In the beginning, there was nothing.
Then, there was something.
An explosion, a gasp of light in a choking universe that breathed all we know into existence. Quarks and atoms bounced with sweet ecstasy, creation free to their whims. From dust they formed glittering galaxies adorned with brilliant balls of energy. Stars.
Stars were the pride of particles. Their fiery blaze illuminated the darkness, gave life and allowed other creations to be viewed. Up close, massive and glaring, but with an almost inexplicable allure. From a distance, gentle and charming, a reminder that even the blackest landscapes could be penetrated. Most life forms might as well be moths.
As Time traveled in her never-ending passage, the universe kept expanding. New stars were born, planets began to form, accompanied by their little moon sisters. Families formed, held tight in the arms of gravity. All the bodies lived in harmony and were appreciated, from plain asteroids to the glittering stars. They worked together to create melodies of color, an artwork from every perspective, and they were happy.
Eventually, the joy grew with the life that had sprung forth into the universe. Bacteria evolved into lush plantations of all colors. Organisms crittered out of crevices, or made them their homes. Slowly, but surely, sentient life formed their first, tiny civilizations. They worshiped the world that made and named them. In wonder of their origins. Creatures gifted with knowledge used their unique innovation to investigate and learn. Some races and planets moved faster than others, but they all held in commonality a reverence for their speckled skies. A respect. Even beasts possess a love for their kin.
After a few millennia, a new galaxy formed. Within it, a beautiful planet was birthed. Instantly, the universe welcomed another addition. Life had a special vibrancy on Earth. Her oceans were full and her forests were plentiful. All beings knew and respected the balance that supported them. Such understanding made Earth a continuation of the ardour fostered in the cosmos. Through hard and easy times, life persevered. Especially a species self-declared as humans.
The planet adored her special children. When they stumbled to their feet and stood strong, she gleamed with pride. Their ingenuity led them far. They studied the best traits of their siblings and mastered them. They crafted tools to assist them, used the opposable thumbs they shared with their ancestors. They forged bonds with their wolf brothers and mirrored their pack tendencies. And just like them, they formed tribes, each with unique cultures and beliefs. However, unlike the animals they walked beside, they had the capacity to think, to be aware. They could share their findings and make even larger societies. But, their own stubbornness curbed them. Humanity had another unique trait.
In worlds far far away other beings were also cunning and resilient, but no other species in the universe had such a thing as “arrogance”. They began to take advantage of every resource they could get their hands on. From an initial glance, it seemed a natural course of the food chain. But soon it became clear that they had set their minds on using their abilities for one thing.
They broke the balance of give and take and started their quest for domination. And they succeeded. Their egos became so grand so that they even dismissed the celestial bodies that had granted them their wondrous gifts. They became the first society to scorn the stars. Their need for superiority led them to seek to even take other planets. Humanity reduced once godly entities to simply their elements, ignoring anything that was not produced by them. They thought themselves unstoppable.
Earth grew more and more in pain and cried out to her own siblings and parents. She recounted her ungrateful children’s mission and transgressions, even to her. The universe is not cruel. They care for each other. Love all for they are all one.
It was proclaimed, “We must bring your children back to the light.”
So a plan was organized. The flashiest beings of the sky would gather to remind the humans of the glory of the skies, the unknown, and humble them. Violence was not once brought to the table. They hoped to reteach love and enchantment, reinforce mutual appreciation. War was never considered.
So. Stars not just from Earth’s own galaxy, but from all over the universe worked to form pictures with their forms. Constellations. Shapes of all kinds decorated the night. Beasts, gods, humans, whatever entertained the mind.
When the humans looked to the sky, awe once again filled their eyes. But not for the intended reason. Endless possibilities danced in their brains. They asked not, “What have I done wrong?”, but “How can I use this?”. It was discovered that the accuracy of their maps could be increased, they could travel to new, far off lands by memorizing the positions of the stars and their new artistic forms. Another tool in their box.
With enhanced navigation, subjugation was even simpler. Where members of their own species were a little behind, they chose not to reach out a hand, but to destroy and hand down plight like the gods they thought they were. And they no longer reined the horse of destruction at just themselves, no, they even began to abuse their own mother.
The universe wept. The moon feared she would be next. Earth was dying.
And the humans? Oh, they revered and “remembered”. Humanity said the stars were important. Just the stars. And it was not because of their beauty or grace. It was because it helped them in their ceaseless race.
A race that never existed because a challenge was never made. Not a soul encouraged the pursuit of “glory”, a bum rush to supremacy. Competition with no opposition is infinite. Humans and other humans. Beasts and other beasts. Galaxies, stars, planets, moons, asteroids, dust. All are able to coexist. To establish an undercurrent below a broken bridge of imaginary differences. Yet, one tiny infinite speck, a singular ash, can set a fire.