|Roxolan Stories |
Set in the Future
|Appearance(s):||"The Road Not Taken"|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
Hilda Chester was a linguist assigned to learn the language of the alien Roxolani after their failed invasion of the Earth in 2039. One of her subjects was Captain Togram who she taught some English as well as learning his language. From him she learned of the practice of the alien empires, who possess the hyperdrive, to expand by military force.
She discussed this one day with Charlie Ebbets, an engineer examining Roxolan technology and for who she translated his enquirers to the alien prisoners. He indicated that the hyperdrive was amazingly simple and that humans could have stumbled on it any time throughout history. It had no secondary uses, like electricity did, and so the Roxolani remained technologically behind Earth otherwise. All it could do was move things from here to there very quickly.
Chester thought that it might lead to a solution to Earth's overpopulation problem of nine billion people since there were suddenly places the surplus could move to. Ebbets agreed. He also thought that Earthlings were going to be a big surprise to the aliens.
At first Chester did not understand Ebbets comment but then was outraged at the idea of conquest. She indicated that humans had not had such a war for a hundred years. Ebbets agreed but said it was only because it had become too expensive.
It left hanging what the future would hold.
- See e.g. Kaleidoscope, pgs. 189-192, mpb.