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Little Blue Laboratory
Fiction - Book 0 Chapter 0 - Prologue

It's not that I don't want there to be war crimes; it's that I don't want there to be only war crimes. -Tynan Sylvester, Rimworld Creator

Prologue: In the beginning
History, so the saying goes, is written by the victors. Yet, such a sentiment is an incomplete reflection, for the victor must possess both the inclination to chronicle their victory and the skill to inscribe it. Truly, the first humble multi-celled microorganism, in its quest for sustenance, did not halt amidst its single-celled progenitors to pen a tome heralding its own supremacy. Instead time passed unregarded and unrecorded. The microorganisms grew, evolved and multiplied. Among them, there emerged a particular entity of grand proportions, brimming with self-importance, who deemed itself worthy of a new identity. Perhaps a fish. This audacious act, widely perceived as reckless, elicited mirth from the microorganisms. But soon enough, their amusement transformed into apprehension, for the aspiring fish surpassed their notions of prudence and grew mightier than they. And then came the day when the organism, having completed its metamorphosis into a fish, found itself solitary, the lone inhabitant of a vast ocean. It began pressuring others in it's environment to evolve alongside it. A portion of the microorganism community took a vote and opted for becoming fish. Thus, the cycle of transformation continued, birthing ever grander and more intricate species. From the aqueous domain, life ventured forth, soaring into the air and eventually falling upon terrestrial realm where the fish found fins and gills to be an extravagance and promptly discarded them. Such was the way of the world. Peaceful, serene, undisturbed, writing its history into the rock. That is until time, the sole adversary to ever elude defeat, ultimately triumphed over the burgeoning tapestry of life. In an instant, everything changed. A fire fell from the sky, smoke clouded out the sun, an inferno consumed the growing ecology. Those who survived the initial blast soon starved to death. Even the fish, who laughed at the foolish animals who ventured onto land, were not immune. The oceans boiled from the heat, cooking fish alive. It grew cloudy from the ash and death. But in the depths and in the cracks of rocks, life remained. Once started, never stopped. It waited patiently for the smoke and dust to settle, for the fires to burn themselves out, for the oceans to calm. Then slowly it reemerged, a blade of grass carried on the wind or algae carried on a current. And life evolved, grew larger and more complex again. Nourished by the ashes of the very destruction that almost consumed it. But, like any astute student, life had learned its lesson. Bigger was not always better. So newer, smarter, species emerged and evolved until, after millions of years, nature finally triumphed. Out of primates grew a new species, a bold design so advanced nature questioned the wisdom of its decision. Equipped with the ability to reason, this new creature was formidable in his capabilities and nearly limitless in potential. Thus, man emerged. He grew upright and slowly learned to think and create. Tools and weapons were among the first inventions. Followed by clothing, meant to shield him from the cold. What a cruel jest his predecessor played by denying man the gift of fur for warmth. But clothing also proved to protect from more than the weather. A thick vest could protect from thorns and claws. As he grew more accustomed to such comforts and found that all of his time did not have to be taken up by survival, man began to develop society. First came language, grunts initially. But, quickly evolving into hundreds and then thousands of distinct sounds to express feelings, thoughts, and events. Art evolved, first as a means of recording history on a cave wall, but then as a way of expressing emotions. For capturing the intangibles that words fell short of. History began to matter. Agriculture was invented and soon a true society emerged from hiding to settle the banks of the rivers Tigress and Euphrates. With society came law and order. With the growing population other societies emerged. And then came war. Before, man had only fought to protect himself. Now, such primitive concerns were easily satisfied, granting man ample free time and, inevitably, a taste of boredom. Some men, particularly those in positions of power such as priests and kings, discovered an insatiable desire for more. So they set out to take it. Thus came war, a brutal and lasting tradition of men with too much time on their hands. In the wake of war came empires. Some great some small, but ever a new one on the rise to challenge the established order and cast the world into chaos for years before life settled back down into a quiet routine and men became bored once more. All the while writing, technology, and religion developed and grew ever more complex. Artists grew more skilled at rendering the human form. Architects at constructing monolithic monuments for their rulers. Rulers at coming up with ever more creative ways to exploit the riches of their land and people. So history continued. Anytime life grew tedious, someone would ignite the flames of war, infusing an otherwise lackluster existence with fervor. During the interludes between conflicts, mankind's intellect flourished, as the burgeoning forms of science sought to unravel the mysteries of existence. It aspired to answer the ultimate questions, long monopolized by religion: "Why do we exist? How do we exist?" For countless centuries, scientists chased this elusive holy grail. Each step forward in knowledge brought forth new pathways, enabling men to accomplish once arduous tasks with ease. Now leaving them with ample time for ennui. Art burgeoned, literature blossomed, theater transformed into a prosperous enterprise, and sporting events garnered widespread acclaim. Science, though never unearthing the answers it sought, managed to dispel many surface rationales for religion's existence or created devices that alleviated the need for contemplation. Thus, religion wilted, retreating into the shadows, patiently lurking until the day science faltered. As religion faded away and the arts ascended, wars became increasingly rare, rendering men feeble and languid. Time, the unyielding conductor, marched ceaselessly forward, showing no mercy to any in its wake. Time, the great leveler of men and judge of all who came before eventually bore mankind's weariness with Earth. Their homeworld was now marred by industry, its resources depleted, forests razed, and oceans pillaged. Alongside the march of scientific progress emerged a yearning, a beckoning call to extend the human frontier into the unfathomable abyss of space, to traverse distant worlds unspoiled by the touch of humanity. Initially, man constructed orbital structures, steadily expanding in size and relentlessly driving down the costs of exploiting this new frontier. The skies above the Earth transformed into a colossal city, a celestial tapestry of floating industry orbiting far above the clouds. The humans who lived and died here supporting those who would seek to travel further. Swiftly, man surpassed the boundaries of their orbit, erecting colonies upon Earth's moon and the crimson expanse known as Mars, while venturing forth to mine the untamed asteroids. Their ambitions knew no bounds as they embarked upon ever grander and more distant ventures. The time came when again Man grew bored and for a time the old game of war kept them occupied. Learning how to fight in this strange domain between planets was new and exciting. Building weapons of war taught them how to reach to the very edges of space. But still he yearned for more than he could reach. Man built a machine. A machine that could grab ahold of the fabric of reality itself. There was nothing they could not reach if they could warp through space. When your favorite game is war there are always old scraps laying around from a previous game. Swords into plowshares. Battleships into artificial reefs. Missiles into rockets. In this case, it was a warship that never saw combat. But would be the first to see the stars. The machine took hold of the fabric of reality and dragged it through space faster than light could ever imagine. Suddenly there was nothing that Man could not reach. The only limit was time. These machines were put into new ships and just like the sailors of old these new explorers plunged into the unknown. Sailing to distant shores in the hopes of finding something new, something exciting. And they found it. Another world. A world back in time when there was peace. There were no cities here, no societies. Nothing but a world of new animals living in the trees. "A perfect place for a city", Man thought. So we began to write the History of another world. A colony on a new world, yet another old tradition of Man. Finding something pristine only to seize and soil it for his own sake. An old habit that is hard to break. Man's influence grew ever wider. Always discovering new things, always comandeering these new things for his own purpose. There was hardly any time for war. Not when enemies had so much space to stretch out and find their own world. They could all write their own history safely away from anyone that might disagree. Man never forgot his oldest and most sacred tradition however. War was always on his mind. Weapons always in his pocket. Perhaps, one day he will discover a new player that likes to play this game. Someone else who would like to write their own history. Only time will tell.