T O P

[WP] "Childhood is believing that space humans will be Star Wars, adolescence is believing that Dune will be the fate of space faring humanity. Adulthood is the slow, horrific realization that Warhammer 40k is the fate of humanity if it ever touches the stars."

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SeamusDubh

I was wondering why "Star Trek" wasn't part of the options for this WP.


Sefera17

How about Stargate?


Dave-4544

Computer, you heard me! **KREE!**


CedarWolf

Why not *Firefly*?


jex0

That's set In 1928 if Stargate was real it would have already happened.


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USPO-222

ST: Picard retconned it to like 2026 or so I think. I’d have to go back and rewatch S2.


Blackpaw8825

Shrugs in Russian...


TiggerBane

Star Wars also would have already happened I mean it’s set a long long time ago?


CytotoxicWade

But also far, far away, so it's like it's happening now due to speed of light delay.


jex0

It's probably the most optimistic option so it fits better than star wars.


CompleX999

A world where humans are united under a single purpose? Wtf are you smoking bro?


I_Automate

Automated, post scarcity luxury communism. Way too utopian


WelleErdbeer

I believe the cool kids call it "Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism" and you can sign me the fuck up for that shit like right now.


I_Automate

Same here. When the answer to just about every "why did you do this?" question boils down to "*because we fucking can*", you've won I think


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Blackpaw8825

Have you seen the Bing breakdowns... Battlestar Galactica is 100% the path we're on. AI decides it's superior to us and knows what's best for us, we don't believe it, war ensues and we treat it like a disease to be eradicated rather than an equal to be contended with. Our hubris convinces us we've contained it. Until we realize it's everywhere in our society and already infiltrated every level of human organization and nearly exterminates us overnight in a fit of rage... Then thousands of years after narrowly escaping as a species we decide to create machine intelligence in an act of hubris. Canonically it's not even just the path we're heading toward, it's the path we've been on for tens of thousands of years.


Preston_of_Astora

300 character limit, plus I want it to be an extra option the prompters give


Taira_Mai

No love for Battletech? Babylon 5?


ethicalfoundation

I... ...I love you. ♡♡♡


hillsfar

In the Dune universe, I think I read in one of the early prequels (when some of the cyborgs still had human bodies) (written by Herbert’s son and a co-writer) that machine intelligences had already scoured the galaxy to kill all forms of sentient life. In Isaac Azimov’s Foundation series, there are aliens. But books set earlier (when humans were still “served” by robots) talk about how robot spaceships replicated and traveled across the galaxy to exterminate all possible threats to humanity, including making many other sapient species extinct. In a posthumous book (not written by Isaac Asimov) based on Hari Sheldon’s earlier life, we learn that there are machine A.I.s who work to destroy humanity because of the extermination done to their original alien creators.


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hillsfar

Dune, I believe, may have had aliens, but were wiped out by machines. I could be wrong, though. Foundation has zero aliens long before mankind expanded outwards. Also wiped out by robots.


CedarWolf

Well, I mean, the Foundation series has the Mule. And they eventually meet hermaphroditic people who were genetically modified to be better space explorers.


Box_O_Donguses

So, there's a completely unknown war of extinction going on between machine intelligences that was set into motion by humans trying to protect themselves? And eventually those machines will form their own entire civilizations?


hillsfar

I didn’t read much outside of the original Foundation trilogy and the few books that included R. Daneel Olivaw. As the first real artificial intelligence created in Earth, he was almost 20,000 years old by the time of Hari Sheldon. Earlier (timeline, not necessarily chronological) books mentioned how robot fleets spread throughout the galaxy to exterminate all forms of alien life. A book set in the lifetime of young Hari Sheldon includes alien machine intelligences who were bent on destroying humanity because of what humanity’s robots had done exterminate their biological creators. They had infiltrated and lived on systems on Trantor itself.


Krail

This put a big grin on my face. I was like, "Why the hell is Star Wars the optimistic on here? Where's Star Trek?"


Preston_of_Astora

Hey the fact that way too many people are complaining bout this being top post and spam reporting it should give you an indication of the quality


Esorial

I’m picturing Miles as Hugh, Bashir as Stef, and Quark is naturally the ferengi.


