A conceptual story about taking things too far.
|The Social Game!
There was once a colony from Earth that left aboard an enormous, nearly self-sustaining city sized space ship. They were mostly normal people. They were not a religious cult or sect or some profiteering corporation or even the good old fashioned militaristic conqueror. They were bound in a disgust for Earth and it’s dominant species
So they struck out nearly blindly to live and wander among the stars for as many generations as it would take to find a suitably hospitable world to domesticate and terra-form and run through the dishwasher of atmospheric purging, and start an Earth worth living on. Where peace would be paramount and ensuring that peace would be done as peacefully as possible. Thousands of years pass and a comfortable little planetoid about the size of Mercury was found and settled. Cities were established and the people re-learned how to live on land, with time measured by rotations around their star. They advanced their technology upward and micro-processed it down to maximize efficiency. Time passed and their peace held, with only minor hiccups bubbling up on occasion. These were always settled by reminding and remembering the idea of peace they were founded on. Both parties were often so embarrassed by causing distress like the world they left, that they would fall over themselves trying to overcompensate the other way. By doing good deeds and paying high praise. Over still more time, the excitement of the newness of their world passed and the people developed an interactive social game to pass the time. The game would allow players to pursue and achieve rewards, but everything was on a timer, so that no one could accumulate or hoard. But the rush of prizes, and the chance they might all come at once, kept the thrill of the game alive and kept the dangling carrot looking fresh and bright. The people were enamored. As if falling into a dream like trance, like Narcissus and his reflection, no one could get enough.
Or so it seemed. A small group managed to get bored and then disgusted as reality set in as to what their people and their world were atrophying into. They built a ship and up and left. The planet, the solar system, maybe even the universe…But that small detail was just that, a small detail, trifling really. The people had new obstacles. How computerize and automate their society so that they could play their social game without interruption. The only thing they could not control was the whether outside their doors and windows. This was resolved by incorporating it into the game. They used the unpredictable whether to start rewards and prizes. This was so successful the whole of the game headed away from the people themselves and became almost entirely centered on the whether. Things became faster in windier whether, calmness and tranquility reigned on sunny, warm days, excitement came with a storm and anticipation built with barometric pressure. Part of the game became knowing what whether will come when, and the people pushed their technology as hard as they could to see what the whether would bring. But their technology had limits, and tedium threatened. The people decided that if they could not predict the whether they would tweak the whether themselves to cause changes on demand. “just a little” they told themselves.The whether changed and over time excitement on top of excitement passed, “well just a little more won’t hurt…”
Nobody, NOBODY, saw it coming .The tiny little planetoid nearly tore itself apart with the fury it conjured from magnetic fields and star’s gravitas in attempt to reclaim itself from it’s biological parasites. When all was done and sunny days returned, a bare, decimated and destroyed civilization warmed itself. Somewhere in between those it left behind and those who left it behind.