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2.2) The Contact

The contact was minimal, the astronauts saw and touched the object. Nothing happened, they videographed, but beyond being there no purpose seemed to be served.

For the UG, United Gaia, a process had been started. Historically the beacons had been planted on all planets with euridium mining potential – even if as in recent history mining did not occur. Somehow Gaia always guided her intelligent life to use euridium as a source for Fastlight. Was this a new life form resourcing this precious power source?

Protocols were in place to handle new contact – mainly monitoring protocols. Galactically UG was a new organisation that had grown out of the millennia of conflict. The first fastlight species had dominated through exploitation of euridium deposits. As intelligent lifeforms began to explore euridium’s potential the first blocked their progress with whatever violence they felt necessary – including genocide. Their control had been oppressive for millennia, but gradually the Universal Gaia won through as new species developed euridium use from within their own resources. Now the conflict was between equals, and many planets were devastated – much destruction.

But eventually the single-minded exploitation of the firsts was superseded by more mature races who saw more to life than this power through accumulation. Over millennia this maturity became the UG benchmark. It became apparent that species, even the first eventually, had parallel development. Expansion and accumulation went hand-in-hand so new species were always a danger for causing possible conflict. At some point Gaia decided species had matured enough that they merited fastlight drive. This maturity recognised some form of Path, an understanding that spiritual maturity as opposed to material appropriation were the real priorities. Eventually the UG established a dubious Path Index (PI), and if a species reached the TIP (Path Index Tipping Point) they were accepted into the UG.

Contact with new species was always distant and minimal. UG had realised after a number of unsuccessful contacts that species were better left to themselves – or rather Gaia – to develop; helping a species to mature never worked well.

But they did need to monitor the resource – euridium, that also turned out to be a sort of benchmark of maturity – and risk. On occasions in the past new species had developed fastlight through the use of euridium, but lacked the maturity that usually came with such developments. Belligerent species developing the drive could still be expansionist seeking accumulation, and they would meet other species of the UG. Without maturity that contact with expansionism could lead to serious loss of life. Such bellicose species would be brought in line usually although the UG had been forced into genocide with the Usans for whom no amount of education could alleviate their expansionist disease – their addiction to accumulation.

UG had learnt the importance of their operatives, despite long experience with the protocol they knew that insight and discernment were the needed faculties of their species investigators; combining protocol with judgement was their byword. Once the beacon had transmitted contact, an operative in this case Corders was assigned to this species. She dispatched recording devices to their homeworld where life was recorded - according to protocol.

Her report was straightforward and pointed “This species is very immature. They are dominated by a small proportion who are addicted to accumulation. Their development needs to be monitored. They are far from fastlight but have stumbled on a euridium planet so there is potential for conflict with UG. As yet there is no need for stage 2 protocols – physical contact, but their danger index is high and their PI is low.”

Back on earth the object was discussed. The scientists of the ruai presumed the beacon was obsolete, they were so arrogant that they could not see that their ignorance prevented them from detecting functionality. However they were sufficiently well oriented to ruai mentality that they were able to reach a conclusion that appealed to the accumulators.

Their report read “This obsolete object is now not functional. We determine that it had an original purpose but that those who put it there have long since gone. On a positive note we should be aware in terms of further exploration that there are other life forms which at one stage had some level of technology. We also note that if such an object of technology had been placed on this planet at some stage, then there has to be some form of wealth on this planet. We recommend further exploration with a view to determining resources which we as yet do not understand.”

Inadvertently UG’s beacon had accelerated the timeline to fastlight for humanity because if the inherent greed within the ruai system – this timeline they did not have the maturity to cope with.