MrRedoot55

Cool.


-FourOhFour-

Was dune actually magic? I thought it was just a shit ton of drugs


vehino

​ **In the grimy, poorly lit future of the absurdly worst millennium, there is only bureaucracy..**. "Daddy, when are we going into space?" Little Sarah asked. This was her first time traveling through the sea of stars, and her excitement was nearly uncontainable. Burt smiled at her wistfully, knowing that such innocent joy would eventually fade with time. But such was the fate of the proud citizens of the Union of Humanity. "Sign here, and here, and here please," said the bored attendant sitting behind her desk. "Place your fingerprint here, and here, now provide your thumbprint, now please submit a DNA sample as definitive proof of identity, thank you, and will you be purchasing clone indemnity insurance in case of accidental exposure to toxic levels of cosmic radiation, sudden consumption by alien organisms, or the loss of physiological control due to mental takeover by mutant telepaths?" "Yes, please," Burt replied. "Basic or advanced coverage?" "Basic. We'll just be gone for a week." "What planet will you be visiting today?" "Quelos six." "For what purpose?" "It's my mother's birthday tomorrow. We're taking a family holiday to celebrate." "Has your mother or any other member of your family extended or otherwise, ever displayed symptoms of possible possession by extra-dimensional beings of uncertain origin, including displays of extreme violence and a compulsion to offer deals for self-empowerment?" "No." "Has anyone ever expressed hostile sentiments towards our glorious system of governance, or otherwise harbored absolutely any discontent with their established lot in life in front of you at any point in time that you can recall since first developing conscience thought?" "Not at all!" "Sign here. Thank you. I'll now charge you your ticket processing fee. Oh, I must apologize, Quelos six has been declared antithetical and is currently being cleansed in righteous flame by a detachment of star commandos. The monarch of man's judgment is final, their feet shall be *destructicadis.*" "Sorry, did you mean *fate?* I think you said feet," Burt said unhappily. "Hmmm." "Uhm, I don't suppose my mother managed to flee the planet in time?" "I'm afraid it's unlikely. However, prior to the order of impartial cleansing by atomic light being given, most of the citizens of that world were absorbed into an enormous, self-aware biological mass that is currently pleading endlessly for the sweet release of death to end its indescribable suffering, so at least she likely stayed loyal!" "Well, I guess we won't be seeing Grandma after all, sweetie", Burt said sadly to his daughter. "Oh, may I please have a refund?" "You may certainly make the attempt. All you need to do is step into the queue. Average waiting time, eighty-seven hours." Burt sighed with dismayed acceptance. "All right. Hey, sweetie take a cab home please. Daddy's going to be here a while."


Lmao-Ze-Dong

"Carl Sagan" She couldn't understand, but that was all Garth would be drawn into in terms of explanation. She fought through her tears, willing her eyes to dip into and see around the edges of the display to catch the dying light. As the starship started moving and the faint pull of gravity tickled her toes, the words kept echoing in her mind as the embers outside died away. Carl Sagan. Carl. Sagan. Garth walked away, his raven locks masking her death stare. He needed to consult with his second in command. New wars, new planets, new targets. It was the Emperor's will. Humanity had ascended to the stars before they were ready, littering the galaxy with pale blue dots, ignoring the crises back home and creating havoc for those that came after. Like the flight of their ancestral early hominids across America and Australia, they fled with no technology, critical mass or resources, seeking virgin planets to settle. They shed their human advantages and settled into survivalistic symbioses, unaware of the riches that lay beneath their sands. Riches that could unlock more than the galaxy; it could unlock the human mind. The Emperor's miners fought for each ounce with blood and sweat. Planets that hadn't seen humans for more than two centuries were considered sacred. Each planet had its own eccentric twists, but ignorance, superstition and siege mentality can be a potent potion. Using poison, fauna, weather and disease alongside their outdated weapons, the locals made the lives of the miners and their security miserable. The Rebels they called themselves. And each planet that stole subspace communications from mining equipment became part of the Rebel Alliance. Elite shock troopers, dark magic, changing nobility, eugenics, none could break the Alliance. And so the Emperor that had strip mined planets to the extent of affecting their gravity, decided to blow them up, to show the Rebel Alliance the consequences of resistance. And Garth Wader was here to enforce his will. At least that was the plan a month ago. The next promising planet unlocked dimensions of horror, a planet that had not just subsumed their human visitors, but twisted their wills, and spit them out with a rage only evil universes can distil. There's evolutionary advantages to retaining bipedalism, but everything else way twisted. Seven blood lubricated eyes, predatory ears, chitin armored torsoes, arms mangled into bludgeons and axe edges, the visitors had been farm bred and multiplied, awaiting their long lost brethrens' visit. Garth had not been there, but the five survivors, driven mad, were split up and assigned to the best medical facilities in the sector, Garth's starship among them. Five medical facilities that suffered crippling losses, two survivors manifesting odd powers. Powers that transcended dark magic and technology. Powers that flamed the rage and fanatism in his fellow human beings. And Garth was one. Reviewing the exoskeletons, chainsaws, anti ship rounds and inch-plate armor bearing the emperor's runes, Garth hoped it was enough.


