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14 Time Management

“It is generally agreed that one of the defining trends of the burgeoning Golden Age was the use of Extrapolators to predict a possible future based on information on hand. When such knowledge was incomplete, often because of the complexity emergent from sentience, possibilities were often improbable, and sometimes absurd. On the other hand, the more accurate, varied, integrated, and complete this information, the more reliable its prophetic projection — and the more convincing. This was evident on scales large and small, narrow and great.”

“Once the Greeks had access to the resources of the ConSci, and working closely with both Humans and Vulcuns, they worked out the dangers and difficulties of using the devices they developed to conquer the vast and imposing distances of interstellar space. The relativity of the universe, they realized, made instantaneous travel exponentially more dangerous and unpredictable with distance. The solution was to use a point in space-time that could be known to a sufficient degree, such as the source of light from a distant star, and warping to it. To overcome the obvious problem — a round trip to Terra’s nearest stellar neighbor, a mere 3.7 light-years away, would return 7.4 years before it left — they devised a trail of energy that would temporarily link together the two points in space-time.”

“Terran civilization, however, was not ready for this ability, and this self-awareness is one reason why the dawn of the Golden Age is known as the Enlightenment. For centuries, impulsive and restless Humans, imaginative Greeks, and deliberative Vulcuns — among many others, especially as time went on — all collaborated to create and maintain a system where new discoveries and their applications were not misused or abused. By the time Terran political and social systems and structures matured enough to articulate ethical standards robust enough to handle such discoveries and events, Terrans had been exploring nearby star systems using conventional means for over a thousand years.”

“Over the following millennia, a period of unprecedented exploration of the galaxy some called Isla, Greeks and others first described a problem that they all would face far in the future. They formed a council of the concerned dedicated to its study in the vainest of attempts to avert destiny itself, and in the end it succeeded.”

“They called it the Illuminati.”

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