Copyright 2009 by Hylton Smith
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the publisher,
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters and incidents are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.
Sincere thanks to Rhys J. Smith and Anne Flint for their patience, support and suggestions.
Now that the hype was finally over the real mission could at last get underway. Leaving the space elevator and boarding the most sophisticated exploration vessel humanity could engineer seemed to have been overshadowed by the never-ending broadcasts. The hopes of the species rested in their hands.
The year was 2033, and the project had been planned for 20 years. The projections had indicated meltdown of the increasingly tenuous balance of world food supply, energy and raw material requirement, climate change and population growth. Programmes designed to offset the tipping point were not enough to achieve the trend reversal in time. These counter-effects such as research on food synthesis, alternate fuels, recycling, coupled with more viral pandemics, were themselves affected in different ways by the advent of nanotechnology. This branch of science offered lower energy food production and manufactured goods and at the same time extended life expectation with artificial organs. The mathematical modelling suggested an additional dimension had to be explored with immediate effect. The most surprising element in this undertaking was the relatively short time it took for the global acceptance of such a venture. When everyone is threatened by a common enemy, unification becomes the new currency.