Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer
We had created a society free of disease and violence. We had a society that was centered on fun and learning. We had a society that knew the difference between entertainment and education. We had cross-bred to the point that there were no more ‘races’ left.
We had a peaceful empire that spanned three systems and an average individual life expectancy of five hundred years.
Human beings have always thought of each point in their history as their most advanced. It’s like there’s a temporal egotism that says This, Right Here, Is the Best We’ve Ever Been stamped into everyone’s brain.
I suppose that’s what screwed us up as well. They say pride goeth before a fall.
We should never have woken them up.
There was a system wide ‘awakening’ party that had been organized for a decade. Everyone that had ever been put into cryogenic storage was taken out, cured, cloned, re-canted, simmed or given a construct and brought back to life on the same day.
It was joyous. Great15 grandchildren met with ancestors for the first time. Wet, happy eyes looked at historical figures live and breathe. Great learned minds were brought to us intact. It was seen as a heartfelt victory of the soul for all of humanity.
It was the stupidest thing we’d ever done.
Remember, we looked at warfare like witch-burning; an embarrassing footnote on our race’s way to glory. We hadn’t had a war in two centuries. We had no idea.
War takes no time to spread. With our long life spans and peace-loving ways, it didn’t take long for the Cryos to band together for familiar company. After they bound together, it didn’t take long for them to have a problem with us and demand space for themselves and *only* themselves. We gave it to them.
They wanted more.
They attacked. The reports came out from Earth with bloodstained shock. Reporters openly wept when reading back the details from the teleprompter.
We had to refer to our nets to look up the meanings of new words like ‘border’ ‘money’ and ‘opressed’. A dead vocabulary sprang back to life. Sparks were lit in distant recesses of the collective unconscious.
Horrified people on Earth were angry. A human thirst for revenge, long dead, awakened in dormant parts of the brainstem. Suddenly, there was a ‘them’ and it was invasive. Protection was the only answer.
Battles became frequent and even more disturbing was that on all sixteen planets, we watched, wide eyed and panting, at the carnage.
It changed us. That was the beginning of the war. It took seven years.
In the end, the Cryos were exterminated in a final solution reminiscent of an ancient political party known as the Nazis. So were the people that helped them. And the friends of the people suspected of helping them. Even the Cryos that had sided with us were put to death as well for the good of us all. It was too late.
A division grew amongst us at the gory repercussions of our murderous bloodthirsty decision. First political battles broke out, then actual physical ones. Earth01 demanded to secede from the union. Then Saturn’s Moons and archipelagos. Korthos followed suit.
Sides were drawn. Tempers were high.
We lost Mars altogether in that flashpoint attack. We have a larger asteroid belt now in the Sol system where that planet used to be.
That was the end of peace. We run and gun now. The sleeper has awakened. We look back and shake our heads. We should have let sleeping dogs lie.