The Hush of Expansion
For as long as we have been able to, humanity has gazed up at the stars and wondered what was out there. For tens of thousands of years we have studied them, charted their course, and attempted to divine their influence upon our lives. We have speculated deities and demons, searched for life, and sought meaning amid the chaos of the universe.
Two centuries ago we stepped forth from the surface of our home, from the shore of the cosmic ocean. Our first and faltering steps into the expanse seem, in hindsight, to have been made with excruciatingly slowness. We paddled in the waters between us and the moon, we threw stones into the deeps, but we did not dare step any further. But soon the deep and powerful currents caught our attention, caught our imagination and drew it willingly or unwillingly into the whorl of stars.
We left home behind, moving out into that expanse and we left behind us so many different things. We left mementos; the discarded rungs of the ladder we had climbed to our starships; we left our conflicts, our wars: for there was enough of space for each faction, each religion, each government to find their own home, where they wouldn’t have to live with those who disagreed with them. We left behind the knowledge of where home was, we burned that bridge and forgot so much with it. We did not care, we had new worlds, new stars, and new corners of the galaxy to explore. We left much knowledge behind as well, deliberately rather than accidentally. Entire branches of science we deemed too risky, too dangerous, or too powerful to take with us into the this virgin territories. Humanity was not mature enough to use them responsibly, and so we did our best to bury them and forget they existed.
We ran scared of what we had done and we did not stop running until we could no longer remember why we ran, and just ran because it was what we had always done…