Seventy-five years later, he was pornographically wealthy, had travelled to all the parts of the Earth he had any desire to visit, had experienced as many risky and thrilling experiences as he could reasonably endure and had variously drunk, eaten or inhaled as many legal, semi-legal or wildly illegal substances as his robust constitution could tolerate. He’d been there, seen it and done it and stubbornly refused to buy any t-shirts, postcards or anything that would ever require dusting. He was also terminally bored.
They were building a spaceship. A huge interstellar spaceship. They needed two things: young, healthy volunteers and a lot of money. He bought himself a guaranteed place, but because the ship wouldn’t be ready for at last another thirty years and Louie had no guarantee of living that long, he had his entire personality digitised. On his eightieth birthday he held a party that people talked about for years afterwards and, while the Bacchanalian festivities were at their peak, had his body ceremonially placed into cryonic suspension.
As far as Louie was concerned, that was the last time that anything had gone according to plan.
Stopping is not an option. Slab is over a thousand kilometres long, travelling at near-lightspeed and the thirty-two million humans, NAHs, avatars and irritating minorities who inhabit the Slabscape are on a mission; they’re going Home and wouldn’t stop even if they could. The humancontiguation of the SlabCouncil, having long suspected that Slab would eventually cross paths with someone or something who got in their way, had a policy regarding alien interventions: ignore them.
Louie Drago is not a happy hologram. He lets the council interns know exactly what he thinks of their plan and implements one of his own.
Dielle, a reset who remembers nothing of his previous life on Earth, is trying hard to forget one of the few things he does know: that before he was frozen for over three-hundred years, he used to be Louie Drago. After a bizarre offer from Slab’s preeminent gamer he’s forcibly liberated from the care and protection of the SlabWide Integrated System.
Meanwhile, the Cosmic Tit delivers an exiled version of Louie to the site of a four-hundred-year-old Earth mystery.
It’s only when parts of a local solar system start disappearing that council is forced to do something the interns will deny until the end of the universe (or tea-time, depending on your asynchronology).