Thursday, May 25, 2017

Microstory 589: Extinct Human Civilization Discovered on Exoplanet

For thousands of years, our people believed humans to be the only species in the universe. But as we were progressing towards enlightenment through astronomy and computer science, we started questioning this belief. Scientists of the day thought it unlikely that, out of the trillions and trillions of stars in the observable universe alone, we would be, well...alone. Not too long later, we developed the ability to travel beyond our lonely star system, and visit other planets. On one such of these trips, we encountered a race of aliens. But they were not what we expected. We assumed they would have more than two arms and two legs, be able to fly, or breathe underwater. Some of them actually can do these things, but then again, so can we, but that’s just because of science. Strangely, these aliens were human, having evolved on a planet of their about the same time we did on ours. The only reason we were even likely to meet each other that early in our technological history was that their galaxy collided with ours not too long after the humble beginnings of our respective evolutions. They were supposed to be living in a separate galaxy, but it has been scientifically determined that we now belong to the same one. This angered a number of loyalists who did not appreciate sharing a home with outsiders, and so the scientific community came up with a compromise, referring to this single entity as the Justean-Nectean Bigalaxy (for reference, the Necteans call it the Nectean-Justean Bigalaxy).

We didn’t at first understand why humans would evolve so far from us. Simple genetic investigation taught us, however, that we were actually separate subspecies; genetically incompatible with each other, but there is still no denying that we are all in all the same. We would later learn that humans, and their variants, are the most common species in the universe, with very few capable of being excluded from this general categorization. We now know that Justean humans evolved naturally, however, while others are ultimately descended from genetic engineering. So okay, these were all extremely important discoveries, but also rather logical. In simple terms, Justean humans were meant to exist, and others had to be created. Certain terrorist organizations use this as an excuse to provoke war amongst our brethren, but the popular opinion is that we should just leave each other alone. A recent discovery has turned our notions of humanity on its head once more, however, and it threatens our status as the so-called legitimates. Explorers have uncovered evidence of an ancient civilization on a planet that would have been originally counted in Justean territory. Further research has shown that they were genetically identical to us, and evolved completely naturally. There is also no evidence that they are the result of some long since forgotten interstellar migration. After months of investigation, experts have concluded that these Justean humans evolved on their planet simultaneously as we did. The explorers have not yet revealed what happened to them, but their existence has opened a plethora of new questions about why we even exist. How many other legitimate civilizations were once out there, and more importantly, do any of them remain today?

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