The spaceship landed on the first uninhabited planet they found in the galaxy. This gave the crew theoretically uninterrupted time to make repairs, to both the spaceship itself and the joie de vivre of the passengers. They could relax if no warring terrestrial was abroad.
Small touring parties went out on expeditions of exploration. Packed lunches, a stretch of the legs. Fabulous to get out of the ship and breathe the fresh air of this unknown planet.
One such party discovered a Cosmic Seesaw. At one end a ball of dark matter, the other a smaller ball of light, counterbalancing each other. Over the next few days each member of the spaceship made a trip to see the seesaw. Marvelling at the absolute equilibrium, with the much larger dark balanced by the smaller light, philosophical discussions speculating on the weight of dark versus light, good versus evil, the very nature of the universe began to encompass all thought. The repairs to the spaceship were forgotten, as the Cosmic Seesaw became an obsession.
Eventually they all starved, enthralled by the seesaw, everything else unimportant, as they argued over the significance of the counterbalance. After the last crew member died the underground inhabitants of the planet emerged from their burrows, to scavenge. The spaceship was stripped and sold as scrap metal. The bodies were all carefully buried. By the time these spacewreckers had finished there was not one trace of evidence to suggest life.
They retreated back underground to wait for the next set of travellers to arrive to be mesmerised by the seesawing cosmic counterbalance.
Copyright April 2013