Monday, June 7, 2021

Microstory 1641: Moderation

Not unlike the Cythereans of Universe Prime, the humans of Moderaverse chose a very different technological path, and it has kept them off of the Ochivari’s radar. Instead of developing more powerful computers, or faster spaceships, they internalized everything. They figured that the only point to technology was to make their lives better, easier, and infinite. They didn’t much care to learn about the universe, unless it directly impacted them. They didn’t even feel the need to research animals, because they believed it best to simply leave wildlife alone. This gave them time to focus on their main goal. They called it biological optimization, and it involved genetically engineering themselves to be able to survive in a multitude of environments, all without the aid of external tech. No implants, no wearables, not even any handheld devices. Different people have different optimizations, so I won’t get into the details, but there are a few commonalities. They can extract energy from any number of environments. They can communicate with each other telepathically. They can go for long periods of time without stopping, and they don’t have to sleep, though they quite often do as a natural component of relaxing. Relaxation is the most important aspect of their lives. They don’t perform work unless they have to. Their ancestors put so much effort into perfecting their bodies that they don’t have to work anymore. This is not because automation takes care of everything, like it does in other advanced cultures. They don’t work, because little needs to get done. They don’t need to eat a lot, and they don’t generally value the culinary arts, so people just consume what they find in nature, during the rare occasion that it’s necessary. Most of them are solar powered, so they only need to eat to gain certain chemical nutrients.

The Moderaversals do not limit themselves to a single planet, and in fact, their way of life would not be conducive to such a thing. While other environmentally-conscious civilizations build great megastructures to lower the amount of space they take up, the Moderaversals stay on one story, but live quite sparsely. They separate themselves into small villages, which restricts their impact on any one area just as well as—if not better than—an arcology-based society. Instead of using ships to travel to other worlds, they harness the power of natural wormholes. In their universe, wormholes open and close all the time, even on the surface of planets. They’re microscopic, and just as unstable as they are anywhere else, but there’s a fix for that. There are pretty much only two types of advanced tech that these people use. One is a series of artificial satellites that look like nanomoons, and ground arrays that look like trees, to predict, detect, and map the wormholes on any inhabited world. The other is a wormhole stabilizer that will allow a traveler to pass into the wormhole’s event horizon, and slide to their destination. These wormholes are not rare, but the right wormhole is. They pop up constantly, but if you’re trying to go to a specific location, you’ll have to wait until one that satisfies your needs appears. This could happen tomorrow, or in a few years. There’s no way to know, as the predictive models can only guess a day or two in advance. Fortunately for the immortal Moderaversals, time ain’t nothin’ but a thang. It’s perfectly reasonable to schedule an event with others for whenever, sometime in the future, and just wait until everybody finds the right wormhole, and makes it there at some point. The Moderaversals live easy, and they live free. We could all probably learn a thing or two from them.

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