You’re not going to believe who I talked to today. Ants! I’m not making this up. Ants! They’re a touch larger than our Earth version, but other than that, they’re just like ours. On their planet though, they’re the dominant species. At least, that’s what I was told.
Talking to their diplomat gave me feelings of guilt and selfishness. Evidently, in their society every single thing they do is for the community. No individual expression, no individual rights, or time for self, just community, community, community. He couldn’t begin to fathom the things I told him about our societies on Earth. He thought it was silly to have artists and musicians who express their individual inspirations and wasteful for so many of us to live in homes by ourselves and actually choose our own jobs according to what we like to do. For a diplomat, he really looked down on me and our civilization, but that’s okay, I got to meet another species!
I certainly couldn’t live his life, but I have to admit I was extremely impressed with what I could see of their handiwork. They build magnificent cities that are breath-taking and completely symmetrical. There’s no crime (or you get fed to the jreffs, which still serves society since you help keep the primary food source alive), poverty, war, hunger, none of the problems that we deal with so frequently.
They’re so small they usually go unnoticed as they travel through the portal to other worlds. The ants find it easy to hide from the indigenous species on the planet and watch, learn, and occasionally sneak a useful object away. They constantly have to be on the lookout for little critters that want to make a meal of them but the ant people have shield technology also, so they’re usually safe. Then they use the technology acquired over the years to protect themselves from large predators at home.
Talking to them got me thinking. Someone had to have gone to considerable effort to set up this whole portal system at one time. Why? Nearly every planet that I’ve been to, and that the ant people have been to, have intelligent life on them. So, did the portal builders put these portals out there to allow various species to explore and meet each other? Are we all supposed to move toward some common goal together? Or perhaps it was a selfish move. Maybe the builders just wanted a way to get around the universe themselves. They thought it would be cool to have instantaneous travel. Or it could be that they needed a trade route. Or maybe they were trying to outrun some evil empire that was still traveling by spaceships at the time.
The more answers I discover about the portal system and the universe, the more questions arise. But again, that’s okay, I talked to ants!