This article is for the Tau Seven Epsilon Three generation circa 100,000 years before date of record. For the ruins attributed to considerably more ancient Nerenith settlements in the system, see Nerenith (Diaspora).
A/N Articles on this have passed my desk no fewer than three times in the last month. Though it is outside my area of expertise I must at least condense the known material. Blast, does this field get posted to the article? How do I hit undo? I’m already running late…
Lowali Eloth was either a trailblazer or a cautionary tale.
Lowal societies generally recognized three sexes, the relations of which dominated politics and culture throughout history. The Vedd, the only one critical to reproduction (they could take a partner of any sex), were generally the lowest in esteem, in keeping with the Standard Model of Kyriarchal Development (Sex-based).
Lowal society followed the usual pattern of M-Ph-like cultures, though it took a sharper than usual turn in never developing advanced AI. The computers of the Lowal were calculators, little more. The automation made possible by advanced computer systems were simply taken as repetitive calculations by Vedd. Historians have uncovered spectacular gains in computer science by primarily Vedd scholars, though this was considered a frivolous waste of time by the elite.
Looking to the Stars
One upstart prong of civilization lifted astronomy and physics from the superstitious calculations of disreputable Vedd to a pursuit for all sexes in the upper class. The subject, having been in stasis for so long, burst not into ordinary progression but into what has been described as a textbook accelerated Vyk-Poisson Phase, covering prodigious development fueled in this case by the relative liberation of the Vedd and by a measurable density increase in the Quintessence Ombral that occupied nearly a third of the Lowal sky.
A scant century after the beginning of this feverish development theorists predicted the nature of the Blowhole’s white hole despite the fact that the body itself was blocked by the Quintessence Ombral. The nation that had originated this development named the Blowhole’s eruption a national holiday shortly before it was rudely interrupted by an invasion, and little more was said in the area for nearly a hundred years.
The Long Game
The Lowal eventually did decide to pursue travel to the stars. It was unusual in pursuing several simultaneous methods to get there. While prestigious awards were offered to those who could demonstrate faster than light travel, preparations were made for a hybrid generational ship. Reasoning that the educational facilities on Lowali Eloth could not be adequately replicated on a ship, the crew was split in two. The more esoterically educated settlers were to be cryogenically frozen, preserving their exquisite training for deployment on the new world, while other settlers were to maintain the ship and develop the kind of life that would stand their children’s children in good stead when they reached the selected point in the sky close to their beloved Blowhole. Expeditions suggest that this vessel ultimately reached a planet touched only by a dead Zuuvok Goliath settlement, but signs of the Lowal wave on that destination are scarce. As a matter of the educated elite placing material burdens on the skilled labor class, no record indicates whether the cryogenically frozen group were stewarded safely all that way.
Impatience reigned on Lowali Eloth thereafter. The Nebula’s Blowhole, whose periodic eruptions formed a point of fascination with the citizenry, became an international obsession. Three separate countries announced competitions for the development of technology that would allow them to touch the stars.
It is tempting but futile to draw some kind of moral from the events that ensued.
It is known that Lowali Eloth was a stable planet blessed with favorable surface chemistry and all the necessities for the development of life. If something were to tear the planet to pieces over the course of under fifty years of totally ordinary documentation, it is tempting to blame a strike from the outside – a catastrophic asteroid impact, perhaps, or a gravity differential from an alignment of its three moons, or a star expanding too close. Some reject all these explanations and look instead to the inhabitants. Any number of technical mishaps might have destabilized space-time around the doomed world, from simple geokinetic weapons up to and including the successful creation…or, rather, unsuccessful creation…of that grail for interstellar travel, a Gravity Pump.
Regardless, Lowali Eloth has been an assembly of loosely-cohered rubble for a hundred thousand years.