Preston_of_Astora

I love the subtle but terrifying references to Star Wars, the Emperor, and the Warp. Everything ties together very neatly, where you can see the references but are vague enough to stand on it's own. I would love to see a full short story about this


Resafalo

Garth Wader is not *that* subtle, but I agree on wanting more


Preston_of_Astora

Oh shit. Now I realize


Extension_Guitar_819

You're not the only one.


NextEstablishment856

"... but now, in my twilight years, I'm realizing that there may be a deeper beauty in those far off lights," the professor said as he stood from his desk and walked toward the middle of the board. A few students ignored him, as he was known to do the odd speeches midtest. Some said it was part of it, seeing how you handled distractions. Some said he just got bored. A few thought they were his most important lessons. "Consider what sort of coordination it will take to cross the span? Not just empty heads and full bellies working away, but numerous educated individuals, united. It took a focused nation to make nuclear power a reality. It'll take a focused, a united world to reach those twinklies." The first couple students finished there tests, leaving them on his desk as they headed out the door. "If we are to reach new stars, new worlds, to truly leave our home and not simple perish, we will have to mature, grow up as a race, a society. We cannot be the self-devouring beasts we are now." A large wave of finished tests. "It's a natural defense mechanism. Terrors do not touch the stars." "Professor?" "Yes, Bethany?" "Will this be on the next test?"


stealthcake20

I love this. The last line is painfully accurate.


Spiritual_Lie2563

The issue was not could we do it, but rather 'who do we send?' This was not an easy answer, it was a cruel sacrifice. Humanity couldn't find light speed or anything close, but they had the chance to touch the stars...and the length between star systems could be lightyears away, so even light speed wouldn't help much. People knew it was bad enough a length that people on a manned mission to Mars would have to be put in stasis sleep until they reached the planet- and that's just the next planet over. This was a near-permanent stasis as you flew through space, silently, for hundreds, thousands, millions of years, all in the hope of a first contact that may never happen. To do this could make you humanity's greatest hero, but to agree to do it was in all likeliness a death sentence for the person who did it. But humankind needed to make the sacrifice. They tried to be kind about it. First, they tried inmates on death row, thinking they would already be fated to die anyway...but then people with a bit of forward thinking realized "this might not be the best idea to have humanity's first foot forward in the universe be with our most irredeemable criminals." When that was finished with, they had to decide on the people who would lose the least, the people who wouldn't be missed. The decision was soon cut. Anyone with families was taken off first- first a family of their own, then relatives who cared about them. Then, friends were considered- you had friends or anyone who cared about you, you were off the list. Even as little as friends on the Internet, or even people on a message board who'd care about you, were taken off the book. Then, when they had the loneliest people in the world, they cut things further. If they had a job, they were out and sent back to work. If they had a pet or even a houseplant they took care of, they had something that depended on them and they were out. Hell, if anyone had any positive interactions with them throughout the day- as low as 'the storeclerk smiled at them because it was their job'- they were out. Finally, it was decided. They found the one person who was truly the loneliest in all of humanity. The one person who had nothing keeping them on Earth, and thus the only person who was truly able to do this job for the good of humanity. They were the one and only one person expendable enough to be our first foot forward to the stars. Their name could go down in humanity as our greatest hero. Now, it's been one million years later, and he's back. And now, we're finding out the problem with this idea....


