FTL travel is actually possible. However, when humanity sends out our first FTL spacecraft, we discover the terrifying reason why nothing, not even light, dares go past that cosmic speed limit.
“I told you all that Faster Than Light Travel was banned,” The eye said, floating in front of the tiny ship. Mostly engine, mostly experimental drives, with a single human on bored, staring at the great horizon; an immense cosmic silver eye.
The human was quiet, perhaps, it was trying to tune into a frequency for communication, or perhaps something else entirely.
Jvan, the Wandering Eye stared at the craft with distaste; though that was the only emotion he had ever been able to muster. Paused in time, the ship on the very breaching point, where the forever corona would streak uncontrollably past the light barrier and stretch endlessly, stuck in a momentous occasion.
“I was not aware such sanctions… existed…” The human said, trailing off. Space suit. Clothes pressed hard on his body, not a gasp of air able to slip out. Strapped to the chair to try and brace for relativistic forces.
The doctors had said the FTL drive would make him pass out.
It’d been a challenge to not pass out.
Now he wished he had.
Jvan floated closer, the eye perfectly blocking out every inch, every fraction, degree, image of the sky in front of him, what lay past the final barrier. “There’s nothing past here, you know.”
“Nothing?” The astronaut said, curious. “Nothing at all?”
“This is the last barrier for your kind,” Jvan said, knowingly. “Once you break this, there’s nothing left for you. The final point of which humanity’s future lies suspect; after this point, there will be nothing that can end you.”
“And you don’t want that?” The astronaut returned.
“I don’t want that for you,” Jvan returned, smoothly. “There will be no end to your suffering. There will be no limits in the universe; you will spread your ilk across all available stars, and there will be nothing that will ever cause your governments to change. Human nature will stall. Stagnate. A thousand thousand thousand generations will pass without a flicker of a change; for everyone who disagrees will simply find their own lands. What little culture you possess will die off, and instead form into a multivariate lane of which there is no return.”
“Isn’t that the point, though? To be able to leave hostile climates and find new lands?” The astronaut asked. “Is that not the point of limitless exploration? Of breaking that final barrier?”
“Tell me,” Jvan said. “You must love your country; you’re riding a bomb powered by good wishes and nucleotides. You must trust them dearly.”
“I do,” The astromnaut replied.
“Would you see your governments clamber across the stars, forever. A mess of resources so obligate and vast that nothing will ever change but for the chains you have woven onto it for stability? Are you willing to accept that responsibility?”
“I am.” the human replied.
“Liar,” Jvan claimed, his eye flicking across the cosmos. “After this point, there is nothing for your kind. A slow creaking expansion; the endpoint of your sciences, the endpoint of your ideals. There is nothing left. Perhaps your individualism will blind you to the idea of community; removing the idea of synthesis in your planetary cornucopias. Perhaps your community will blind you to the individual; a great cosmic clock grinding resources out of planets to feed blind idiot masses screeching into the heavens. Nothing will destroy you except time itself.”
“And you?” The human asked.
“I will do as I always have,” Jvan said. “I will watch another blind idiot race expand until they have no meaning, and then die, as the universe does, to be reborn as another part of a meaningless cycle.”
“How many have you turned away?”
Jvan laughed. A great booming noise despite possessing no mouth and blocking out the cosmos from view.
“I have never turned a single race away from their fate. They have gone on regardless. Any race that makes it to this point will never answer to me, will never respect the places they were born to. They see the universe as dominion, as property, as if putting eyes upon it means they should expand; virulent, a pathogen upon the blind unknowing cosmos.”
“And are there alien races out there?” The astronaut asked.
“Distant enough that when you find them, you will no longer be human, and they will no longer be what they once were.” Jvan answered.
“Then we shall go past you,” The human declared.
“You will,” Jvan said. “And you will meet your undoing; your systematic upheavals and your self made crises, and you will fight them until you lose. Like always.”
“But we’ll fight.”
“You’ll fight,” Jvan agreed.
“I’m breaking the light barrier right now,” The astronaut wondered aloud. “Aren’t I?”
“All species see this,” Jvan concurred. “They will see an image of me, and all things come to a reckoning of what I, the eye, have seen in all lines. The past. The Future. The Present. All dimensions, before me, after me, below me, above me.”
“And what comes next?”
Jvan flicked his pupil about.
“The place past light.”
And then there was only darkness; for the human brain could not handle the idea of moving post liminal velocities, and even signals are outsped by the pace of the universe itself.
But bizarrely, the astronaut could only see beautiful gleaming darkness, and the knowledge that perhaps, humanity had finally outrun the gods.
and the ship exploded into light marking a final new age for humanity.