Recent discoveries of objects in a distant star system that could potentially be structures created by intelligent life forms have whipped global scientific communities into a frenzy. It is becoming increasingly likely that humans are just years away from the public announcement that they are not alone in the universe.
Meanwhile, speaking to us from a dingy hotel in the star system KIC 8462852, Rto’sohe’vhin is feeling like the biggest dunce ever.
“They told me a million times, they really did,” he explained to us again, referring to his superiors at his former company, which roughly translates to Sunny Times Solar Irrigation Group. He was let go after leadership became aware of his mistake, which led humans to suspect the presence of extraterrestrial life in the KIC system. “They said, don’t leave these monolithic power ships out overnight. The earthies might see.” (Earthies appear to be the word his race uses to refer to humans. It is a term which appears to signify neither derision nor endearment.)
Advanced societies across the universe have apparently gone to great lengths to avoid discovery by the inhabitants of Earth, and our research leads us to believe that eluding detection is actually a relatively elementary task. To be the first race discovered by humans is, frankly, pretty embarrassing.
“We’re all worried about the earthies. As soon as they find another planet, they’ll be on it like space flies. Filling up the hotels, making everything more expensive… They’re getting more and more persistent, the earthies with their looking glasses. Used to be they were just cute little glass toys; now those toys float around in space and just go around wreaking havoc! They’re spotting unsuspecting new solar systems, ruining the market for near-earth holiday destinations, stumbling upon extraterrestrial starships, getting people fired unceremoniously from the job where they’ve worked for over a thousand years…”
Rto’sohe’vhin explained the purpose of the structures to us. As an agricultural-based society, his race has collectively channeled its immense intellect and technological prowess into creating gigantic starships which are essentially light irrigation stations orbiting their star. Using incredibly advanced technology, fragile solar particles are absorbed, enriched, and transmitted to their home planet, where the energy is distributed to their myriad crop systems, which thrive on the intricately balanced diet of enhanced photons. At peak capacity, these titanic machines can absorb and repurpose up to a staggering 20% of the sun’s emitted light.
“It’s pretty frightening, really, when I think through the implications, that loads of humans might be flocking over here any moment now. My word, they are messy. And loud. And it’s all going to be my fault. I won’t be able to show my [face] for thousands of years if this, my one silly, silly mistake, is what ends up bringing in hordes of earthie tourists. This place has charm, you know? It won’t be the same if everyone and their neighbour finds out about it…”
The public on KIC 8462852 seems to be warming to Rto’sohe’vhin’s plight in recent days, though some are still simmering. Our interviewees’ comments ranged widely, from the sympathetic “We all leave our things out from time to time; his just happened to be spotted by those terrifying aliens from earth…” all the way to “He was always an idiot.”
As we were speaking to Rto’sohe’vhin, something suddenly dawned on us (very stretched pun there unintended). When we asked him whether the orbiting light-irrigation stations could convert the enriched solar energy into condensed, apocalyptically-destructive laser beams capable of traversing the vastness of space and striking, for example, nosy planets like Earth, he replied in the affirmative. “Of course! But good heavens, why would you even think about such a thing?”
“After all, advanced races look out for each other… ” trailed off the alien, who, we might remind you, is newly laid-off as a result of the earthies’ discovery of his race. “…don’t they?”
Time will tell, Rto’sohe’vhin. Time will tell.
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