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A very long time ago, hundreds of thousands of years, a linear accelerator orbiting a nearby star launched a capsule that would eventually land on earth. It was identical to millions if not trillions of other capsules. The linear accelerator was a mega-structure hundreds of thousands of miles long orbiting as close as possible to the star, using the energy from the star to accelerate the tiny capsules to near light speed and launching them into interstellar space.

It was the original ‘spray and pray” strategy. If enough capsules were thrown down range eventually one would hit something. When it did hit, the modified tardigrade passengers would activate, begin to reproduce and migrate toward the poles of the planet. There, over millennia, they built an interstellar reef.

When the reef was complete a pilot portal opened and ships sailed through to the new planet. Their purpose was to integrate the new world into the network.

Something went wrong. A star had serious indigestion and disrupted the network. The portal on earth didn’t stay open very long. The Gamma Ray Burster emitted from the sick star sterilized half the planet. It also killed one particular service tech.

As luck would have it the service tech’s portable computer was discovered by the descendants of his surviving shipmates.They had little idea what it was or what it could do but they used it the best they could. Legends of the supernatural were spawned from those episodes. Over millennia the computer and, possibly, others like it were found, lost, found, lost and found, again again, seriously affecting human history.

The last time it was found was by a combat vet during the Vietnam war.

This is his story