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Carbon Based!?


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Carbon Based!?

By James Savik


"They are carbon based."

"Carbon based? How does that even work?"

"It works for them."

"That’s so weird."

"Yeah they’re evolved for an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere, can only exist in a narrow band of temperatures, need water, the whole works."

"That can’t possibly last. How stable is their star system?"

"They lucked out there. Their sun is a G7 dwarf and their system has four gas giants in their outer solar system that deflect most comets and asteroids."

"Where are they on the standard scale?"

"It’s a fractured R7 class civilization."

"They are just advanced enough to be dangerous... to themselves"

"It gets better. They use fossil fuels and nuclear fission."

"I guess that tracks since they are carbon based but the environmental consequences have got to be taking their toll."

"They’ve come a long way very fast. The report says they were just learning to bang rocks together the last time we surveyed this sector."

"When you say fractured, what do you mean?"

"Their society isn’t unified. It’s divided into nation states that constantly jockey for position and even war against each other."

"And they are all the same species?"

"Yeah. Imagine that."

"That’s frightening. Fission technology, hydro-carbon pollution; they have to be insane."

"Our observation probe has even recorded fusion explosions."

"They must be insane."

"So what do you think about contact?"

"No way. They are still far too primitive. If they managed to get their hands on some real technology they would be exceptionally dangerous. If they can’t get along with each other, what do you suppose would happen if they met the Shindarans or, Maker-forbid, the Taurons."

"That would not be pretty."

"Agreed. We’ll reevaluate contact the next time we survey this sector assuming that they’re still here."

"I hope they make it."

"Why? They are just another primitive culture. Ugh… they’re even related to Simians."

"Have you heard their music?"

"No. Is it good?"

"Listen to this. It’s by one of their masters. I think his name was Hendrix."

Strange beautiful grass of green,
With your majestic silver seas
Your mysterious mountains I wish to see closer
May I land my kinky machine

Although your world wonders me,
With your majestic and superior cackling hen
Your people I do not understand,
So to you I shall put an end
And you'll
Never hear
Surf music again

"So they know."

"Yeah. They know. It’s so bizarre: a species capable of such insight and ignorance all at the same time."

"I hope they make it. They sure won’t be boring."

"You know that in all probability they won’t."

"Maybe not but stranger things have happened."



© 2010 James Savik

Lyrics taken from Jimi Hendrix’s Third Rock from the Sun.

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