Author : Lawrence Buentello

Five billion years ago, two members of the Fraca species stood staring at the stars from the balcony of their laboratory.

They had worked ceaselessly, along with thousands of other scientists and technicians, to formalize the seeding project many thought impossible. On the following morning all the orbiting engines would release their rocky projectiles into space toward precisely determined celestial targets. A thousand projectiles would travel untold light years toward a thousand other stars, and the planets orbiting these stars.

The two astronomers had been discussing the philosophical implications of such an endeavor.

“If even a few succeed,” the one called Jangus said, holding his long arms before him like a priest from their ancient past, “we will be the creator of these species.”

“A millions years,” the one called Zoris said, “or a billion years hence.”

“We will have created all these beings.”


“I hope our people are still alive when these others are capable of contacting us.”

The Fraca were the single intelligent species on their planet; and they had never, in the course of their twenty thousand year-old civilization, found evidence of another intelligent species in the universe. Their science was highly refined, but the stars remained silent.

And so it became imperative to the Fraca that they not remain the solitary intelligent species in their galaxy, or perhaps even the universe. Once their biological sciences had refined the means by which to manipulate their genetic material masterfully, a great plan was drawn to deliver carefully coded amino acids and other chemical combinations to other planetary systems suspended in the corpus of comets.

If their extensive calculations were correct, the introduction of the coded sequences would initiate the creation of complex organic forms, leading to a long, slow evolution of increasingly complex organisms, culminating in a subtly programmed intelligence.

When the galaxy was filled with new species, and sentient beings, the Fraca would no longer be alone.

“Do you ever wonder,” Jangus asked his colleague, “if this was the manner in which our species was created?”

“Wouldn’t we have found others like ourselves by now?” Zoris replied.

“That’s a logical assumption. But perhaps the equations are not in our favor.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Perhaps,” Jangus said, nodding at the stars, “time is a barrier a sentient species simply cannot surpass.”

“Time is an illusion.”

“But entropy is not.”

“If you’re correct,” Zoris said, considering the stars, “then we’ll never know, will we?”

“I very much hope that we do.”

The next morning, the mission proceeded as planned. The launch was a magnificent success, and the Fraca waited a hundred thousand years to receive even a primitive communication from another species.

But the Fraca never did; they died alone, never knowing if they had brought light or darkness to the universe, and never realizing that they had brought both.

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