A Galaxy Divided

The origin of a classic.

By: Gus Mastrapa

Filed Under: Editorial Experimental Retro

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It is ten thousand years since The Progenitors left. Their empire occupied the center of the galaxy. The vast network of systems was home to countless lives. They were a technologically advanced people, capable of controlling matter at the subatomic level. They wanted for nothing and denied no ally aide. But as the centuries wore on The Progenitors became increasingly frustrated by the civilizations squabbling around their borders. Some say it was this weariness that led The Progenitors to leave. Others posit that their Promethean experimentation with the building blocks of the universe finally led to disaster.

The fact remains. The Progenitors are gone. Somehow, against all scientific notion, the dense core of the galaxy – billions of stars and planets – disappeared. Such an event should have been cataclysmic – throwing the galaxy into a gravitational disarray. But nothing of the sort happened. The outer rings of the galaxy didn’t collapse or spin off into the the universe. Impossibly everything held together. There was vast chasm in the center of the galaxy – a yawning cavern of uninterrupted space.

Without the guiding hand of The Progenitors the remaining civilizations fell into disarray.

On one end of The Great Empty were a coalition of freedom-loving worlds, motivated by a profound respect for life of all kinds. Governed by a complex body that included representatives from sentient and non-sentient species this Planetary Organism Union represented countless living creatures. But without the vast resources of The Progenitors to provide non-living sustenance their values quickly crumbled. Stronger species, suddenly starved, began to feed off weaker, less conscious life forms. The peace of millions of years was failing.

Meanwhile, on the far end of the galaxy, the Tellar’Ng – a teeming mass of sentient robotic life, found their exist called into question. For aeons they were servants of The Progenitors. But when their masters abandoned the galaxy they were left aimless and rudderless – a sea of nanotech robots with more mass than a billion planets. For ten thousand years they idled in a feedback loop, flummoxed by their place in a galaxy torn asunder. But an outside threat broke them from their eternal reverie.

Sensors detected a massive cluster of energy coming at them from the center of the galaxy at impossible, faster than light speeds. Inaction would mean extinction. And the Tellar’Ng were programmed- nay created – to survive. So the sea of gray goo woke from its slumber and began work on their greatest work – an enormous ebony monolith designed to repel their impending extinction. Their plan worked. And now, for the first time in a era the Tellar’Ng had purpose – vigilance. But their act of self-preservation had untended consequences.

They had deflected the mysterious energy cluster, sending it careening at back towards the center of the galaxy, unknowingly putting the creatures of the P.O.U. at risk. The more sentient members of the P.O.U. knew that inaction would mean massive extinction. An agreement was met, non-sentient life would be sacrificed for the greater good. Intelligent species would feed and unite to fend off the strange pulse from the far side of the galaxy. And once that threat was met a way would be found to return to the old ways.

A new vigilance was needed. And a new kind of cooperation required to build the a massive organic wall preserve and protect life from this new threat. Life would not go from this galaxy without a fight.

But neither would the Tellar’Ng.

Two civilizations at opposite ends of the galaxy are locked in a struggle to survive. For one to live means the destruction of the other. And somewhere, The Progenitors look on.

This is P.O./Ng Infinity.

Filed Under: Editorial Experimental Retro

About the Author:
Gus Mastrapa is a freelance writer from Apple Valley, CA. He doesn't believe in zombies.

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