Author: Alzo David-West

The Polygonz, a mineral-based sentience out around Rigel, were conducting an observation. Their deep probes had detected a planet, distant and liquid, with a peculiar life form composed of electricity and plasma, though the Polygonz could not discern if the creatures were intelligent.

While the Polygonz considered that the Palzam, as the former called them, could construct primitive structures, the Polygonz theorized that the glowing, floating hills were the products of a collective instinctual reflex, a genetic program without thought or deliberation.

In order to falsify their hypothesis, the Polygonz decided to conduct an experiment. Every few hundred millennia, for time passed faster from their perspective, they would gather samples of the Palzam and attempt to reproduce them under varying physical and chemical conditions. But the Palzam, time and time again, proved to be a feeble being, ill adapted to low and high extremes of cold, heat, gravity, and rays, unlike the Polygonz.

Indeed, by the standards of the Polygonz, the Palzam should never have thrived at all in a universe largely hostile to their existence. For the Palzam, with a few minor exceptions, could not live much elsewhere, apart from their unusual liquid world. And even when a tolerable range of conditions could be found, the Palzam were extremely slow to adapt or extremely quick to expire.

Their internal system, no less, could only metabolize a restricted range of a few simple, unpalatable compounds. And if the proportions were slightly imbalanced, the Palzam became frenzied, self-destructive, and again expired, one after another, entire communities and cultures of the electric, gelatinous creatures. As for those few that somehow managed to survive, they would form groups and colonies that went into brief periods of dormancy followed by massive outbursts of competition.

So after the thirtieth hundred millennia, the Polygonz decided to discontinue their observation, for they could not confirm if the Palzam were anything more than a mindless, self-organizing composition. The observers destroyed the several million cultures they had put in stasis, preserved a few hundred, and displayed them for others to see in the Gallery of Universal History. The Polygonz, planar and sparkling on their massive mega world, mused.

“Was that what we once were?” a young Polygonz asked.