Climate Of Change

Entry by: Phidgers

4th December 2015
Climate of Change

The time had come for a great change. Those with any say in the matter came to present their opinions. It’s highly unlikely that you can fathom what this looked like. Imagine a gathering of giant sentient balls of light, with almost limitless power. Now imagine that their meeting place was the entire universe. Too much effort? Try an analogy instead. Think of smaller sentient balls of light, floating inside a council chamber. If you like, you could use the United Nations General Assembly Hall as an example. It doesn’t really matter, as nothing you can think of actually gives an accurate representation of how the meeting appeared. It will do though. You’ll get the gist of what happened.

Anyway, in the analogy, the sentient balls of light were all hovering over chairs. Each one pulsed with a slightly different colour, according to their individual temperament. Clouds of glowing energy flowed within each of them. One of the spheres was a pleasant shade of sky blue. It approached the main address stand.
‘We are here for a momentous occasion,’ it communicated. Had it spoken rather than just transmitting its thoughts throughout all of creation, it would have had a deep booming voice. It’s probably helpful for now, for you to imagine that this is how all giant sentient balls of light sound.

‘Our mortal inventions are struggling under the burdens of the universe,’ it continued, to metaphorical nods from the others. ‘We must figure out a way to safeguard them.’

‘We know what you’re hinting at,’ another orb replied. This one was also blue, but it was the darker blue that came from being a bit cautious about things. ‘You’ve spoken on the matter before. Your ideas were considered too dangerous then. What makes you think that things will have changed now?’

‘We made this universe,’ said the first sphere. ‘We created it to have a permanent climate of change. Its existence relies on it, in fact. If it stopped moving, it would lose its balance and fall apart. But this makes things difficult for our living constructs.’

‘We gave them a chance,’ the darker blue ball said.

‘We made them bigger and stronger, and for millions of years they thrived,’ chipped in a third sphere. It was a highly respected purple, supposedly reflecting its wisdom and creativity.

‘And what use was that in the end?’ Sky Blue countered. It did not agree that the colour purple indicated anything to be proud of, but it kept its thoughts to itself. When one had to spend all of eternity with the same people, it did not help matters to make unnecessary enemies.

‘Huge creatures, almost unstoppable. Hundreds of millions of years of success, I’ll give you that. But it didn’t help them in the end. One big asteroid and that was that. Most of our hard work obliterated in the blink of an eye.’

‘We could have just stopped the asteroid,’ Dark Blue suggested.
‘You know that’s not the case,’ Sky Blue snapped. ‘The universe can be fragile. If we start moving large objects around, the whole thing’s going to collapse. No, we need a more novel solution here. Giant dinosaurs were a knee jerk reaction to smaller ones just dying out before things got interesting.

‘I’ll grant you, it worked for a good while. The big ones made the smaller ones evolve some better defences, and everyone was the winner. However, all it took to screw things up was a big chunk of rock. Now that things are getting back on track, and we’ve actually got some creatures worth watching again, they need to be able to defend themselves.’

‘Here it comes,’ Dark Blue muttered.

Sky Blue surveyed all of its peers for dramatic effect before it continued.

‘There will be more asteroids, and other disasters, which will destroy everything all over again. However, the next extra planetary catastrophe is ages away. Mortals have got time to prepare some defences, but only if we provide them with the means. I’m suggesting we give them the potential for independent reasoning. That way, they might see another asteroid coming, and they can do something about it. For some reason, if we step in and stop things, the whole universe is in danger. But if mortals do the same thing themselves, it’s allowed. I read the original universe schematics and it says so, plain as day.

‘I’m suggesting just the potential for higher thoughts, mind. I’m not saying we make them nearly all knowing like us. In fact, I want to amend my original proposal, which I made before the dinosaur years. If they start thinking for themselves, I don’t think mortals should even know about us at all. We might give them a bit of an inkling, but no more than that. That way, they’ll innovate and learn, rather than coming to us for solutions we shouldn’t provide.’

‘What good will reasoning do them?’ asked Purple. ‘Are you forgetting that mortals are called that because they die? Imagine being able to think like we do, and learning that you’re going to expire. I think we just need to evolve some even bigger dinosaurs.’

