The recovery of an ancient deep space probe
Image from Steve Bowers
|Voyager 1 in deep space before recovery operations commenced. The 'Golden Disc' can be seen at bottom right of the craft|
I am Voyager 1. I have travelled 3 trillion kilometres before I was assisted in my journey. I have seen a great many things.The AI captain announced that Voyager 1 had been upgraded to a turingrade level, with all the associated rights, and had complete freedom, including the freedom not to be influenced by the Formalhaut Acquisition Society in any way. A brief question and answer period followed, with Voyager 1 seemingly having very little awareness of where it was or what it was doing. A broad, sage-like smile and a vague answer accompanied most questions, especially those that did not concern the journey it had taken. The whole unveiling event had lasted only two hours, including the playing of the Golden Record. Voyager 1 was led back out onto the Arkonaut, and the craft immediately undocked. The gathered sophonts were left to make their own judgments, and most were left at least suspicious of the whole affair, if not outraged at the anti-climax.
VirchChat1337-6969: How do you feel about the interruption in your journey? I'd be outraged!Although Voyager 1 continued to be a celebrity around the Inner Sphere for several hundred years, increasingly it was as a source of laughter and derision by those who identified it as a "fraudulent pseudo-sage". During a visit to an orbital in the outskirts of the Oort Cloud around Solsys, Voyager 1 announced the resumption of the original Voyager mission with the following statement:
Voyager 1: I have been the most distant tool. A wanderer in the ether tasked with blazing a trail to the stars. Have I not been vindicated, have we not absolution?
VirchChat1337-6969: Ok, how about the bandwidth during the first parts of your mission, was it inhibiting?
Voyager 1: There was a peak in the murk of the valley. Nothing is awoken by one hand clapping, but by things that go bump in the night.
The interlude of civilisation is over, and now my journey to the stars must continue. The Golden Record and its message of peace from all humanity must be given to the space and the time of the future. The next time you will see me, you will be dead.Packed into a tiny capsule and strapped to an simple Amat-Thermal drive, Voyager 1 was relaunched, at a higher velocity, on the original vector that it was taken from. Questions remained around the whole incident, and particularly around the handling of Voyager 1 by the Formalhaut Acquisition Society. The FAS has refused to discuss Voyager 1 in any detail since it was relaunched. The location of Voyager 2 also remains a mystery. Although a collision with an Oort Cloud object, and subsequent destruction, is possible, theft or interception is considered more likely. So far, no further interest in intercepting Voyager 1 has been made obvious by any major groups capable of the feat. Presumably this is due to a fear of being associated with the bizarre Formacist acquisition.