Pic: Greg Ortega

Another Reddit writing prompt.

You discover an alien junkyard on mars, and slowly piece together what the civilization was like through examining its trash.



The wormhole opens for a fraction of a second. Photons tumble through the space curtain, gasses do not, as is procedure with exploratory wormholes. A few seconds later the wormhole is reopened for another fraction of a second to detect any scanning radiation being directed at the spot of the initial wormhole. That would reveal the first wormhole had been detected.

Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight, studied the data in stages. Its security zooid was studying the data first. It had locked out the other zooids from most of its central nervous system and was pumping its powerful, but short lived, hormones around Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight so that it could control or suspend all of the cortexes, until it was sure that there was no threat.

The data from the second wormhole revealed that there was was no evidence that the first had been detected. There was no evidence of any life whatsoever. Again.

The security zooid quickly released Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight from its grip and digested the debilitating hormones out of its system. Other zooids re-established control of different portions of the central nervous systems and drew on their relevant prefrontal-cortexes and other ‘brain’ functions.

Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight began analysing the data from the first wormhole in detail. It was indeed another small, disused exploration vehicle. But where did it come from? No settlements, either abandoned or currently in use had been found. But the planet was fairly large. Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight had only opened wormholes at several points so far.

Through the first wormhole it had found another small exploration vehicle, roughly 20 years older than this one according to its dating equipment. At first it thought the aliens must be minuscule, until it realised that the small vehicle was piloted remotely. But Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight had not detected any control buildings, or any evidence of wormholes where remote commands could be passed through to the vehicles.

Whatever civilisation had been here or was still here, was obviously advanced at one point. Dead satellites were in orbit around the planet along with its two natural moons. But there was no trace of the civilisation itself. It was as if the planet had become a junkyard for odd, exploratory technology. But from where were they exploring?

One of the zooids within Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight was stimulating the cortexes with ideas, outrageous ideas. It was the innovation zooid. It slipped its idea in the central nervous system like ink into a stream. An idea Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight had already dismissed. An idea that its colleague and competitor, Waterfall-Joining-of-Nine, had argued for at the space exploration institute, but had been ridiculed.

The idea was to investigate the third planet in this system, where some possible technological signatures had been detected. The idea was that the third planet, not the fourth planet, was the true home planet of this system’s aliens.

Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight dismissed these thoughts again. The facts hadn’t changed. The atmosphere of the third planet contained far too much oxygen for colonial organisms to evolve and thrive. 21% oxygen content would only allow for non-colonial life to evolve which couldn’t possibly have evolved intelligence. Individualistic life hadn’t evolved intelligence anywhere they’d explored so far.

Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight dismissed these thoughts. It would return to the institute with its findings and a hypothesis that the indigenous life of this system must be living under the surface of the planet, for unknown reasons. He would propose landing ultra-sound, subsurface detection equipment through a wormhole. Merged-At-The-Creator-From-Eight would find the lifeforms living in this system, he was sure of it.


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