‘And I think I just explained why huge dinosaurs aren’t the answer to everything. Anyway, there’s a growing feeling that we shouldn’t tinker too much with biology. All we do is get the ball rolling with a bit of input, then let life evolve however it wants. It’ll upset things if you just shove some huge dinosaurs down, ready made. You’ll need small ones, and there’s no guarantee they’d grow into big ones later.’

‘But what about death?’ Purple pressed again.

‘They’ll get used to it,’ Sky Blue countered. ‘Mortals are pretty good at adapting. If we let them think about what they’re up to, imagine what interesting things they’ll create. That was the point of making living things in the first place, wasn’t it? Give us something new to watch. How about we open it to a vote?’

‘Fine, fine, you’ll never get a majority anyway,’ Dark Blue said. ‘We’ll vote on it.’

‘I call a vote on the following motion,’ announced Sky Blue. ‘Mortal creatures should have the potential to reason for themselves, and evolve higher thought processes. Anyone in favour, blaze with light. Anyone opposed, go dark.’ It finished speaking and waited.

It knew that it was asking a lot, but in the end it was pleasantly surprised. The darker shaded balls usually tended to be cautious on creative matters. This was the case for all of the dark blues, and most of the dark greens as well. The purples were more split. However, the dark reds really came through in favour of the motion. The lighter hues shone with radiance, particularly the yellows. This was enough to carry the motion by a comfortable majority.

‘This is a big mistake,’ Dark Blue rumbled. It was a good thing that the council chamber was just an analogy. Otherwise, the angry sphere would probably have set it on fire.

‘Give over, you lost,’ replied a deep crimson sphere. ‘Have the decency to do it gracefully.’

Sky Blue did the glowing ball of light equivalent of a large grin. ‘I’m thrilled to see that common sense has prevailed here,’ it said. ‘Now, there will be lots to organise. This is a new situation, and we won’t fully know what to expect. Just one more example of why we’re only nearly all knowing.

‘Anyway, as I said, we shouldn’t blurt our existence out to mortals. They won’t work for themselves that way. However, I don’t think we’ll be able to hide ourselves completely. I reckon that they’ll suspect that there’s something more to reality than just what they can observe.

‘For that reason, we’ll need to keep tabs on things. I could be wrong, but I think that mortals might even start worshipping us, once they have the means. We should probably cater for this if it does happen. That might even solve the problem that Purple presented, about them being worried about death. They might assume we have some bigger plan for them. After all, if they can reason, they won’t always be right. I’m happy to take on the administrative position of a deity. But I won’t be to everyone’s tastes.’

‘That’s for sure,’ Dark Blue muttered, still brooding.

‘If I handle the spiritual needs of good and peaceful people, perhaps someone would volunteer to be my counterpart for opposite needs? Suffering, murder and all that. We’ll need to keep an appropriate balance. Enough bad stuff to make mortals innovate. Enough good stuff to make them think it was worth it.’

‘I’ll do it,’ Deep Crimson offered.

‘Excellent,’ said Sky Blue. ‘I think our jobs should be more about behind the scenes stuff. Just a few clues here and there. We should probably keep palpable appearances to a bare minimum.’

‘If we do need to be seen by mortals, what form should we take?’ asked Deep Crimson.

‘I’m not sure yet. I think we’ll need to wait and see which species makes the leap to intelligence first. We should probably take on whichever form they have.’

With that, the great meeting was over. If you’re still using your council chamber analogy, you could picture a vast number of sentient balls of light filing out of its exit, which has a green fire escape sign above it. That’s entirely optional. Really, the vast, almost omnipotent spheres just continued to exist, spread throughout the universe like they had been the whole time. Good luck imagining that accurately though.

It was a fine hot morning, in an area of land that would one day be known to some as Africa, on a day that some people would eventually call Tuesday. An ape sat on a rock, shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun with her hand. She had watched light come over the horizon, and spread across the world. That morning, for the first time in the history of her species, she wondered why it did that. She did not get to the answer. That would fall to her distant descendants. However, she was the first to come up with the enquiry. That signified the beginning of a great climate of change.

The End