Challenge #02388-F198: Nibbled to Death...steemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  2 months ago 


There is a myth about the Shattering. It states that the Shattering was put into motion by one human, one that had seen the future. -- Anon Guest

Five hundred years makes all the difference. For Earth, it viewed all its sundry colonies as a form of backup. Not just for the Human race, but also for the data and knowledge the colonials took with them. Surely, they reasoned, the colonists would keep such vital information about their beginning days.

Of such reasoning, the Shattering was made. Human history was broken into pieces, taken to separate locations, and most of it has yet to be recovered. Vast swathes of culture and knowledge, gone because a single group of people thought it was 'backed up'. Every subsequent graveworld is a lost chance. Every lost seed of a new civilisation is another hole in Human history that may never be patched.

Humanity - the bits of it that made it through the gauntlet of colonisation to become their own model civilisation - has a great want of someone to blame. A singular soul who made an executive decision to do the bad thing. Such is not the case, of course. Negligence through laziness doesn't have one source, but that has never stopped a Human from seeking out a perpetrator. Ironically, the journey to do so involves numerous trawls through Terra's surviving archives, some suffering from The Shattering themselves.

People assume The Shattering was one, one-time event. This could not be further from the truth. The first cross-temporal colonial vessels left Earth in late 2085, shortly after the discovery of Sol's abundance of one-way wormholes in 2080. Thereafter, roughly once every fifty years, Terra sent off colonial vessels through time and space. The people in those vessels took their ideas, their supplies, and whatever information they thought important. Sometimes, records were kept, other times, nobody thought it was important.

Hindsight, as the wise say, is 20-20.

Research, as the knowledgeable say, is a bitch. Especially research through spotty records to establish whether or not something actually existed.

It gets worse, though, because for every hunter of knowledge, there is an equal and opposite conspiracy theorist out to prove that their maladaptive beliefs are reality. Cherry-picking builds on cherry-picking, writers for entertainments pick up the gist of these theories and create fiction on top of them... thus providing grist for the next theorist's mill.Because everyone knows that things made up to entertain others are a false-flag coverup to conceal the real truth.[1]

And so it builds on itself, consuming documentaries, articles, and entertainment alike as if they can lead to the actual truth. Names used in jest by entertainment media become actual figures the theorists seek, and absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Before too long, things go into the weeds, and the truth will never be accepted.

Because the truth is that the information lost during The Shattering was not lost through one executive decision. It was mislaid, misplaced, misfiled, and mistakenly disposed of by a series of unimportant bureaucrats with an attitude of "oh well" even if the mistake was discovered during their career. Nobody decided such things were unimportant. Nobody censored Human history.

They just... allowed it to be lost.

That, unfortunately, is the true tragedy of The Shattering.

[1] You may now roll your eyes.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / knorre]

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But it's so much easier when there's one thing/person to blame and we all know that humans generally stubbornly prefer cognitive ease and comfort over discomfort and truth is almost always ugly and prickly and usually complicated XD

...and in the process we invent an even more complicated "real truth" which just makes more sense... allegedly.