A fable on remembering
history to avoid repeating it
Expanded from the 1-6-2002 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
COMMODORE'S TOP-SECRET ON-SITE INSPECTION REPORT OF MINERAL TARGET PLANET
Greetings to the high council. I apologize for the tardiness of this report, but I am only now recovering from severe inflammation of my fourth and fifth tendrils which spread to all my eyes.
The following summarizes my findings after the standard preliminary onsite survey of a new high-potential minerals target. I must now recommend reversal of preliminary plans to destroy this small planet.
From the technical standpoint, my findings are consistent with preliminary long-range spectral instrument analyses and later orbital and surface probes. This world bears rich concentrations of the minerals which the consortium has identified as needed by our solar system.
However, we now have confirmed evidence that this sphere once harbored highly intelligent life and may again should we choose to foster it.
In third position out from a single small yellow star, this world has produced intelligent life forms in at least three epochs. It is highly probable that visitors from other solar systems, and perhaps other galaxies, impacted at least some of that development, possibly for experimental or refueling purposes.
The population evolved complex, diverse and technologically advanced societies in each of the previous eras. Alas, all apparently ended in cataclysm caused by warring factions.
Normally, such historical findings would not be included in a minerals viability report regarding a desolate planet suitable for destruction, reduction to basic elements and transportation. However, our operating criteria require that evidence of past life-form success coupled with future viability enjoy marginal precedence over resource recovery.
Most planets, once life has disappeared, leave only shards and remnants behind after a long period of time. The records are rarely worth taking the time to review and translate. We did not have to do that in this case.
The previous inhabitants left a historical record quite impressive for both its breadth and simplicity of understanding as well as its durability.
Sometime late in the third epoch of intelligent life, thermonuclear war broke out in a region call Indiapakistan. Millions of life forms were annihilated and much of the planet became poisoned as a result.
More than one billion individuals among the dominant life form perished in the years immediately following nuclear weapons exchange and resultant unleashing of other forms of biological and chemical destruction.
In the year 2159 of the Third Epoch, a student at the University of Antarctica stumbled onto the solution of an equation predictive of the four quantifiable physical forces -- gravity, magnetism and the weak and strong nuclear forces. This soon led to the opening of exploration into other dimensions.
The scientific breakthrough was timely, as political infighting in the least-poisoned portions of the planet threatened to complete the destruction started by the Indiapakistan World War.
To foster the peace, world leaders created three regions divided by folk superstition-based codes called religions. Believers in the Islamic code were awarded the continent of Africa. Judaeo-Christianity was placed in the portion of western Eurasia still capable of supporting life. Adherents of smaller religions were placed on the continent of South America, while those adhering to no code were transported to Antarctica.
The university student who made the scientific breakthrough attended the Antarctican college because of his lineage -- a Judaeo-Christian mother and Islamic father. He chose to pursue research at a school where discovery did not have to be pre-conformed to ideology.
The student's unique religious perspective and sensitivity to the potential of renewed warfare led him to use his discovery to avert mayhem and disaster. He wisely looked for a common denominator which adherents to all creeds and sub-creeds could respect with no regard to ideology.
He found it in ancestry. Centuries of genetic research had proven the importance of inherited traits and keeping records thereof. Every individual was aware that everything which had impacted an ancestor iinfluenced all descendants.
In just three solar revolutions, in the planetary year of 2162, the former student. who by then was the planet's greatest teacher, unveiled what he termed an educational project -- the creation of a planetary dimensional curvature grid. Based on an archaic technology once known as the Internet, the grid was a stroke of pure political, economic and religious genius.
Satellite and laser airborne communication had been permanently impaired after the thermonuclear exchanges. All available capacity was taken up by military use.
So construction of a physical grid was proposed. The former student, now widely known as the Just Communicator (J.C.), knew that the economic activity created by the planetary construction would go far to equalize the living conditions of the four regions. Historians were in agreement that gross economic inequality was the underlying cause of the Indiapakistan thermonuclear exchange.
Presenting the grid as the best way to communicate with ancestors, only J.C. enjoyed the prestige needed to win quick agreement from the four habitable continents. A simple demonstration won that support. He showed that by using existing technology upgraded by his new time-warping equation, an individual standing at any point on the grid could access everything which ever happened at that location. Someone could witness an ancestor's birth or the moment speech first evolved in primitive primates.
The time-warp historical grid proved conclusively to even skeptics that life-form similiarities were far greater than their differences, such as ancient taboos about superficial skin coloration. (This is worthy of further study, as it is absolutely alien to our population with its uniform gray-green hue.)
Although this communications grid was very expensive to put in place, it was made self-sustaining through micro-robotics and solar dynamics. One of our exploratory crews discovered it during an excavation. Another contingent found a few hundred survivors of the dominant Third Epoch life form living in the tropical region at the northern pole. They are the near-starved victors who evolved resistance to the poisons and plagues resulting from the Indiapakistan World War.
Given these discoveries, I recommend that the council consider fostering creation of a Fourth Epoch through the repopulation of the planet and rebuilding of the ancestral history grid.
I await your decision as to which direction the mining fleet should pursue.
Respectfully submitted on this 6th day of the annual-twelfth called January in the year 10597 of this planet's Third Epoch by Commodore Dun Thrag of the 57th Mineral Recovery Contingent.
Be well. Raise hell.
© 2002 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 33-year Nevadan, a member Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org/ Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.)Tribune since 1988 .
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