Too Bad

“WE PASSED THROUGH SEVERAL HUNDRED media-transmission shells on our way in,” the communications officer said. “Of course, we were eager to see who had made them.”

By the pale light of a flickering viewscreen, the captain’s expression was thoughtful. “I can see why,” she told the communications officer. “Judging by their cities and transportation networks, they built big and dreamed bigger.”

“Indeed. They even made entertaining fictions about lives on other worlds, in other times. Some were quite remarkable.”

“Not all of them were fictions,” added the technologist. “On a few of the local planets we found evidence of sophisticated exploration. Only mechanical, you understand, but with the potential for later biological missions; perhaps leading to eventual colonization.”

“I am afraid biology was not their strong suit,” said the xenobiologist, shaking her head. “Forests denuded, farmlands plundered, oceans choked with petroleum artifacts.”

“Some of their media-transmissions suggest that they were aware of the problems they had caused themselves,” said the communications officer.

“Why didn’t they do something about it?” snapped the captain.

“Some tried. But you know how it is: ‘Too Little, Too Late.’”

A pause.

“They never gave themselves the chance to grow out of their infancy,” murmured the xenobiologist. “I doubt most of them knew they were in their infancy.”

“A mistake we’ve seen on countless worlds,” said the captain. “Pity.”

“Indeed,” said the communications officer. “What a time we might have had together.”

5 comments for “Too Bad

  1. Audrey darby
    2023.07.06 at 0407

    You are truly gifted & your creativity amazes me. Wish I were up to seeing the new Indiana jonesmovie.

  2. Kathryn Hildebrandt
    2023.07.08 at 0041

    The wise and the sensible ones who see what should be done are unable to wield power. And the ones who do know how to wield power are brutish, shortsighted and psychopathic.

    • 2023.07.08 at 2145

      I think it’s always been that way. Modern methods and tools just make it worse. 🙁

      • Kathryn Hildebrandt
        2023.07.08 at 2205

        Yes. It is the way of our species.

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