God, not /these/ Forerunners again

Are we alone in the universe? The recent discovery of /tons/ of planets around neighboring stars has made one of the factors in the Drake equation more solid, to the point where it’s quite possible there are half a billion planets in earth-like orbits in our galaxy alone.

Even slow colonization methods should give an advanced civilization the opportunity to spread through the whole galaxy in a few million years. Hell, let’s give it a conservative billion years. The galaxy is over ten billion years old, it seems like enough time already. They should be in orbit, trying to sell us cheap-ass hyperdrives or something.

Science fiction is full of stories that involve some kind of “forerunner” race. They were here before, did some awesome stuff, and they’ve gone away for some reason and left all kinds of interesting ruins and doo-dads behind.

Well, imagine that you’re the “unlucky” first race. No forerunners for you. You’re all alone, which sucks, but you get to make up the rules. You have the whole galaxy at your disposal, it’s your ball game.

What do you do? You know you’re not going to last forever and that some future race is going to dig up all the junk you left behind. So, that’s right: You fuck with their heads.

Imagine the galaxy-wide equivalent of Easter Island statues with Groucho Marx glasses. You build solar-system-wide practical jokes, carve meaningless runes and maps on the faces of moons, set up stellar snipe hunts and light-years-long “go-fer” missions (“find me a purple neutrino from the heart of an exploding star.”) A pie cannon made from dark matter, two billion miles wide, aimed at a black hole. An ancient archive, booby-trapped six ways to Sunday, containing a singing frog . . .

God, they would hate us 🙂

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7 Responses to God, not /these/ Forerunners again

  1. EdH says:

    These aren’t your Andre Norton “forerunners” anymore…

  2. JohnH says:

    Of course, all the jokes would be executed by the very rich… Politically, no matter what the scale, we wouldn’t have the money… just like we don’t now.

  3. landon says:

    @JohnH: It’s probably true that “The poor will be with us always.”

    Cue John Cleese on the poor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=167IhlXnN2Y

  4. Nikodemus Siivola says:

    Unless I remember things wrongly, someone pointed out that relatively speaking our universe is still in its youth — so that should we survive this ball of mud, the chances that we become a forerunner race others are pretty good.

    Pity them.

  5. landon says:

    @Nik: Pity them. They will have the fear of clowns seared into whatever they use for DNA (assuming they replicate at that level).

    Xfjglxzz99: “There was a clown god, with red hair and enormous feet.”

    Yddddrp002: “And it . . . gave them food?”

    Xfjglxzz99: “Yes.”

    Yddddrp002: “Let’s not write this up.”

  6. Maybe I’m odd but I’ve always liked the idea that at 10 billion years old the universe is still an infant and the Human Race is the first race to evolve intelligence. We have this entire universe to mold as we see fit.

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