cruising speed.

If I could have told you anything about the economics of spaceflight before I got aboard a refuge class heavy cruiser full of cows I would not have been the one shovelling the cow shit. Folks with that kind of brains were more useful in the front of the ship than in the cargo holds.

But I’m a quick study, and aboard an ark the practicalities of shifting live weight off the planet then into the vast and unknown universe became increasingly apparent as the weeks wore on. Years of cheap science fiction schlock on the stream had given me the false impression of the distances involved.

Warp nine. Light speed. Hyper jump.

These were bullshit terms, and I knew bull shit.

These ships would slowly accelerate away from the dying Earth, leave it behind for a distant destination, and when we ultimately reached our full speed at some point we’d cruise for a while before spinning backwards and reverse thrusting to a reasonable approach speed. In my mind — and in the mind of my fellow wranglers — this was a few months or maybe a year worth of travel.


The walls talk.

And the slow, methodical thought that grew into my lunkhead brain, the knowledge that I’d be centuries dead before there was ever any hope of reaching the halfway turnaround, didn’t help the growing unrest in the cargo holds of this particular refuge class heavy cruiser.