Palimpsest - JP

Word Association. Darn weird word, though. Look it up here.

            When the probe came we found it, adrift in the oceans, vast oceans of space, we had no idea what we were looking at. Like you, we were curious. Like we imagine you are. You will be. You are here now, with us, if we are not alone, and you will join us here, we think.  

That day was an enlightening day a glorious day a disturbing day a tragic day. For it was in that day, we realized we prayed were not alone, we saw how alone we really are. But there are vast gulfs between stars, between lives, and the probe showed us, forced us to see what lay beyond them. This thin metal container, its skin like none we have known before, this wayward epistle, writ in bits and bytes and voices, voices who do not speak as ours, voices who must be heard, this simple message in a bottle, brought us understanding, compassion, sympathy, peace.           

Now, like so many before us, we consign it onward, outward, homeward. Like them, our home is dying, is dead, we will leave our own recording, and we will preserve it, in hopes that others may one day live the way we live, and learn from us, perhaps even contact us should any others survive. Yet, as those before us, we will attempt to preserve the original message, in such form as it does survive.         

Our world: our world is a bright blue sphere, a place of vast mountains and glaciers¸ a fleeting whisper preserved in memory. It is a peaceful place; welded together by common destiny, a technological marvel, with forests of ice, living crystals that form vast arches and spires, an ocean archipelago; we live our lives in land and sea. Though we are shattered as many tribes, we move as one, bound together by common calamity, bound together by blood and necessity, forced apart by our own ignorant arrogance. You will find it all contained herein, carefully overwritten; we cannot be overcome.         

This probe is ancient, ancient beyond reckoning, a relic of a billion years, cursing us from the past. So it seems that civilizations, peoples, die, must die, and we are separated not only by the gulfs in the stars. Our shining blue jewel, then, our bright forests, our shimmering moons, must crumble to dust as have so many before us. We are not alone in our fates, and we send this out again to show our brothers that they are not alone either. To remember, to hope someone remembers. To assert ourselves on the cosmos, to force it to remember us forever.           

Take this message as you will, but remember those who first crafted it, all those who crafted it before you. Have respect, then, and look on its contents with some awe, see what our predecessors wrought in the days when the universe was young. See our cities, the memories of our great gardens, the memories of life before our starships wandered through void. See everything that goes to make up a life, and build your own on top of it. Take what you need, learn what you will, and then cast it back out into the void, consign it to the will of eternity, in hopes, in the profound security of knowledge that it will find another like ourselves.            

It is for this reason we pass you our dreams, our will, our destinies, our thoughts. Build on them as we have done, send them onward, but please, please, please, please, do not throw them away.

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Author's Notes