Many moons ago when I was living a lonely time in the sub Arctic city of Leeds I would while away the night hours getting stoned and building a universe. Using a worldbuilding program called Astrosynthesis I populated a region of space in the neighbouring galaxy of the Large Magellanic Cloud with worlds, peoples and stories in a science fiction milieu of my own devising which had been developing in me since I was 10.
My grand dream was to create a “Google Earth” of this little bubble of adventure, horror and far out science fiction wizardry in the sibling galaxy to our own. It would something like the video game Frontier:Elite II, a game which stole part of my teenage years as a pilot of a starship in which I lived out Han Solo like fantasies of hoping from star system to star system.
As the nights went on I would let weed and the internet inspire new worlds and civilisations in backdrop of an Atlantis like fallen civilisation which committed a terrible sin 10,000 years ago and saw all it’s posthuman wonders turn in on itself in an orgy of apocalyptic destruction. After the Fall the tattered remnants of the hubristic humans did battle with rogue AIs, subserviant biological playthings turning against their creators and anti-technological cults receeding back to simpler rustic lifestyles on decaying megastructures they no longer understand.
Into this drug fuelled space opera I thrust our descendants, a somewhat utopian (and smug) diverse collection of humans, aliens, enhanced animals and inscrutable AIs almost at the same level of magnificence as the original inhabitants of the Large Magellanic Cloud. This far off pocket of danger and mystery intrigues our descendants in the same way the darker and more violent corners of our world captivates the soft and plump minds of the “civilised” world.
But dark forces still move in the background to threaten the fun and adventure, things which are best left undisturbed are being prodded by the curious and thee greedy. Empires who are descended from the traumatised survivors of ten thousand years ago are either wary, affronted or openly hostile to the tourists from the “Great Spiral” and these upstarts have made homes on the abandoned, forbidden or sacred worlds at the haunted centre of their known universe.
I had largely forgotten the data files in the years since my time in Leeds, they had been kept safe on hard drives and discs but my creations had rescinded into the back corners of my mind. Re-awakening those memories now I find myself at the beguiling prospect of exploring the Cloud all over again and trying to piece together the worlds I had created under the inspiring influence of synthetic cannabis and Internet curiosities.
For example tonight I surprised myself with an asteroid habitat called “Rafael’s Rememberance” in the system of Vrsatu. My notes from years ago say it is a “Controversial habitat of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo clones and their Artist creators”
If memory serves then the “Artist creators” would be people from Earth, free to indulge their every whim in a post scarcity economy of a thousand years from now who bring back clones of celebrities from Terran history of every sort from Elvis to Hitler as some kind of biological artistic installation.
I have no idea who “Rafael Leonidas Trujillo” is though but a quick Google reveals he was a Latin American dictator from the mid 20th century. He was famous for bringing stability and prosperity to the Dominican Republic and for his shrewd nature but infamous for his violent oppression of dissent, occasionally invading nearby Haiti and for his sexual appetites involving any young maiden in his nation he so desired. Rather justly he met for a bloody end and now appears to have been revived on a rock 180,000 lights years from his former home as either some kind of living historical exhibit or an artistic investigation of power, injustice and decadence for conceited utopians to ponder over.
This is just one rock, in one star system of thousands which exist partly on my hard drive and partly in my head, now separated with enough time exploring all this again will bring up the surprises and delights that satisfy and inspire my dreams in a way no other space opera created by somebody else could quite manage.