Challenge #02582-G025: History is a Pane
I see the words tossed around here and there but I I don’t fully understand the impact of the “shattering” does fragment of humanity wander space, or something comical like everything went ape sh*t the moment humans enter the galactic alliance? -- Anon Guest
Many don't understand what the Shattering is, how long it took, and what it did to Human history. For a start, it's named as if it's one event, but it's actually an era in Terran history. When the abundance of 'deep time' one-way wormholes in the Sol system were discovered, there followed an era of rapid-fire colonisation. In order to go deep, the colonists had to gather and take with them a certain amount of mass.
This included many surviving historical artefacts, landmarks, and so forth. That is, when the colonisers didn't use other forms of mass to form the critical closure of the wormhole gateway. Most of which was obtained from the asteroid and kuiper belts. After all, the last thing a group of like-minded people needed when busy making a world in their own image was serial kibbitzing from the very world they just escaped.
The delayed result was chaos. History as Terra knew it... shattered. It was a slow dissolution, working over cycles during the centuries following the discovery of one-way wormholes. The assorted lunatic fringes, weirdoes, and cultural pockets decided that life would be so much better if they built a world of their own, or the controlling mainstream concluded that life would be so much easier if they didn't have to deal with the aforementioned fringe. Either way, parts of civilisation as it was known went down through time and space to sink or swim on a world of their own making. The relevant parts of history went with them, thus making it easier for the remaining fragments to pretend that the fringe never existed in the first place. In this, it is certainly true that those who fail to learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
Without evidence, those new fringe-denizens had to recreate their own cultures. That is, until they developed enough of it to be problematic to the mainstream, thus necessitating a repeat of the previous purge. Those already down deep-time and making their own worlds through sweat and tears often had a significant struggle on their hands. Mostly because the mainstream didn't see any reason why they should "make it easy for Them". Thusly, the treasures they were able to preserve or take with them voluntarily were not always prioritised.
Five hundred years after the discovery of the deep-time wormholes later, this legacy is known as the Shattering. Terran History was broken into billions of pieces, perhaps never to be whole again. With each rediscovery of a Terran colony, there is the hope that another lost fragment, another absent treasure, another piece of what was once whole will be found to rejoin the other broken pieces of cultural heritage.
It is all Terran History, no matter how broken, problematic, or cringe-worthy it might be. That which is lost has become more important than that which was preserved. Historians mourn still-absent works of art, relics of history, or pieces of information that were deleted or destroyed because "everyone knows that", or it was otherwise deemed unworthy to be kept. Entire sects of the Archivaas are dedicated to piecing together the Actual History of Earth.
Mostly because those pieces of culture were wont to make up the history they preferred. History is, after all, written by the victors. Even when those who are victorious are merely declaring victory in absence of opposition. One faction's exile in shame is another's victorious evacuation of a forsaken stink-planet with a bold new vision for a better world.
Whether or not that better world actually is better is completely subjective.
The worlds that have survived the Shattering are proud of their contributions to creating the Complete Actual History, no matter how many footnotes and cross-references are added to them. As for those who don't...
The Archivaas dig through everything that's left, searching for the least little splinter.
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