Re: 1400 light years
> 2800 years
A mere instant in time for even the most basic sophonts.
One night, Leila stood alone in the garden, watching the sky. From their home world, Najib, they had travelled only to the nearest stars with inhabited worlds, each time losing just a few decades to the journey. They had chosen those limits so as not to alienate themselves from friends and family, and it had never felt like much of a constraint. True, the civilisation of the Amalgam wrapped the galaxy, and a committed traveller could spend two hundred thousand years circling back home, but what was to be gained by such an overblown odyssey? The dozen worlds of their neighbourhood held enough variety for any traveller, and whether more distant realms were filled with fresh novelties or endless repetition hardly seemed to matter. To have a goal, a destination, would be one thing, but to drown in the sheer plenitude of worlds for its own sake seemed utterly pointless.
A destination? Leila overlaid the sky with information, most of it by necessity millennia out of date. There were worlds with spectacular views of nebulas and star clusters, views that could be guaranteed still to be in existence if they travelled to see them, but would taking in such sights firsthand be so much better than immersion in the flawless images already available in Najib’s library? To blink away ten thousand years just to wake beneath a cloud of green and violet gas, however lovely, seemed like a terrible anticlimax.