Phase 3: 6,262 AE

There’s a perception of space that everything is cold.

Science fiction always has the interior of spaceships looking like big metal fortresses, evoking thoughts of cold steel. Sharp edges, brilliantly reflective, or dull and rusting. Slick and slippery, or matte and rough. But in every instance… cold. Everyone wears coats. It looks fucking miserable.

The reality, as is often the case, is far different.

Absolutely, our ship is made of steel. From the outside it looks like a bicycle wheel; thick outer rim, with spokes that lead from the exterior to the interior and back again. It looks just as metallic and rough as you would expect.

But the interior? It looks… well… like anywhere else on Earth would have looked. It has plater walls. It has carpeting, or hard wood, or laminate (depending on the purpose of the room). Granted, these days… the carpeting has been ripped out, recycled and replaced so many times that it’s basically a fuzzy laminate (to be fair, some of the laminate is so moldy that it’s also fuzzy… but I digress).

But the one thing it is not… is cold. The engines are spinning our ship maintaining our gravitational pull to the center of the ship. And the exhaust is filtered and the heat is pumped through the ship while the toxins are pushed out the air lock. It’s always warm. It’s never cold. The temperature never changes. There are no bell curves of cold mornings and warm afternoons… everything is just a constant straight line.

The exterior implies that the entire ship is curved. Everything should feel curved. But the design of the ship was to create artificial gravity, not create a curved world for folks to live in. So they made the hallways and rooms seem… rectangular. There’s no implication that the world that we’re living in is curved. Our earth ancestors would say, “big deal, welcome to our world”.

If only we could be welcomed there. I walk in straight lines… And keep ending up in the same place.