Civilizations often realize it before the end. They do talks and debate it in whatever type of media they’ve invented. At first nobody really cares, or thinks about it too much. However as time goes on, more and more realize it. It’s painful to watch. Some of us still believe we should help them but the truth is, helping would only prolong the inevitable. I mean, it’s easy to talk about it when your species is the one that magically survived, I know, but still. Yes, okay, I know nobody has a clue why we’re special enough to be spared the universal wrath. But the reality is we’re here and they’re not, they never get it just right, just like we did. Sometimes it’s during the cold wars and standoffs, sometimes it’s when they start messing about with warp engines. But eventually they all wipe themselves out in a couple hundred thousand years. Not the mention of course the asteroids and the sheer bad luck of becoming sentient in a planet orbiting an old, decrepit star and burning to hell with your planet when your sun eventually goes nova. I gotta say though that, while natural armageddon is sad and tragic, there’s something awfully funny in a bunch of morons accidentally creating a singularity on their own planet because the right genius to crack the deepest mysteries of Arquilyv’s theorem (or whatever they decide to call it) was never born.
Now, a few do indeed manage to get pretty far. The best ones for me, hands down, were the ones near Ubic’s star. I forgot what they called themselves now, but these sons of bitches managed to begin a Dyson sphere. I mean, holy Zoloc, that’s not for the faint of heart. I remember the news back home when the whole thing came apart on itself and we watched the poor bastards try to save their asses while their star was enveloped in debris and pieces of it rained all over their planet.
I suppose every patrol officer like me dreams of stuff like this. Too bad most of us always get stationed in some backwater stupid planet in a god forsaken part of some arm of the galaxy.
The ones down on that planet right now are a good example.
First, they started using nukes too damn early. You can bet your ganglia that every time a civilization finds out about uranium right after being a slave culture they don’t go far. It’s always the same shit. They start blowing shit around, blowing each other, then everyone gets defensive for a while, then there’s polarization of territories, one of them nearly fries the atmosphere trying to make the biggest bomb. You know, the usual. They then get a little too curious and start trying to go farther and faster, poking around in their solar systems, dreaming of exploration. They can’t detect this piece of crap orbiting their doorstep much less each other, so they get really bummed thinking they’re alone in the universe — gurgling noises — sorry, I gotta laugh. Anyway, they keep going and going, until they’ve either exhausted every source of fuel they have or managed to travel far enough so we finally start considering first contact but then they find a way to kill each other anyway. And we’re forced to move on to the next world to watch the next batch of apes, saurians, aquatic mammals of whatever the fuck it is this time evolve and the whole thing starts all over again.
Second, these ones have barely discovered electricity and already managed to shit carbon dioxide all over their own atmosphere. Apes, of course it had to be apes again. They never really outgrow the urge to splash everything with shit. Even their planet’s orbit is full of trash. They already got their pollution to another planet on their solar system, some red hellhole arid as my ex-pollinator’s heart, and are determined to keep expanding to the outer planets, including moons of that horrible reddish-brown gas giant right next to them. And the fuckers can’t even shield themselves from radiation and build grav-plates on those jokes they call ships! They just climb into big fucking metal cilinders loaded with explosives and plunge themselves at the abyss.
You know, I think I understand why apes have so many fans back home. They really do not fuck around, as dumb as they can be. Some of the best music in the galaxy comes from late-industrial, post-modern warfare apes. They just know how to do it, it’s in their blood, manifested by their opposable thumbs and their many vocal languages. We and our low intermittent tones are boring as hell close to their vocalizations and the seemingly infinite ways to combine them to form accents, dialects, linguistic families. They are the queens of complex communication and…
(several alarms go off, buttons light up in yellow)
What? What in the world… ?
Oh boy, wait until news of this reaches home.
(Speaking to communicator device) Officer taGhva’ reporting to Command and requesting reassignment. Planet #44351 has just entered nuclear winter phase.
Let’s hope we’re luckier next time.