Science fiction, or speculative fiction, is very often used as a vehicle to try to explain why we as humans are, well, quite so boneheaded.
As hard as we try to understand reality, it is often so much easier, and less painful, to have our inexplicable realities and frailties wrapped in a sugary dose of fantasy.
It aids in digestion.
What follows is a small dose.
The Most Miraculous Planet of Unique Exceptionalism
The Beginning of Time
At the very beginning, there was absolutely nothing, except for an infinitely empty Universe, which although it may have been something because it had a name, amounted to very little apart from, well, a vast amount of empty space, total darkness, and a sense of time that had no meaning. Nothingness was the rule of that timeless time, and it continued unabated.
Not surprisingly, as the Universe amounted to nothing whatsoever, there was obviously nothing to measure the passing of time, so there is zero possibility now of knowing the amount of timeless time that passed between the very beginning and the precise moment when the first concept of measuring time came into existence. It was probably an awfully long time, though.
Yet, on the initial stroke of the very first second of this totally new time-cum-clock concept, all of a sudden, a wondrous planet called Gloth miraculously came into real and immediate existence. Perhaps there was a light broth of accidental and invisible gases, which the Universe may have been working on developing over billions of uncounted and untimed years, or an electrical short caused by friction between colliding layers of nothingness that enabled Gloth to burst into existence on the Universal scene so quickly.
But this does not explain at all how, or why, the first Glothians instantly stood erect on two legs and possessed immediate intelligence, defying any concepts of evolution, or for that matter, creation, and could instinctively from that first tick of the clock in the new Universe of something, tell the time.
Over the following millions of years, hundreds of skillfully unproductive scholars and thousands of lavishly government funded researchers on Gloth studied this conundrum with zealous intensity, trying to discover why it was that Gloth was so uniquely more important than any other latter created heavenly body in the Universe, and why Glothians were clearly superior to any other form of living creature in the Cosmos. Even though this was all considered as a matter of fact, and therefore beyond any question whatsoever, the process of ongoing research into the blindingly obvious truth that Glothians were the most advanced and intelligent race in the entire Universe, kept a vast number of otherwise unproductive Glothian polymaths, occupied.
To ensure they kept their highly paid unproductive scholarships and fellowships, and their cushy full-time plus expenses government funded research posts, they all agreed, unanimously, that the reason Gloth was uniquely special had been scientifically proven beyond any skerrick of a doubt. There was no debate to be had, as it was abundantly clear from all their ethnological research, scientific analysis and archaeological findings that Glothians were a whole lot smarter and therefore superior to any other life form on any planet in the entire Universe, because, well, they were.
While their superlative-filled reports to the Grand Council and the Supreme Potentate consisted of rational, scientific findings such as this, their jobs for life were safe. Gloth was obviously the first, the best, the smartest and by far the most very important planet in the entire Universe — because it was. As with any form of belief or faith based entirely on myth, the easiest way to prove its absolute validity is to ignore, deny and outlaw all contrary views, which because they question what has been firmly established as the undeniable truth, must be wrong, and therefore heretic, which of course is a crime and usually punishable by death. It is a tried and true recipe that has succeeded over millennia in ensuring that a convenient myth becomes the absolute truth.
A Nice Place to Live
It must be said, however, that apart from all these official scientific findings, Gloth is by any measure of habitable planets, quite a nice place upon which to live. With beautiful, wide pink oceans, pleasantly complimented by pale mauve rivers running through its comfortably temperate continents, Gloth has a bit of everything for everybody. It has three moons, although one completely lost its ability to shine due to a mining project that went a little too far in the early days of rampant Glothic mineral exploitation. Luckily, mining was stopped on the second moon, due to a sudden downturn in the market price for Naepic-Silt, but not before it had lost most of its shine. However, the one moon that remained, which had the good fortune of being free of minerals of any value, shines nicely, giving the clear evening skies of Gloth a pleasant shade of pale magenta.
