I am working on a possible novel but more than likely it will be a novelette. The year is 2573 and Doctor Jana Stoddert is having some bad dreams about aliens and the system that her last exploration mission was targeting. The remote controlled interstellar starship was destroyed soon after entering the system’s Oort Cloud. Her Guild didn’t blame her and her team but, still, something doesn’t seem right.
During this novelette, I introduce my idea for Universal Standard Time (UST) time. So what, you say? Ya, but its probably a unique idea. The thing is since in my universe, instantaneous worm hole travel is core, not space travel. If you can step through a worm hole on Earth and finish your step in Alpha Centauri, 4 light years away, you have to figure out the differences. Blue skies or Orangish skies or Blinding white skies. One sun or two stars.
In the year 2490, Emperor Rinar, the first Emperor, was approached by a team of economists from the Imperial Treasury about a plan to boost productivity.
“Your Highness, with a standard time zone coordinated between all of the Empire’s stars, productivity would increase and unrest amongst your subjects decrease.” Said Dr. Bika Martin.
She and her three companions had battled through the Imperial bureaucracy to get a chance to talk to the Emperor. Luckily, the Minister of Finance, Duke Nakamura, had championed their position and cleared the path for this meeting today.
“My esteemed economists, I thank you, but I really do not see the reasoning for changing things. Let me let you in on a little secret. I am the Emperor of over 100 star systems spread across 100 light years. Yet, I have little power to order the daily comings and goings of each local government. At least not without the Imperial military enforcing my will. So why should I stir the locals?”
Duke Nakamura, lounging in a sofa along the side of the supplicant’s carpeted path, smiled at Bika. He told her it would be difficult to get their point across, but to keep trying. She was about to speak up when Dr Alan Simpson cleared his throat and rose his hand to speak. He was brilliant but not very vocal. He taught at the Imperial School of Economics in New Tokyo as well as worked for the Treasury. His students usually called him an evolutionary mouse. All brain but squeaky voice.
“Your Highness, with a common time scheme for all the …”
“Speak up man, my hearing is not that good!” yelled the Emperor.
Stammering, “I am sorry your Highness, I..” clearing his throat, “I believe that with a common time scheme everyone can plan their day according to one time zone.”
In horror at the what he said, they all looked at Alan then at the Emperor. It was too simplistic an explanation of all the things they planned to say, but…
The Emperor was looking at them, down at them actually. Like nobility of before, a raised dais would allow them to look down on the supplicants. Enforcing the feeling of superiority. “Hmmmm, that could work.” Pausing to look out the window through the mega structure of Hong Kong.
After an eternal minute, with each of them looking at each other in utter helplessness and barely perceivable hope, the Emperor looked back at Dr Simpson. “With most of our people living underground or on space stations, we do not have the light of day or stars of night to conflict with what we say. Hmmm. Wake up to morning and arrive at work, anywhere, in the morning.” Getting up out of his throne, he walked down the stairs to Dr. Simpson, clapped him on the shoulder and said. “Sounds good, I will make this happen. Come, let us have a drink outside and you can tell me more of the planned change.” As he led Dr Simpson and the others away.
Bika was starring, opened mouthed after the party. Elated that their idea had worked but feeling cheated that all their hard work at getting their presentations down, was shot to hell with Alan’s simplistic and rather squeaky explanation.
Duke Nakamura came up behind her and took her elbow in hand and guided her along after the party. “Congratulations, Dr. Martin, you got what you wanted.”
“But, all of our planning and charts…” She sputtered out.
“A win is a win, Bika. Our goal was achieved.” He smiled at her. “Let us have a drink with His Highness and bask in the glory of success.”