Dienstag, 17. Juni 2014

"We can model the world as a wilderness"

Dieser Blog ist in erster Linie all den Textfragmenten, Gedankenfetzen und kleinen Nebenprojekten gewidmet, die zu vollenden oder an anderer Stelle zu veröffentlichen mir die Zeit fehlt. Dabei mache ich keinen Unterschied zwischen Prosa, Politik, Fotos, Spielen, Codefragmenten oder Pornodrehbüchern. Was in meinem Schädel und Terminkalender (ja, ich besitze jetzt einen solchen) keinen Platz mehr findet, landet hier, in der vagen Hoffnung, dass es vielleicht irgendjemanden erheitern oder, wahlweise, schockieren möge.

Auch werde ich es mir nicht nehmen lassen, gelegentlich mit dem einen oder anderen Meilenstein aus meinen größeren Unternehmungen zu prahlen. Wer also schon immer einmal wissen wollte, wie man einen hausgroßen Roboter möglichst CPU-schonend in Stücke hackt oder wie viel es kostet, ein Hardcover nicht zu veröffentlichen, der ist hier bestens aufgehoben.

In diesem Sinne will ich die Reihe mit einem kurzen Einführungstext beginnen, den ich vor ein paar Monaten für das Mecha-Projekt geschrieben habe:

Hellhole. No man's land. The grand scrapyard. Mankind's greatest mistake. Castellan's fourth planet is known by many names, none of them particularly flattering. Those unfortunate enough to call it home, however, have dubbed it Solace.

Founded a few hundred years ago as the first permanent settlement outside the solar system, our little colony represented all of humanity's pride and power. The planet our ancestors picked was rich in minerals, very close in mass and temperature to Earth itself, even had a trace atmosphere. With the recent advances in terraforming and bioengineering, the colony was predicted to become self-sustained within two or three generations and, eventually, mature into a second Earth. For about a decade, the future looked brighter than ever before.

Our eventual apocalypse, as the saying goes, was brought about in equal parts by good intentions and terrible management. Solace was, above everything else, a prestige project. The terraforming efforts soon became a race between the superpowers, each of them pouring ridiculous sums into the project, sometimes exceeding their contractual obligations by several orders of magnitude. Bleeding edge technology was pushed out the gate as soon as it was operable. By the time a new system had, after a journey of two or three Earth years, finally reached its destination, it was already outdated. Eventually, the costs of maintaining all the installations skyrocketed, while cargo space for replacement parts and personnel remained scarce.

One after another, the main investors cut their losses, leaving the project to those with less noble agendas. Solace became a mining outpost and a testing ground for whatever new technology was deemed unsafe or unethical on the established colonies. Fewer and fewer supply ships arrived, noncritical infrastructure fell into disrepair. Even the mining operations were abandoned once the richest deposits had been depleted.

In the end, the colony barely reached self sufficiency, still relying on shipments from other planets for new technology and non-essential goods, trading mostly basic materials and industrial equipment in return.

By the time I record these words, however, no supply ship has reached our planet for several years. All outside communication has ceased and rumours spread like cancer. We're cut off from the rest of humanity, afraid, helpless and frustrated. People start hoarding food and water. Raising walls. Even building weapons. God alone knows how this will end, but anyone born on this forsaken planet knows one thing for sure: It will not be pretty. Nothing ever is on Solace.

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