I swore vehemently at the ruined print, damaged by my sticky fingers. I knew Doc’s sensors were off; I didn’t want a beating– even if only telepathically.
I was on a slow-track to finish my dissertation, so I still had to “play worlds” with Doc in the lab until he signed-off. Only then I could finally start galaxy manipulation.
In the meantime, I was stuck managing the lower-life. For example, the earthlings in this series. They were just tip-toeing into orbit now! Talk about procrastinators.
I cocked my head as I studied the spoiled black-and-white under the red glow. On second thought, maybe I’d tweak this one on re-entry. I conjured up a new print, immersed it in developer, waited, and carefully pulled it out to put into the next tray, then the next.
As it dried, creating history, I smiled. I just gave these guys a fighting chance. Maybe in a few eons our descendants could finally meet.
The following story was based on the following image as a prompt:
Did we give them credit? Of course not. We are Life, they were bottom-dwellers.
They labored. When the storms and thunder came and went, when the sun burned and set, we paid them no mind.
Why would we? Wormwood was the least of our concerns. The Kingdom had the vicious Wyderhosiens, sleazy Mebas, and the violent race of Zyesis to worry about. The Larvi were said to be non-toxic to society as long as left to themselves. (And when not, they were known to bite visitors apart.)
When we migrated the populations from the dying planet, we left them in a boring useless sector where the Larvi could be forgotten and eat dust in peace.
But we do not have the talent to coexist. By the time we returned, the Larvi had transformed the tough, hewn rock walls into a masterpiece. Then we followed command, slaughtering the slimy peach creatures.
These new headquarters will suffice. Until we find something better.
“Wormwood.” For conjuring a whole world in a few words, introducing us to a series of races, and outlining a conflict as old as time: the rulers versus the oppressed. Great phrases like “non-toxic to society,” and “could be forgotten and eat dust in peace.” It’s not easy to cover this much ground so quickly.”