What if the aliens were… us, as we could have been?
So the muses in my head are a-musing me with a new story set in a new world. Actually the background is more interesting than the story. (Usually not a good sign, but I am not being paid for this so I write what I’d like to read.)
So this all starts in the very near future, when off-world visitors appear in public for the first time. They don’t land in front of the White House or even in Beijing, but at St. Peter’s Square in Rome / the Vatican. A man in shining white meets with the Pope and later holds a press conference. He is a high-ranking member of the Imperial family in the Empire of 1000 worlds. Despite the humble name, the Empire actually counts over 7000 worlds and is still growing. But these worlds are mostly alternate versions of our Earth, in different time lines.
We are here not talking about time lines where Hitler won World War 2 or the Viking colonized America. Rather it seems that each of the time lines separated when the first human became self-aware. In the hub of the Empire, which is called Earth Prime, civilization is about 100 000 years old, and most of the others are also older than ours. The collected science and technology of all these worlds is now wielded by the Empire, and 99.9% of this looks like magic to everyone on Earth.
The Empire has no intention of invading Earth, assures its messenger. It is entirely dedicated to spreading love and happiness through the multiverse. They just happened to think some of us might want to join them. Quite possibly all of us, eventually, but it would have to be voluntary.
The messenger, the Oldest Living Son of the Emperor, also obliquely hints at being connected with the world’s great religions, possibly, and with the kick-starting of civilization on Earth in the first place. He is rather vague on these matters though.
The further backdrop of the story is how mankind reacts – or fails to react – to this First Contact and meeting a number of cultures utterly different from ours. The plot is about one young man, fresh out of high school at the time, who decides to throw in his lot with the Empire. But there could be any number of stories written in this multiverse. Â Is the Empire really a pure force for good? And even if they intend to do good, what will the real effect be on mankind? Will it crush our spirit, incite us to rebellion, or just fail to make an impression when no further invasion fleet appears?
Well, there may already be stories written about something like that. There is no end to the writing of books, and I have not read them all. It would be typical if someone else had written something like that already.
But the beauty of the Empire is that it has no aliens, and yet almost nothing but aliens. There are worlds with furries (artificially merging human and animal traits), worlds without grownups (where people remain childlike in appearance and size throughout their lives), worlds where people never put on clothes except to have sex, worlds where the moon is densely populated and worlds where it is a billboard. And every technology is magic to those who don’t understand it: You may be able to casually walk through walls yet baffled at the sight of an eeePad.
It is a fun place for me to write, even if I never plan to have it published. And even if I don’t have much time for it, really.