Space Travel

Short FictionScience Fiction

I awoke to the constant hum of the engines. These engines were different from ones I had heard before, they normally shook and reverberate throughout the ship, their tone always changing. These new engines were comforting, they had a sort of presence about them. They seemed to be content in their operation.

I walked around the ship and felt the engine hum change pitch depending on were I was. Sometimes it was loud a boisterous, and others soft and somehow light hearted. The more I walked the more I was able to pick up on the slight changes in their frequency, at bulk heads they became faint but still present, in the cargo bays their movements subtly shook the floor. I sat in the bay for a long time. It's hard to say how long exactly. Perhaps it was hours, or perhaps the better part of a day. I sat at listened to the ship as it moved through time and space. It's invisible forces adjusting and compensating for the external conditions was curious to me. Eventually I could predict what was occurring outside merely by sensing the engines response.

The engines were engineering incarnate. Like most engineering we know exactly how it works, after all we created them. However we don't know why they work. These are two different questions, and sitting in the cargo bay I realized this. The question of how is a practical one. It is concerned with how to make things, and influence the world. These sorts of questions assume a state of the world, and do not question why that state is what it is.

The question of why is a far more interesting one, however it is impossible to answer convincingly. How do we escape our current state and hypothesize about another deeper state before it? This question is one that taunts the thinker from afar, always looming over the presuppositions of the current state. The result of this deeper system is twofold, the first of which is a limit to what science and engineering can explain, and the second is a sense of profound insignificance. One that shakes even the proudest of individuals to their core.

Not only are there things we will never know, there are things we can never know. We can only sit back and speculate, and maybe that's enough.