The Rainbow

The Viewing Lounge at Von Braun Spacedock was packed with schoolchildren, waiting for the ship to come in. It was ‘Warp Week’ in their class, and from Monday to Thursday they had been studying the basics of faster-than-light travel.

Of course, they were only told the basics. Space ships generated a special bubble around themselves that allowed them move faster than light. They had been shown little cartoon videos about it, made pictures on electronic paper with digipens, and on the Friday they would get to see a ship coming out of ‘Warp Encapsulation’.

They huddled closer to the window as their teacher called their attention to the vast expanse of space in front of them.

A tiny star of brilliant white appeared first, crackling away as the ship began to open their warp field. With a flickering lurch it began to expand, showing off the white hull of the space exploration ship ‘Galileo’. As more of the bubble started to ripple back, the light shifted hue to an iridescent blaze of colours forming a halo around the ever-more revealed hull.

‘Ooohs’ and ‘Aaahs’ came from the children as the rainbow circle around the ship reached its maximum diameter, before with a rush of speed it collapsed at the rear point of the ship. The Galileo had exited warp, and was free to begin its docking procedure.

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3 thoughts on “The Rainbow

  1. I wonder if this is how we’ll perceive an Alcubierre drive, Although given that the phenomenon is to light as a sonic boom is to sound, with the sound waves bunching up and blasting forward in one instant, perhaps it’ll be an intense blast of light when the ship slows to sub-luminal speeds. Intense enough to blind you, but so brief you wouldn’t even be aware of it.

    But your interpretation is prettier.

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