Thursday, 18 February 2016
The iridescent, intricately patterned, curved top of a twenty meters long artifact extends a meter above the surface of a river on an Earth-like extrasolar planet.
Although this technology has apparently been abandoned for ages, investigation reveals traces of power, maybe utilizing solar energy. The machine, self-growing, self-renewing and self-repairing, maintains homeostasis, extends roots and extracts minerals. It is thought to be "'...an observatory...'" (p. 31), recording environmental data maybe to the molecular level.
Someone who finds it and begins an investigation may be able to sell the information to a scientific institution. Thus, it may be possible to earn a living in a far future high tech civilization where, we are told, wars between species are unlikely although conflicts within species remain.