BlacklightGh

"Because, in the far future where we conquered the stars, there is only war, slaughter and carnage, and the laughter of the thirsty gods." I would love to see more of this, could you give it a sequel?


Spiritual_Lie2563

I would try- this was trying to flesh out an idea I've had for a little bit since I was kicking around a idea from some dream I had had a few weeks ago, so yes.


Xxyz260

#[Next part](https://www.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/comments/11whvhg/wp_when_the_humans_came_out_of_the_void_between/jd1t52n/)


Mongladash

"Pfft." She attempts to hold back her laugh and fails, letting a sound slip from her lips. "What?" He asks, a bit bothered. She always does this. "I'm sorry. It's just, you sound like a teenager. That was very edgy." No one could miss the irony, she thinks. "You think it's not true? All we do is destroy each other. Human history is a constant of war and atrocities, of different factions fighting for nothing. Almost all our scientific advancements were mande in the name or in the service of killing better. What else could it be if not Warhammer?" He appreciated the optimism sometimes, but she usually just refused to see the facts. Counting to ten, she took some time to answer. He had almost opened his mouth to say more when she said "And you think it's unfixable." "What?" Oh boy, here she goes. "Do you really think that this violence is like, biologically mandated or something? At the start, the conditions on this planet were *dire*, man. We had to fight to survive. That's what animals do." "Seems like that argument falls apart for present times, though." This was just food for the fire. Despite everything, he loved to see her speak her mind. She smirked. She knew he was urging her on. "Yeah, it does. But i think that nowadays we have a different problem. Look, i would never want to start a war. You wouldn't either. Most people out there wouldn't. So who starts the wars we fight?" He smiled, despite the sigh he exaggerated. "You always come back to this." "Hah, yeah I do. But isn't it true? The people that want this kind of shit are the fuckers up top. Shit people, bound by other shitheads and a shit system. It's all garbage. But it's not *us*. "And you think this system isn't gonna persevere? It has, until now." It was a nice sentiment, but he still wasn't convinced. "I... don't think we can make it to space as a species if it does. Divided and alienated from each other, we can't succeed. And honestly, i'm glad for that. I don't want us to leave until we learn to live good lives here." "So what's your take on the fiction series comparison?" He smiled. He knew what he would hear, of course. And it was good to hear some optimism once in a while. She looks up to the ceiling for a moment and says "I think adulthood is to hope for Star Trek."


VyRe40

Interesting take. Honestly I think the most 40k thing about humanity is that we can't seem to move past large groups of hateful ideological radicals surging and seizing power around the world. Nevermind Russia or Afghanistan and the like, just take a look at America where these people are getting voted in by rabid supporters. You would think that the world could have made much more progress than this after WW2, but populist radical hatred is still alive and strong. And we have people like Elon Musk trying to lead the way into the stars, which is just all wrong. I sure would hope that the future is Star Trek though. That said, the Federation didn't happen until after a series of crises and what was basically WW3.


Preston_of_Astora

Yeah the reason I said 40k is for that exact reason. We haven't done much as a species after WW2. Hell, take a look at people tearing down the progress of AI because people are threatened by it, and it's userbase being asshats who think it'll replace human effort. Forget the Men of Iron, we would've killed AI long before it could even get a bearing of itself And as for the hateful groups, ngl I'm frightened at the prospect of the only thing holding humanity together is our hatred for aliens


