This is the 33rd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
Utopian Dreams of the Absent Minded Author, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 3rd January 2012
Word count: 765
Theme: peace, desire, future, hope, utopia, dreams
It was early in the twenty third century that mankind finally found peace with itself. It was thanks to those early colonists, those pioneers of mankind, establishing worlds to settle on, a system of laws, a trade network they put resources in everyone’s reach.
However there was a creeping problem, stagnation. Birth and death rates were kept in balance by what was seen in the past as draconian birth control laws, which were now a fundamental necessity of life in limited sized colonies.
Technological development slowed as the need for a life of constant change subsided. With a stable population, for whom all the needs were met, empire building was no longer a priority, mankind stopped spreading.
It was peace, but towards the start of the twenty fourth century in the Alpha Centauri colony, there was the growing realisation of the looming stagnation. A small group gathered to try to resolve the situation, how to stimulate the human race. There were many ideas, and a lot of resistance for every idea from the government of Alpha Centauri. The government saw only risk to every idea the group tried to present, and refused to be involved or provide resources.
The group persisted in their endeavours, without government assistance. The group grew, within five years there were two thousand members all pooling resources, time and effort, within ten years there were fifteen thousand members of the colony committed to resolving the problem.
The solution was to establish a new colony. The group worked long and hard, salvaging frame, hulls, and other parts from retired and wrecked ships, building up stores the new colony would need.
By the middle of the twenty fourth century they had a working long range colony transport, the first for two centuries. The fully operational colony ship could carry no more than two thousand people, with supplies for two years, building materials and tools needed to build the first colony buildings. Even though the ship would only carry two thousand, and most of the instigators of the humanity solution were now too old to be a part of the voyage, enthusiasm barely waned, people continued to pour in their resources. Work was already beginning on a second colony ship, as skills and resources became spare from the first colony ship.
On the Earth calendar it was the 16th September 2467 when mankind’s first colony ship for two hundred years launched. It was heralded with much fanfare, there were celebrations as the government of the colony even got involved, swayed by the mass feeling.
As the news spread, other colonial ship projects were instigated in neighbouring colonies, and the momentum carried the colonial fever further and further.
That first of a new wave of colonial ships travelled far, all existing colonies were grouped within a space that could be traversed from one end to the other inside of a year at high burn. The first new colony went further, passing the two year mark, and then as a third approached finally the new colonists found a habitable planet. It was a hard life, with no natural plant life, and a lot of work needed to reach the point where it would support life outside of carefully constructed domes.
In the decades that followed though, those two thousand colonists survived the hardships of a new planet, working tirelessly they made a garden called Paradise, and then spread it further and further outwards, buildings were dotted around, with an eye for aesthetics the new colony would grow to be considered the most beautiful of the colonised worlds of humanity. The decades of work weren’t for nothing, they new colony, by then named in it’s entirety as Paradise’s Landing, the garden planet could produce far greater supplies of precious fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruit and veg were frozen and shipped out en masse to the other colonies, which in turn provided supplies that Paradise’s Landing could not provide itself. The free trade, and careful laws that had created a stable and peaceful colonial system in the early days continued to provide peace and stability in the newer colony words.
Over time, the spirit of the new colonies carried on, whenever a colony reached a certain size or level of productivity, a call was put out to start the new construction and supply of the next colony ship. The new colony ship would venture out further still, spreading a glowing sheen of a peaceful humanity among the stars. Planetary systems that weren’t visible to even the best telescopes of Earth, but they were out there a twinkling hope for all mankind.