Work Header

Domestic Kernel Hacking

Chapter Text

Domestic Kernel Hacking

A future archaeologists guide to Tin Town.

Anyone looking close enough into the outer ring can find the green sun. A grass-coloured sparkle in a sea of iridescent stars. Ironically, it is the only sun most people will ever see in the outer ring, the other stars actually being distant incipispheres and pocket universes.

Douglas Hofstadter once described discovery, knowledge, and the sciences as a grand orchard, the pieces of information taking the place of all of the trees. If you have ever had the experience of driving past an orchard in a car as a child, peering out the window, you might have noticed that the endless forest of trees seems to be without order or reason, a chaotic and organic set of plants, but if you can catch it at the right angle, you can see straight through to the other side, peering directly between two rows. And by taking this unique perspective, you can understand how the entire orchard is laid out, that is it a series of straight rows of fruit-bearing trees, not a chaotic and orderless jungle, and you can see the structure as a whole in your mind.

The Green Sun was the divine angle that needed to be viewed through, and the orchard the outer ring. An orientating lighthouse, from which its lone lime axiom could one construct the entire map of the outer ring. Of course, the eyes needed to see through that divine angle also needed centuries of time and death to create unique mathematics. And needed still dozens of exploratory expeditions into the void to truly build up a theory of outer ring navigation.

But the practicality of the situation doesn’t make for as good of an opening paragraph.

Around two AUs from the green sun are 24 spokes, round poles with a blunted angular tip, carved with markings and tally marks indicating which out of the 24 spokes it is. The spoke is covered in dark blood covered rust, and one might think that this is because of age and disuse, to which I would reply, of course it isn’t, metal doesn’t oxidize in space. They were rusted when they were first made.

I would also say that while technically metal does oxidize in this space, because it’s not a vacuum but rather is in fact filled with some kind of ethereal mental concept of air that lets one breathe perfectly fine but does damage to one in slower ways than asphyxiation, it still doesn’t change the fact that the spokes were made rusted.

Around four AUs away from the Green Sun is a city. A terrible clash of design philosophy, from the outside it looks very much like a kaleidoscope of wood and metal, that rotates around itself in unnatural ways as you look at it from different angles. Two dozen void ships attach to it at random spots where the surface seems to not shift. And at the risk of cultural shift changing the prototypical void ship that one imagines, a standard void ship is a golden battleship covered in doodads, as if someone had covered it in glue and dipped it into the broken parts bin of a electrical engineering lab.

Inside the city, topography makes a lot more sense. Not that it does not change, but that the changes in topography are usually prefixed with a 2 week notice, and done on a public vote.

Further inside the city, is a coffee shop. To any incredulous readers that would feel unease that a wooden space station orbiting around a mathematical anchor point dipped in green paint, which is further orbited by exactly two dozen metal rods, contains a coffee shop and not wondrously horrifying horrifying wonders of sci-fi novels, I would say that, the need for coffee shops is both a human, troll, and probably sapient being constant, and that even if we were disembodied astral beings of pure energy, we would still have some kind of place to get the astral being of pure energy equivalent of that delicious bean juice.

Inside the coffee shop, called “The Land of Coffee and Milk” (a presumably cute attempt at referencing the naming schemes of Sburbian lands), sits the author of this series.

Yeah, I’m a real person writing this, and this story will also follow parts of my life while I narrate more about the world and what I know about history, science and politics.

Two kinds of historical writings were very useful to historians on Old Earth, political and historical works describing large scale events and civics of the civilization at the time, letting us understand with good insight both the physical and actionable history and leaders of an ancient civilization, and their thoughts about their own history and people, and the personal journals of random individuals who write about their day, which give us an insight into their lives and culture and what life was really like for them on the daily.

To save the future eminent historian discovering this document for the first time the pain of having to also find another document, I have decided to do the future a favour and write both about my own life, and what I know of our history, culture, people and anything else that crosses my mind. You’re welcome. An essential piece of our people’s culture is writing pieces that mix exposition and personal narrative. This is a tradition that dates back to our historical equivalent of pre-recorded history cultures, loose replayers.