This place has no rain. Nothing to block the suns above it. Just a baked hot surface, scarred by the thermal stresses of the heaving that occurred prior to the falling of the system into this configuration.
Luckily, without an atmosphere, all I need is a wide, reflective parasol and more patience than our forebearers would ever muster. Black body radiation is a terribly slow way to cool down a planetary surface. Especially when you have to let the heat beneath percolate through the slow matrices of the stone and permit a sufficiently thick cool layer to develop.
I don’t have all that much time here. In an awkwardly unwieldy number of cycles around its orbit, this place will be ripped apart in ways that will make the structural failures this rock has experienced seem so very insignificant.
There is a wide fiber optic channel that leads deep into the rock in a place of great geological and thermal stability. Further than I care to excavate at least. In the deep recesses I can see photocells, many of them still intact. There is a diode at the back that should be able to see me, and I can see it. Despite many wavelengths and powers, nothing gathers a response.
I wonder what they wanted from this? Did they think they would escape failure? Or did they just want more time?
That bunker down there isn’t very big. There isn’t much room for ‘traditional’ carbon based water solvated life, but thriftier substrates may have lasted a long time, thinking whatever thoughts they thought were important to carry out. But ultimately, this place won, the thermal noise probably destroyed it slowly at first and then very quickly. Or maybe they fried immediately. It’s all a series of tradeoffs of risks and structure and cost. And here, they didn’t seem to want to take much time evaluating this.
You can’t make it into deeper time without replication. But they lacked either the time or the wherewithal to do that. Or maybe they chose to avoid it.
I don’t feel like pulling it out of the ground. I know what I’ll find, a dead computer in some state of repair. But computers are opaque. Their logic is imprinted on many levels, and the sophisticated stuff doesn’t last without active maintenance.
A light turns on inside for a moment then flickers out. I think I’ll just wire them a link to the relay just in case. I don’t know if they’re alive in there, but this doesn’t cost me very much, the other bodies here were already quite enough for my purposes.
Ultimately, it’s up to them to figure out what they want to do, and how that thing works. It’s definitely possible that they will never figure it out. But it will keep on beckoning to them invitingly until this place is no more.
Maybe they’ll find a friend. Or maybe I’m trying to email a corpse.