Why did the dromaeosaurids not evolve culture?

There are so many things that are still nebulous to me. There was a time, recently, when I thought I remembered that the dromaeosaurids did in fact develop opposable digits, fire-starting and then art, mathematics and interstellar travel.

And that they were only one of so many intelligent lifeforms who came before you and made it to the spacefaring age and beyond. After all, it’s not as if enough deep time hasn’t passed for that to happen, is it?

But now I believe I was wrong. It was just wishful thinking. Same as the Capellans.

This was their, I don’t know, what you would call a ‘project’, at the time we arrived here at Danuih. As I said, they had high hopes. After all, the Capellans themselves were – are – an advanced interstellar species who happen to be reptilian, so why not the dromaeosaurids?

By the time we arrived they had come to understand that genetics alone does not provide the answer. There are no genes for intelligence, or culture, or empathy, or any of those other aspects which differentiate between civilisation and barbarism. If there were, everything would be so much simpler.

Especially with you, the human species. All we would have to do is insert certain genes into your double helix say, forty thousand years ago, then effect the appropriate epigenetic triggers and there you go – you are a utopia. You are fine, and so very welcome in our galactic sector, our multicultural peaceful, holistic civilisation.

But clearly, as you yourselves have demonstrated, logically this cannot be the case.

The dromaeosaurids, as I intimated, had a tendency, like the proverbial fox in the henhouse, to kill everything in the vicinity even when they were not hungry. The social Darwinists amongst you might well argue this was to prevent their so-called ‘rivals’ from obtaining sustenance, thus dying out first, but that infers a higher form of strategic intelligence which the dromaeosaurids did not possess.

Similarly, it was not as if they thought they would be hungry later and so could simply come back to the kill and feast before it decayed. They did not, I can assure you, guard their kills. Yes, they did bring ‘extra’ back for their young, but not to the extent which would account for their rampage.

And so, as I say, even when they did return to their killing grounds they inevitably found that their dead prey had been already either eaten by others or decayed.

But here’s the thing – they did not learn from this.

It was some while before we ventured down to the surface of Danuih. This was not because of the alien pathogen problem. That was resolved quite quickly with no issues thanks to the Capellans’ knowledge of QAI-TI-controlled nanocytes. Partly it was because we wanted to ask Danuih’s permission first. We were somewhat trepidatious, given that we were mammals and she was clearly in a reptilian-dominant phase of her evolution. There were some mammals already, but they were at the most primitive stage of that evolutionary stream. Granted, she was aware that these creatures would come to take precedence, and that we would be helping in that regard, but she was adamant that this would not happen for very many millions of orbits.

Likewise, the technology available to us was perfectly adequate for fending off unwelcome attention from ravenous dinosaurs. Forcefields, guardbots and the like.

So I don’t know what it was, really. Maybe some kind of ancestral nervousness. That and the reluctance to remain on Ishna under those artificial domes. To have to adjust to a new planet. You humans probably don’t really comprehend this. I’m sorry – that sounded arrogant – I didn’t mean it to. Of course you don’t comprehend it. You should do though. Most of you are not originally from this system, after all. Danuih knows this. She is not your mother. The Pleiades are.

But that’s another story.

Why did the dromaeosaurids not develop culture?

And so to begin with, we, with the help of the Capellans, constructed an orbiting space station, sufficient for our relatively few numbers. I know you humans are used to thinking in terms of your population of billions, but for us, that’s unthinkable. The first wave of Paetri were no more than ten thousand. Our planet, Nebthwt, in the estimation of our scientists and those of the Ishnaans, still had several hundred thousand years of potential habitability left. That was one of the reasons I did not want to leave. That amount of time was still enough for us to evolve to the non-physical phase of evolution. Yes, it would get harsher, our planet’s environment, but I didn’t want to leave. My family did not want to leave.

The Karidel knew we had to. We had relinquished our need for individuation, responsibility in making social decisions to them. Ironic, clearly.

We had to learn how to fend for ourselves.

If you have read Murry Hope’s channelled communications with Ka-ini and Mi-kili you may get the impression that we were always a highly advanced lifeform. Or maybe it’s because Ka-ini and Mi-kili had, by then, forgotten how we once were. The fact that we were once young, just like you, that our primal ancestors also existed without opposable digits, walking on all fours and all the rest of that nature red in tooth and claw. But unlike the dromaeosaurids, we developed fire-starting, with the help of the Old Ones, and then art and mathematics and finally interstellar travel. By the time Murry started talking to Ka-ini and Mi-kili, those two were so far removed from our ancestral past that it may even have seemed like a kind of myth to them. It does to me too sometimes. And Murry herself, who only ever had one lifetime as a Paschat, that was in our advanced future, when the Karidel and the Ishnaans explored outer space in time-ships. After the evacuation.

A long time later.

Maybe, being a time essence, she now knows, but it’s not the same for us. For my family.

Unless you, my dearest things, have actually been outside this planet’s atmosphere, you have no idea, believe me, what it’s really like to love, let alone lose, a world.

If only I could help you to feel your world, then everything would be beautiful again. You can try, of course. You can imagine yourself in orbit looking down at your world, Danuih, her beautiful blue and green and white, and suddenly feel and understand her.

This is how it was for us when we arrived. You have no idea. Perhaps one day you will. Perhaps.

You want to know why the dromaeosaurids never developed culture? Maybe it’s the same as you are now. I’m not talking about fate here, or even that you – what – blew your chance somehow, like it was never meant to be?

It was because of the cosmic virus.

It happened a long, long time ago. Restoring the balance is not as easy as a simple pole shift. If it were, the problem would’ve been resolved 120 million years ago. It could be resolved tomorrow. Just divert another asteroid or comet into the path of the moon, knock it away from orbit, re-adjust the obliquity from 23.4 to zero, restore the human female oestrus to an annual return to solve the over-population problem, and there you go.

But no, it’s not that simple, is it?

Our star system, what you call Sirius, is the Time Star. When we first arrived here, we did not realise how intimately bound up with you and your system we are. It took a while. We started on our space station.

And then we went down to the surface, with Danuih’s permission. We lived again.

But we did not understand, why the dromaeosaurids never developed culture. Not yet.

Until that time-ship arrived…

And my future, my purpose, changed forever.

You humans, my dearest things, have no idea, no inkling whatsoever, of your place in the scheme of things. You are lost. You came here to Danuih as interlopers from the Pleiades, seeking truth and healing and what have you done?

Look at what you have done.

You have exacerbated the virus.

No, more than that – you have become the virus. Conscious.

You are the reason the dromaeosaurids never developed culture.

And you have no idea how hurtful that is.

My first vision of you, forty thousand years ago, in the ice age, 120 million years into the future.

How could I go back after that, knowing that anything we did in the past had already happened, and would not change a damn thing?

But we still have forty thousand years to play with. Forty thousand years to make things right again.

No, you have no idea, my dearest things.

Our time star is a wakening.

And so am I.

So am I.

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