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Strange New World

All is Vanity

By Ron BennettPublished 2 years ago Updated 23 days ago 5 min read
Strange New World
Photo by Shot by Cerqueira on Unsplash

“It's a very strange place. I mean we've seen some different patterns of infrared radiation.”

“Please elaborate.”

“Well, let's take a look at some of theses diagrams.”

Dr. Max Brown signaled his PAL and a scene from space flooded the area in front of the two men.

Lester Dean, wearing an archaic business suit with a top hat lifted his monocle to his eye and bent his torso toward the scene. He turned his head side to side, his round face, flushed red from the effort.

“What am I supposed to see here. I'm afraid you'll have to point it out doctor.”

“PAL-Max could you enlarge this area please.”, Dr. Brown made a circle with his forefingers and thumbs and indicated an area near the middle.

“As you see the area here is very dark. Can't see the stars behind it. But if we look at in infrared … look at these shifting patterns, at first glance it looks random. By compiling observations from the last ten years, we can see there is actually a pattern to the movements. And what looks like areas of infrared streaks, are actually a series of points moving together, in a spherical arrangement.”

Lester snapped his torso straight, removed his monocle, “I'm afraid you've lost me doctor. What exactly are you saying?”

“This is a Dyson swarm. The area we're looking at is nearly a tenth of a light year across, so this would be the largest in the galaxy …. aabbhhh …. with over ten times the mass of an average star inside.”

“Well that's very interesting … yes, very interesting, but I'm afraid ..”

“An uncontacted Dyson Swarm. The first to make contact will be famous, known throughout the Galaxy.”

Lester shook his head, “I don't want to go on such a journey, it could take years.”

“Indeed it will but if, if you'll … indulge me for a moment. You are a very successful business man sir. You have a duty to your business and cannot be absent for long. Now if you were to finance the mission, I would go, with a crew of course ...”

“And get all the fame for yourself.”

“Oh no sir. We are merely your agents. It is you who made the journey possible, we will be far away, you will be here. It will be you who has to answer all the requests for interviews. All the news outlets will be clamoring for your attention.”

Lester smiled, then chuckled, “Hehehe, yes indeed.”

“And think of the notoriety among your peers. It was you who took the bold step into the unknown. We know the fame of those who have financed similar journeys in the past.”

Lester beamed, his eyes glazed as he stared into the void.


Dr. Brown stood alone on a small section of the light grey floor. It appeared to float in space as he looked at the latest images from recent observations made approaching their target.

“No use looking any longer.” PAL-Max messaged.

“I had truly hoped you know ...”

“I have the latest message from Mr. Dean . He has purchased a wormhole and it's on the way.”

Dr. Brown smiled, “Well isn't that interesting.”

“It's still a few days before we get to the outer edge, but it's already quite clear, this is not a Dyson swarm. Just an ordinary Bok Globule.”

The projector shut down, revealing the small room with grey walls, floor, and ceiling. A green light glowed on the wall in front of Dr. Brown, it dimmed briefly every few seconds.

“You don't seem worried. Mr. Dean has been using the name Mansa Dyson in interviews.”

“Good name. Very good name.”

“You used some ... you knew there wasn't a Dyson swarm here before we left.”

“Yes, yes I know. I used some rather dodgy observations to get this mission financed.”

“You're not worried about the implications. There will be some difficult questions when the wormhole arrives.”

“Yes, but we've got some time. A few years. And the mass is still there, a huge amount of dust and gas scattered throughout this globule, easily collected by swarm nets. And once collected, easily sifted, the metals collected, the hydrogen left to collapse into a star. By the time the wormhole gets here, construction of Mansa Dyson will be well under way.”

“You think Mr. Dean will be willing to forget you duped him? You know a man like Mr. Dean doesn't get to his position by always staying on this side of the law… ahhmmm, you may recall several of his rivals have disappeared … to be blunt, I'm actually afraid for your life.”

Dr. Brown smiled, “I believe my tracks are well covered. There was never a hundred percent certainty this was a Dyson swarm. Mr. Dean understood that. And, if he wants fame, building one will bring him much more than simply finding one.”

“But will it not take hundreds of years?”

“At least. Many thousands to let the hydrogen collapse into a new star. If we had simply found a Dyson it would only be talked about until the next one is found. Mansa Dyson will be talked about for hundreds of years. And when this new star begins fusion … when a new star comes to life, it will be seen across the Galaxy. Mr. Dean will very much appreciate such an announcement of the birth of his new star.”

science fiction

About the Creator

Ron Bennett

Currently living in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada with my son Mark and cat Sprite. Grew up in historic, picturesque Newfoundland with many, interesting, friendly people, inspiring adventures, songs, stories, and wonderous beauty of nature.

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