While its vegetation is verdant, abundant and often resplendent, Glothians spend little time admiring such wonders, as there are far more important matters than moons, rivers, oceans and plants.
Wealth and Power
On Gloth, there are only two matters worthy of admiration — wealth and power. In these two respects, Gloth has exceeded any known measure of either, as through the savage prosecution of hundreds of victorious interplanetary and interstellar wars, the cunning use of graft, the installation of institutional corruption, clever intimidation and a total disdain for any other race of being, Gloth has always been the winner. Its power is infinitely absolute, as is its wealth.
Luckily, however, Gloth’s impregnable power is limited to a tiny little area in the very far bottom left-hand corner of a long outer spiral arm of a small galaxy called the Milky Way. Even though this infinitesimal patch of the Universe consists of Twelve Sun Systems, over which Gloth has total and absolute control of course, it is so far, far away from all the other inhabited galaxies, which are located in most part on the busier and more densely populated right hand side of the Universe, that the rest of the Universe is relatively, if not definitely, quite safe.
Even with all its power and wealth, Gloth has not acquired the means to travel so far from home. Many empires in the galaxies on the right-hand side do possibly have the means, but it would seem that if they indeed do, they really can’t be bothered using it to go all the way to Gloth. There are far more exciting places in the Universe to visit in their vastly more interesting and populated right-hand side.
Making Loud Noises
Gloth however, has plenty with which to occupy itself in its remote little territory of a mere Twelve Sun Systems, which consists of around one hundred inhabited planets, moons and asteroids. While all of the Sun Systems are secured under Gloth’s heavy-handed empirical control, there are always little problems that need attending to, and from time to time these annoyances require action from either Glothic High Command, which is in charge of scaring the masses by noisily blowing things up or shooting at people; or the Grand Council, which is the Glothic governing body of life appointed Glothic royalty and aristocrats, and has the sole task of sounding important. The Grand Council is also in charge of putting on extremely lavish dinners, mostly for themselves. If an annoying problem is troublesome enough, though, and cannot be solved by an expensive dinner or a few loud explosions, it passes to the infinite wisdom of the Supreme Potentate of the Twelve Sun Systems of Gloth to make a decision.
A Little History
The history of the position of Supreme Potentate is a very long story, but in brief, the first one was called January the First. Perhaps it was because of the ability of Glothians to tell the time as soon as they came into existence that they also had a fascination with longer periods, other than simply seconds, minutes and hours. The recording of days and months created the need for an expanded system of measurement, and due to this, the calendar was invented. As it is recorded in ancient Glothic texts that January the First came to power within seconds of Gloth’s instant appearance in the Universe and that the first month was named after him in his honour, it goes without saying that the concept of the calendar was not only important but was also created quite quickly.
Glothic legend has it that after January was sworn in as the first Supreme Potentate of Gloth, his first decree was to restrict the use of the immediately revered names of the twelve months of the year to only his offspring and descendants, which became the Glothic royal family.
This reverence to the calendar, however, became the cause of great angst over the proceeding millions of years, as there were only twelve names to choose from for those born into the royal family of Gloth, who were all, of course, direct descendants of the first Supreme Potentate, January.
The necessity to add ordinal numbers was the obvious solution, but only for male heirs, as Gloth, although quite forward-looking and progressive on many fronts, has not looked that far forward as to consider that female members of the royal family could ever ascend to the position of Supreme Potentate. While unfair perhaps, sexist and hardly progressive, it meant that it was very hard to know whom all the Junes, Mays or Aprils were, unless there was a reference to the particular woman’s lineage. For the male members of the royal family, however, it was simple. August the Tenth was to be followed by August the Eleventh and Twelfth and so on, but until they became Supreme Potentate, of course, there was no ordinal number added to their name, so it was just as confusing for both genders. Perhaps it wasn’t quite so sexist after all.
