So recently I’ve been tinkering over at WorldAnvil which promises to assist developers of RPG campaigns and also authors of short stories or novels or pretty much anyone like me who has entire worlds floating around in their heads and try desperately to get them out. I have this concept I’ve been tinkering with for years called Stellar Matters which I’ve often struggled to explain to myself or anyone who will listen and it’s still a struggle. I came up with the idea of calling it Stellar Matters years before I learned about how scientists have uncovered something they call “Dark Matter” which frankly they don’t know what it is and speculative fiction is all about trying to explain that which is not explainable by modern science. We try to look beyond what’s there without wandering too far off the beaten path. What scientists do know is that the matter we can actually see or otherwise detect makes up a very small fraction of what’s actually out there. Presumably there’s a lot out there we can’t see. Matter that is not illuminated in a way we can observe from our solar system.
Stellar Matters is a fictional universe which is intended to mirror the universe of the here and now that you and I take for granted every day. It’s the world just outside our window and around the corner, about a week or so from now next Tuesday. Somewhere between now and then, something happens. It’s not always the same thing. Sometimes it’s several somethings and the players or readers are only told about some of them. Most recently, I’ve been finding those strange freakish events causing the players and readers to look up to the heavens and try to understand what Dark Matter really is.
I’m wondering if it’s possible that this Dark Matter we know is there but can’t see somehow consists of a universe brimming with life, but that intentionally hides itself from solar systems like ours for reasons that are not readily apparent. What would those reasons be? Would they have to make an effort to single us out as a species? Are we in fact under some kind of quarantine?
In Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek Universe there’s something The Federation of Planets enforces with all its members: The Prime Directive. It’s been determined that interacting with any other species before it has achieved interstellar space flight capabilities on its own causes more irreparable harm to a species’ development than if they wait for the species to at least achieve “Warp Drive” or near speed of light traveling capabilities. However, even in Roddenberry’s vision of our future, not all planets shared this ideal. So it begs the question if there are civilizations out there, why haven’t they visited us? Or have they, and they just try to keep it quiet, because there actually is some civilization out there that has something like a Prime Directive? I feel what’s far more likely is that there is no such Prime Directive. It would be impossible to police anyway. If there are civilizations out there they could mingle with us whenever they want, yet we see little to no evidence of their existence, much less their cooperation. And yet there’s this lingering problem: Dark Matter. Something obviously is there. Something that’s either inadvertently or intentionally hiding from us.
Anyway. I’m playing with ideas like this. If you have any input feel free to share.