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First Flight

Seven hundred million kilometers from Alpha Centauri B, the first experimental starship, Enterprise, prepares for its first jump, a short jaunt across a couple of billion kilometers to the nearby star Alpha Centauri B. Supported by the Palmer and based off the Cityship Voyager, the eight meter diameter sphere carries no humans. Aboard are a sub-personality of the computer intellect Chiron, jars of Terran and Atlantian worms, a dozen instrumented lab rats, and one trans-pig, named Blubber.  The jump causes Chiron to completely de-cohere, but the worms and lab rats do fine. Blubber survives, but horribly soils his cage.

Once again, by popular demand, the name Enterprise signifies the first spacecraft of a new class. And again, it never becomes an operational, or in this case, human-crewed vessel.  On its second jump, all the way to Proxima Centauri, the Enterprise performs well, but Blubber’s clone brother Babble dies, choking on his own vomit before the automated medical systems finish rebooting.”

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