01 - Before Space Travel

Before Space Travel

As far back as their history goes humans have been living on Thera, a temperate and bountiful planet full of luscious flora and useful fauna. With an ecosystem resembling a carefully-tended garden more than a normal planet, Thera's wars were for political reasons, not resources. Of course, political wars require multiple governments to clash. So, inadvertently following Murphy's Law before it was written, the humans quickly invented a myriad of conflicting government systems; monarchy, diarchy, oligarchy, demarchy, and even a few paradoxical nations governed by strictly-enforced anarchy.

Thera had no moon, but once each solstice a great circle appeared in the sky. On the summer solstice it would be fiery black and block the sun, while on the winter solstice it would be brown-gray and illuminate the night. Each winter the circle would have a different face, but the cycle repeated every few years and the people quickly concluded it was a sphere, similar to their own planet. The summer solstice, however, was a mystery. The summer circle was a simple gray-black, but the features were unexplainable; each year there would be spots in various shades of orange and each year their places, sizes, and numbers would be different, with no discernible pattern.

The mystery was eventually solved when the Therans discovered how to melt the sands of their tropical beaches into glass lenses to make telescopes. The spots were fires from another civilization! Thus, before inventing computers, light bulbs, or even electricity, Thera had already started its space program after only 786 years of recorded history. Yet this head start would not be sufficient, for there was much conflict and politicizing of how to handle the space programs and enough sabotage to crumble empires. When they finally reached the other planet for the first time, it was already their 1642nd year of written history, and they couldn't even claim full credit for the accomplishment.

Next: Scrao