta done something right since I got called up when they needed to bore the big hole in the ice on Encel for the grand ocean expedition. The rest is history as they say." % Encel is short for Enceladus ___ > Encel? > What is Encel? +story.self --> +iam.naive "You really don't get off Earth very often do you! Encel is Enceladus---the moon of Saturn!" ___ > Tell me about the ruins. > What was burried under the oceans? > What was on Enceladus? +story --> +story.ruins "The ruins were on the equator. Surrounded an underwater hot spot in the rocks where a perpetual geyser lived---like an underwater Ol' Faithful."