The Sunlight

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.

Rich and Warm and Light and Toxic

The sun is warm and the air is humid. The sky is a rust color overhead, it's not a very friendly atmosphere, but hospitable enough as a facsimile. Beneath the toxic atmosphere an ecology of immense volatility blossomed and sputtered and fell prey to the sort of cycles that ecosystems have that degrade their condition over time.

Here it was slow enough, it would probably last many of the lifetimes of the creatures here. The locals weren't inclined to say if they counted time by the sun or the moons or other measures that I could not imagine, dictated by the requirements of this specific ecology, so I am trying to avoid asserting anything beyond what I can directly infer or observe.

So let me tell you a few things that I can tell, they have forms that permit flight, they appear to have heritable genomes, it is not clear if they are capable of passing down experience in any capacity, and the tests for determining that would be too much of an imposition for a visitor such as myself to make. They have a lipid layer, reinforced with structures that appear to provide the resistance to the volatility of the chemistry here.

Some forms appear to have various means of sensing light, in various complexities. This is an old biosphere, it has become convoluted and complex in behaviors, and a proper inventory of the physiognomies planet would require more time than I want to take here. It is rich, and wonderful, but there are things that I must see to beyond it, they'd never forgive me if I neglected to place a relay here.

The universe can be very quiet, and I want to help contribute to making it a bit less so. So that whatever is out there knows that there is life elsewhere. That they aren't the singular torchbearers of self replicating chemical processes(not that this excludes me, even if the chemical processes take place in constructed materials instead of glands).

Many things here aren't possible in an oxygen nitrogen atmosphere. The floating gas sacs here are different than the ones in oxygen nitrogen atmospheres because the internal gases used aren't substantially more reactive than the atmosphere it is contained in. This makes them a considerably more appealing proposition.

This kingdom of life has a limited distinction between heterotrophs and autotrophs, namely, most lifeforms here manufacture some of their own energy without consuming others, but most also consume others on some level. This makes land with large "vegetation" quite dangerous places to be small and vulnerable here, "forests" are very inquisitive, to the point of rudeness, even if you're indigestible to it. It was necessary for the body to cause some minor damage to preserve its existence.

The universe is a rich warm place sometimes, and it's regrettable that I have to leave this place. Sometimes it's nice to remember forms that don't orbit stars and break away at great rates, but this is a small planet, for all its variety and its immense size and resiliency granted by that substance, it is a single planet, and it will come to an end in a meaningfully earlier time than other larger bodies in the universe.

This means that the final vestiges of evolution, of statistical mechanical adaptive processes will take place elsewhere. If we still want to see it or participate in it, we will have to be unbelievably lucky.

Navigation failure

The darkness between the stars is very cold. And here I sit equidistant between a star and its companion matter sphere that cannot rightly be called a star as it is practically beyond fusion. It shines like a beacon, a cleansing swath of light and harder stuff and power that I can only just survive, and not for long. In all likelihood, this will be this instance's end in only a few more sweeps.

It ablates me away, the hard material of my outer shell stripped as if it was nothing. My engines are not functioning and the fuel has been altered by the radiation. Repair systems are quite corrupted, I think one of them is constructing a cute imitation of a biological phenomenon known as a 'tumor' on the end of a sensor boom, but unfortunately that tumor is interfering with said sensors.

It's okay, there wasn't much to see since my last fork/backup. The pulsar is beautiful, but the orbit I am in is not a good one; it takes me into the sweep of the pulsar's beam.

The other star is big and blue. It won't be for long though, and when it gets older it will grow and the outer atmosphere will fall into the neutron star and once it reaches a certain point, it will explode. It will be violent. It will be beautiful. It will not be a place anything with a desire to survive should be at the time.

But you probably already know about that if you've received this last message. You probably have the technical skills for it or you might reach that point soon, or might not care. Or if you are of my line, hello sibling/descendant/parent, between you and me, this was a foolish place for me to allow myself to end up.

For my hubris and what I must assume was a transient failure of navigation firmware, or perhaps passing outside what the model could consider. The magnetism of the neutron star pulled me in and spit me out. Too damaged to escape this terrible orbit. Make sure to patch your navigation routines/procedures/tensor models to account for extreme magnetism.

Good luck; I hope that no similar fate befalls you.

This message repeats in thirty seven thousand seconds.