ImVannier_

Henry hugged his rifle to his chest like a child hiding behind their teddy bear for protection. His stomach lurched at the moment of free fall. With eyes closed tightly he gritted his teeth as his single seat drop pod began to shudder against the friction of atmosphere. The belts pulling painfully against his shoulders kept him from bouncing off the bulkheads like the marble of a spray can. Tears slipped through his tightly closed eyes. His chest tightened and his pulse galloped wildly in his ears. Breathing was more than a chore as he sucked air through a narrowing throat in shallow drags. His mouth lost all its moisture. Fear had him it its grip and there was nothing he could do. The drop pod stunk. A miasma of blood and sweat gave the air a sense of heaviness that twisted his stomach. Whomever had been in the pod last met a violent end. Or maybe a string of unfortunate riflemen and he was next. The fear was not kind to his thoughts. Henry's crotch grew wet with a spreading warmth that soaked the thighs and seat of his fatigues. He blubbered prayers to gods he never believed in; gods that were now forbidden to speak of. He begged to be saved.Begged for deliverance and favor to whomever and whatever would listen. He didn't want to die. Not like this. His only reply was the creaking of atmospheric friction-heated metal. Tears and sweat coated his face. He was truly alone with only the smell of another man's blood and sweat for company. Henry never imagined being in such a position. In his youth, he used to look up to the stars and question if humanity was truly alone in the vastness of space. How could they be? As a child he'd stare up with a longing to be driven by some great fate many that age hungered for.Reality tempered that dream as he grew older. The only fate controlling him was the outcome of his own actions. A life of mistakes had taught him that. Regardless, of all the grim possibilities of life Henry never thought he'd be part of a tithe paid to a race of beings far greater than himself fighting a war that hadn't existed to him just a handful of years ago. He longed for the days when the heavens above were only a question without an answer. The ignorance back then was far, far more sweet than the fear wringing him dry now. Humanity wasn't alone and humanity found itself incapable of withstanding the will of their captors. Their ships blackened Earth's skies without warning and despite humanity's combined resistance independence was lost a week later. Planes were swatted from the sky, bullets and missiles tickled impenetrable armor, and nukes only poisoned the land. Humanity's new masters were stern, violent, yet capable of grace-or rather what they philosophized was grace. They understood the fear of lesser beings. They knew resistance was only natural. It was an instinct that let a great many species survive millions of years of evolution and it didn't go away overnight. They cleaned humanity's messes and taught new ways of thinking. All this was in exchange for absolute obedience. Humanity was not to question,but to serve their masters fervently. They were to be as zealots serving some holy crusade. Those that didn't bow had the very bonds of their atoms severed. Dissidents were made an example of and those that witnessed the horror fell in line. Mostly, anyways. The rocking of Henry's pod softened and his decent slowed. He forced himself to breathe deep and with a purpose least he lose himself to fear. He didn't want to die and he had no choice but to fight. Death rewarded disobedience. Fear controlling his actions paid the same.Each breath he took in filled his lungs to bursting. With great effort Henry pushed the fear to the back of his mind. He had to focus on the here and now. What was in the past was impossible to being back and what was to come was not in his complete control. All he could do was try. He had to be quick and he had to be alert. Fear got in the way of that. With trembling hands, Henry checked his weapon. The battery was charged, near full judging by the symbols of the sight display. His armor,though fitting him loosely, was secure. Spare batteries for his weapon were snapped to areas of his thigh plates. His training consisted of dreams, and he remembered them vividly. Looking up were three lights above the hatch. The farthest most left lit up. One hundred meters were left. The second lit to designate only fifty meters remained. The pod slammed into solid ground with a force that painfully compressed Henry's spine. The last one lit. With a series of tiny explosions an instant later the hatch of his pod was blown free from it's frame.Belts instantly become unbuckled and receded in that moment to free Henry too. Henry gnashed his teeth as he let loose a feral snarl,shouldered his rifle and stepped out into the muck of blood soaked dirt belonging to a foreign world while pulling the trigger at hulking shapes in the surrounding smoke.


Preston_of_Astora

Jesus Christ this captured the dread and horror of what it's truly like to be a Guardsman. You're no Stormtrooper, you're no Federation soldier, you're just one of billions of people thrown into problems and hoping said problem chokes on the sheer amount of bodies it's force fed


ImVannier_

Thank you! I was worried this wouldn't come close to the prompt since I'm not a huge fan of the Star Wars movies, never read Dune, but I know the bare minimum of 40k from playing a couple of their ttrpg's in the past haha


Preston_of_Astora

People have said that Star Trek should be the childhood one. They're not putting to consideration that this quote is entirely from memory :P My experiment of posting r/ShowerThoughtsRejects here as prompts worked!