Challenge #02337-F147: A Challenge PresentssteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  4 months ago 


The darkest place in the universe, as distinct to a black hole which traps light, is known as the the Nothingness, the Big Black or the Deep Dark.
Some species even Deified it as the 'anti" to whatever particular flavour of saviour their belief systems held on high. and appropriately avoided such an abhorrent place. Officially it was called Boötes Void (a distinctly Human moniker, as only humans would NAME such a place)
So naturally the humans wanted to explore it.
The interesting thing wasn't that they found anything, they didn't, it was a VOID after all;
Rather it was exactly what humans can and will do with a Massive, completely empty, unclaimed, unregulated, space... -- Adam in Darwin

There is nothing so fascinating to a Human as an empty space. Show them a gap, show them a void, show them something vacant of what they think should be there, and watch them go. They study it, they fill it, they come to stare at it, they go inside to see if it's really as empty as they think it is... All of those and more. Nature may hate a vacuum, but Humans despise a void.

So it was when they encountered the Great Gap, a space between stars within the Octopus Galaxy. Humans swarmed, surrounding it in all three dimensions. Beaming transmissions through it, sending probes into it, working out how to traverse it, and soon running competitions to do so. The argument that there was no point to traversing the void, that travel via wormhole around it was quicker, made no impact on the Humans.

They never could resist a challenge, even one they had appointed themselves. Ever-increasing wealth in the prize pot became an irresistible temptation to the insane Deathworlders.

Piece by piece, ship by ship, failed attempt by failed attempt, Humans did fill the Great Gap. They filled it with their ambitious dead. With probes unable to make it to the other side, with jetsam, because there is nothing empty that Humans won't use for a garbage dump. They filled it, also, with the opportunistic, the graverobbers, and the people who did the math in regards to how much profit was waiting in the emptiness, but not the math involved in getting in, getting their haul, and getting out alive.

The Great Gap became testimony towards Human insanity, Human indomitability, and Human pig-headedness. All in one.

Some day, the Alliance knows, a Human or team of Humans will bridge that Gap. They'll find a way. They'll make a way to conquer the unconquerable. Because that's what Humans do.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / TsuneoMP]

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