Plenty Of Spaces
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There are plenty of empty places out there in the galaxy. Places with nothing in them, except the most basic elements of the universe. Places where there is no trace of life, let alone intelligent life. Trust us, we’ve looked. But there exists out there a small, humble place where intelligent life does exists. That’s what we are. Humanity, the sole inhabitant and inheritor of the galaxy. We are alone out here, our little blue planet surrounded by nothing but gas, dust and light years of empty space. The void is silent, refusing to speak to us. We get the odd radio signal time to time from some distant star, but no proof that indicates that there’s anything else other than us. There’s no intelligent life out there. We are alone.

It’s understandable. You know how much had to happen, how many infinitesimally small chances had to come together to allow life to begin and evolve? You have any idea how unlikely our existence is? It's a pretty small chance.

Our existence is owed to so many improbable events; our planet forming in the zone around the sun that supports life, the existence of a gas giant that guards us from roving meteors, the creation of water, carbon, our rise from the mud into walking beasts upon the land, our evolution from animals into thinking beings. Our survival on this planet amidst everything we’ve done to it, and each other. Everything aligning so perfectly that we had a chance to become.

If we hadn’t formed in what we call the ‘Goldilocks zone’ our planet would be a frozen waste, or an empty rock.

If there wasn’t other planets in our system guarding us from roving asteroids, our planet would be bombarded into dust more efficiently than any weapon could achieve.

If there wasn’t water, carbon and the other elements on this earth we wouldn’t have existed anyway.

If we hadn’t grown out of some primordial soup, grown legs that allowed as to walk on land, hands that allowed us to use tools, and brains that thought up everything we have today, we would have languished on our planet for so many years, our existence meaningless.

If we hadn’t avoided the total destruction of the planet and ourselves at our own hands (And trust us, we’ve tried), we would never have made it to space, to other planets.

And everything else that has made us over the long years.

And look at what we’ve done. Created interstellar travel, an empire spanning space. Science, art, culture. Beauty. Thousands of years of development leading to what we have now. That’s another tiny, tiny chance that has produced so many unlikely things. Our creations are so varied and so different that I don’t think that any one person knows everything that we’ve made. We’ve imagined possibilities, impossibilities, and everything in between. But, for all this we are alone.

We have looked to the sky since the very beginning, since the days when we could comprehend that it was something other. We’ve always looked up, in wonder and awe, trying to discern what could be up there. What the stars are. What the blackness is. And you know what we found? Nothing.

There is nothing up there. Only rock and superheated gas, floating in the darkness. The only life we’ve found is what we’ve brought with us, and while it is truly wonderful it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. We are alone, the only beings in this vast and empty place.

But, we still search. Because the universe is a big place. There’s plenty of spaces out there we haven’t seen, that might just harbour intelligent life. So we’ve kept looking, the chances be damned. Because who cares if the likelihood that someone like you exists is next to nothing? It’s our own story after all.

First draft of the Human Union’s intelligent life discovery document

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