Interplanetary Colonization
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We watched.

We watched your species first rocket into the stars. An age of thinkers, of lovers, of workers, of fighters, and of leaders, who betrothed billions of working hours to the Space Race. And in its wake, a chance to celebrate in shared triumph. Yet instead, a waste: Another confusion of strength with supremacy; another wave of bristling at diverse creeds and needs; another battle of men who made it pitted against men who did not. On their labour sits greed and wile. It created One Small Step, and one inch toward catastrophe, amid a cold war spent planning and plotting and pining for destruction of brothers who share blood but not borders, who see the same sun yet seek aspirations of a queerer-sounding solidarity.

In stories you think us mere extraterrestrial colonizers. As grey men in silver ships descending on lands towned and tilled. As abductors of those who thought curiously of the stars in the night sky. As meddlers, who would take your shape and wear your skin to preach sin on the mired masses. As oppressors, who would enslave your entire species as cogs in a great machine. As the people from faraway lands, whom your elite think as both dim yet daunting; weak yet strong; deifying the day's work yet indolent in defiance of its discipline. Are these a projection — the venomed words and vile ways of the worst among you imbued in a stereotype, and reflected onto the entire macrocosm of free space? We seek not to dismantle your damnable dominion, built on the backs of a billion bondservants and bestowed on the oh-so-brave heirs of bloodthirsty empires. But we are curious; we cherish advancement, and catalogue all its beautiful forms.

Back then, One Small Step amid global strife created a bastion of ingenuity for all men. Now, after millions of your ancestors travelled to the stars and billions have been born light-years from your natal home, each world reverts into tribalistic ways. Centuries of expansion have exposed the guilt germinating for generations. Settled stellar systems sit in abeyance, split from their source by the uncountable, unfathomable stretches of Space and Time. They forget the great grandparents of their great grandparents, who fled your Terra in union. It is inevitable that some now think their enemy as one who looks like them but thinks unlike them; a celestial coincidence forging again the nation-states of old, now separated by the raging Cosmic current. The alien of the future is human, and for some, no worthy alien is one which still subsists.

We have watched your species at arms-length for thousands of years. Cheered on as you made your way. And we mourn that fledgling species, witnessing how it has now become. From communal lives, built among small bands, on unwritten, unspoken virtues which lift the well-beings of both the mutual and the collective through careful cooperation. Into territorial feuds, fought with mass ferromagnetic slugs accelerated to relativistic speeds; trade embargoes severing star systems from securing most basic supplies; intrusion and suspicion tunnelling along carrier waves at superluminal speeds. Reducing that once fellow human into festering parasite, and squashing it with that same ease.

Even so, we would be remiss not to remind you of the ways you have striven, though there are lengths yet to travel. We believe what is needed to overcome such petty squabbles has been within you since the beginning. And we remain here, recognizing you require space to roam and space to grow.

Look within, and be set free.

Until then,

We watch.

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