Age Of Cosmic Exploration - Chapter 257
The second conversation with the big-brained alien confused everyone again. The contents were perplexing, so after the short interrogation, the group started another discussion.
"First, let’s just ignore the Law of Conservation of Life for now. Do you still remember when the big-brained alien said that their race has a strong psychic link? Previously, when the two of you talked to their tribesmen, the contents were shared among the rest of the big-brained aliens too," Yao Yuan told Ren Tao and Xiao Niao.
Ren Tao nodded firmly. "Indeed, during the interrogation, the big-brained alien used the pronoun ‘we’ as well. In other words, talking to one is similar to talking to all, including their executives, provided the big-brained alien just now didn’t lie to us."
Xiao Niao concurred. Witnessing this, Yao Yuan continued, "Therefore, the problem of meeting with the space merchant executives that has been troubling us is now handily solved. We can start the negotiations whenever we want. Then, we need to start gathering information on these executives, information like where is their bottom line, do they function as a collective or individual. These will aid us during the upcoming negotiations, and finding out the information will be both of your tasks."
Ren Tao and Xiao Niao looked at each other. They had to accept the mission. Therefore, the rest of their day would be spent feeling out the big-brained alien. The moment they got the information they needed would be when the negotiation started in earnest.
"Ol’ Wong, you lead the Defense Unit soldiers and half of the Black Star Troopers to bunker down the bridgehead. Stop the aggression and plant the H-bombs at strategic locations. After that, we wait. I will have the Hope send a few political experts over since their help might be needed for the negotiations." Yao Yuan thought about it and added, "Also, a few members from the Academy, they might be needed as well."
Guang Zhen saluted and moved to oblige.
After that, Yao Yuan turned back to Ren Tao and Xiao Niao. "So what do the two of you think about this Law of Conservation of Life?"
Xiao Niao answered first. "This law sounds ambiguous as best. There is no precedent or proof to its existence, and there is no detailed explanation. Even though it is unlikely that the alien was lying to us, I’m still suspicious regarding this law."
Yao Yuan added, "You’re right, this law does sound suspicious. It sounds like something a teenager made up after reading a few science magazines…"
Ren Tao suddenly said, "I’m not sure whether the both of you have noticed, but this mother ship sure looks old and damaged."
The two were taken aback. They were both Thinkers, though the power wasn’t that powerful in Yao Yuan. Xiao Niao took a careful look around and suddenly yelped in realization. Even though Yao Yuan had no clue what that meant, he realized this meant that Ren Tao probably had his own unique understanding to this Law of Conservation of Life.
Unsurprisingly, he heard Ren Tao say, "From the information we took from the junkyard civilization, the space merchants are a trading conglomerate comprised of multiple races. The actual population number is unknown, but the safest estimates put it at above ten thousand ships. Or rather, a group with such a number could only qualify to call itself a space merchant conglomerate. They are a civilization with access to a large amount of 4th revolution technology and some from the 5th revolution.
"However, the weird point of this civilization is that while they have access to these technologies, they aren’t creative with them. In other words, they can only trade these technologies with other civilizations and not use them for themselves to improve their technological level. For them, something like a science tree doesn’t exist. Even though they possess 5th revolution technology, they aren’t be able to utilize it to branch out to study other related technologies.
"A civilization that operates in this manner shouldn’t exist, because technology doesn’t exist in block form. It can’t be isolated out. Like we’ve mentioned, it is impossible for a civilization with high-tech weapons but stone-age armor to appear, because science is continuous, complete, and universal."
At this point, realization slowly dawned for Yao Yuan. He said, "I think I know what you’re getting at. You’re right, there was a curious feeling when I first stepped into this mother ship. Everything just felt wrong. It is too broken, like it's an antique. Of course, they might be going for a retro feel, but what about those rough repairs? They felt like they were done by inexperienced mechanics;they ruined a perfectly fine product. If we use this perspective to understand the Law of Conservation of Life…
"First, we must remind ourselves that this law hasn’t been proved to be true, it is something concluded by the aliens after years of observation. Every race starts to decline after leaving its mother planet. As time passes, more and more of the newborns of that civilization will be born retarded;some might not even possess the soul of the race. They are nothing more than just ‘meat’…"
These were the details given by the big-brained alien during the second part of the interrogation. Yao Yuan was going through them verbally again.
"If the civilization is unable to achieve level 9 space civilization before the entire civilization becomes so-called ‘meat’ and isn’t given the opportunity to recharge their ‘soul’, then said civilization will perish in space.
"The supposed Law of Conservation of Life is heavily related to the Shelters, because the retarded and the ‘meat’ can be recycled at the Shelters and the ‘soul’ energy produced after they are sacrificed can be used to birth normal newborns. The level of ‘soul’ for a civilization will thus always be a constant for any civilization, and this is the Law of Conservation of Life."
Yao Yuan frowned. "The key question then falls on this ‘soul’, what exactly is it? Also, let’s not disregard the possibility of the meaning being lost in translation. It might be translated as ‘soul’ in our language, but it can very well mean something similar, like spirit or essence. Furthermore, why would the danger of extinction disappear after a space civilization reaches level 9? However, Xiao Niao, this is very similar to what ZERO told you."
Xiao Niao nodded while massaging his temples. "Everyone, let’s conclude everything we’ve discussed so far. First, the Law of Conservation of Life speaks of civilizations' decline and how to prevent that. It also explains why the entire cosmos isn’t filled with space civilizations by now and why there are so few high level civilizations. Personally, I think everything is tied to that concept of ‘soul’, but what does it represent? Soul or spirituality? Or is it something that our human language doesn’t even comprehend?"
Ren Tao suddenly added, "Actually, what Xiao Niao said indirectly proves the validity of this conservation of life law… I remember reading a piece in a science magazine. It was written by a famous scientist whose name escapes my memory now, but it basically argued for the lack of life in space. According to calculations, the cosmos has been around for around ten billion years. If there is a space-faring civilization, then it would populate the cosmos like a cancer cell because life growth is an exponential increase…
"As long as the civilization’s technology is good enough to allow survival in space, like terraforming planets to make them habitable or a large enough spaceship to sustain the whole civilization, then its population would triple within a hundred years, and the cosmos has been around for more than that. If this civilization survives in space for at least one hundred million years, then it would cover the entire cosmos, so the conclusion given by the scientist was that the cosmos only plays host to us humans, and not other intelligent life forms.
"Of course, we now know that this is false, and to be fair, many contested this conclusion when it was published back then. They each gave their own theories, and one of the more famous ones was the theory of the Black Jungle. The cosmos is like a dangerous forest, and every civilization is in hiding. Once they are exposed, they will be destroyed. In other words, the different civilizations keep the balance in space.
"However, one important premise of the Black Forest theory is that light-speed is an unbreakable limit. This premise is already false, so we can safely assume the Black Forest theory is not valid either. So, my question is easy. The cosmos is so big, so why have we only stumbled across the space merchants so far and not other living, sentient space civilizations? Theoretically speaking, if a race can survive in space, then it will have free reign to populate the cosmos, so why is the cosmos so empty? Why?
"We were indeed proffered an answer, the Law of Conservation of Life. After a civilization leaves its home planet, it will continue to decline. If viewed from this perspective, then maybe the law is true.
"We didn’t stumble across more aliens when we were back on Earth or even in space because 99.999999999 percent of those space civilizations… have declined and perished!"