Apart from the ongoing name confusion, there was a far more serious and embarrassing period in the history of the Glothic royal family, which is now rarely, if ever mentioned. Perhaps it was due to the veneration of the twelve months of the calendar, but Gloth got itself tied in a right royal knot after deciding to invest its energies into making a small and quite unremarkable blue planet, Erde, profitable. By taking a quick biological shortcut, it succeeded in turning the population of a large variety of ape based species on the planet Erde, into semi-intelligent humanoids. Unfortunately, the project turned into a financial disaster, and in a desperate move to try to cut their millions of years of losses, and finally wring a profit from the wreck, Gloth enlisted the services of an Erdean. Maybe it was because Pope Gregory shared a fascination with calendars that he was so easily accepted and invited to Gloth to advise on all matters Erdean.
However, it turned out to be a calamity for Gloth, as within his lifetime, Pope Gregory managed to infiltrate, overtake, marry into and then take for his own, the royal family of Gloth and he become the historically despised Supreme Potentate, December the Tenth. It would take more than a million years to rid the royal family of his much-loathed Erdean gene, and return Gloth to the rule of pure Glothic blood.
Now famed in Glothic history, it was Septimity Fish-Roe who led the Blood Brotherhood to victory by reinstalling pure Glothic blood to the royal family and Supreme Potentate of Gloth and ridding Gloth of the despised Erdean ape gene. However, after his success in returning pure Glothic blood to the Supreme Potentate, his plan to return all living carriers of the Erdean gene, including all the members of the Glothic royal family who carried Pope Gregory’s genes, back to the planet Erde, which was not far from Gloth in Sun System One, was thrown into chaos.
Damn. We Nuked Ourselves!
Erde rather unexpectedly and inconveniently blew itself up just at the moment Septimity had assembled a fleet of ships, full of the Erdean gene pool, which he had painstakingly collected from Gloth and from throughout the Twelve Sun Systems.
A hasty plan was developed by Glothic High Command, with a little after dinner advice from the Grand Council, and within a few weeks, Septimity’s flotilla of Erdeans was on its way to a new destination in Sun System Five — an uninhabited little blue planet, not dissimilar in size and appearance to Erde. This planet was called, Earth.
Forget About Them Now
This solution solved a lot of problems for Gloth in the short term, and with Earth totally isolated from the rest of the Twelve Sun Systems by a blanketing force field, there was a nice, quiet and uneventful period of stability, as the transported Erdeans battled away for a few thousand years, evolving and learning how to adapt to their new planet, and become Earthlings. However, there was work to be done yet, and it couldn’t wait forever. It was time for Earth to finally make a profit after the aforementioned failed Erdean years, and add to the infinite wealth and power of Gloth.
This task would fall upon a young member of the royal family of Gloth, who also sits on the Grand Council at the insistence of his father, February the Twenty-Ninth, the current Supreme Potentate of the Twelve Sun Systems of Gloth. In a peculiar twist of Glothic history, his eldest son March Gregorian, the young man who would take charge of the Earth file, was unusually named, as there had never been a Supreme Potentate in the entire history of Gloth, who was called March. If he ever came to the throne, he would be the First.
Keeping Up With The Gregorians
With all that had happened and the years of strife Pope Gregory had wrought on Gloth, for some very odd reason, the Glothic royal family retained the family name of Gregorian, which derived from Pope Gregory. Perhaps it was the ring that would have been missing if they had had to suffer names such as August Smith, September Green, or June Smumph that made them decide to keep the name. For whatever reason, the Gregorian name remained famed throughout the Twelve Sun Systems — as a name to be revered, and feared.
The End, At Last
Definition of Gloth, courtesy of the Urban Dictionary.
The short text above is taken from selected excerpts from The Four Glothic Tales, February The Fifth, The Adventures of Hal, Septimity and The Blood Brotherhood and March. None of which are, of course, to be at all believed.