..... in the not too distant future, Humans detect a signal from deep space. This is not the usual blip, it's a steady, densely packed message that
repeats. After several years, the message is translated and Mankind leaps into the future. It is discovered that it's a message from a highly
advanced civilization, containing the entire knowledge of their species.
Astronomy, Art, Engineering, Medicine, Math and the list goes on. There is no FTL or wormhole travel, but using their knowledge, we invent rockets
that push a ship up to 2/3 lightspeed. Bigger and better telescopes are built. In medicine, through gene manipulation and body augmentation, Humans
are effectively immortal. We have Wolverine levels of healing and a missing limb can be grown back. A major gift is a material called "hyperfiber".
The strongest, most resilient substance in the known Galaxy. It is used as a shield in space travel, because at those speeds, even the tiniest
particle striking the hull can turn a ship into plasma.
Years later, those advanced telescopes detect a massive object entering our Galaxy at 1/3 lightspeed. Humans and many other alien species build ships
to see who can get there first. The Galactic Rules of Salvage says basically "finders keepers" so whoever lands first claims the prize. Humans
arrive first and are shocked to see it's a ship the size of Uranus.
Earth compared to Uranus -
On the outside, it is completely covered with hyperfiber and only after finding a way in, do they discover that layer of protection is over 80 miles
thick. Inside they find that the entire ship is like the cross section of a sponge. Vast caverns, halls and corridors that go almost to the core. Not
just sections, the entire ship is one huge honeycomb, capable of carrying untold billions. Caverns 100 miles deep and wide are full of ice so pure it
can be melted and drank. Controls for the ship are found in several places and the engines...
There are 14 engines and the exhaust nozzles are 800 miles tall. The engines themselves are the size of small moons, fed by lines that are 1/2 a mile
wide and the same tall. There are 6 fuel tanks and 1 could hold Earth's oceans.
Inside and out, they find fusion reactors just waiting to be activated. On the forward face, there are 10s of thousands of high energy lasers and
railguns to destroy any threat of collision and even if something does get through, the hyperfiber guarantees no hull breach.
There is no one aboard. After years of searching with the most sophisticated instruments, they can't find evidence of any species every existing on
the ship. Not even a skin cell.
In their search, they estimate the age of the ship.
Over 12 billion years old. This ship was built long before Earth or our Sun even existed.
But, there is something at the core. Something that could literally destroy the Universe....and no one knows it's there.
That is just a taste of what happens and if you are interested...
Welcome to : The GreatShip by Robert Reed.
There are several more books after this one that continues where this leaves off and over 20 short stories, all tales about The GreatShip and I
recommend them all.