Once upon a time, there was an advanced civilization that was living in a solar system that circled a very old star. The failing star was growing too large, and the solar system was no longer a nice place to live.
So, the civilization packed itself into three large ships and left to seek its fortune in the wide, wide galaxy. They traveled together as much as they could, but each ship was under the direction of its own captain with their own ideas of what to look for in a new home. Finally the time came where they went their separate ways.
The first ship decided to stop at a planet that already had a lovely atmosphere. There was lots of clean water and plants growing. The natives were small and easily overlooked. All that was required to settle down was to land the ship and open the doors. They didn’t even build separate structures to live in for years and years.
The second ship found a pleasant little planet to settle on. It was a little close to the star it orbited, but that just meant that it stayed nice and warm. It didn’t have much atmosphere, but that was easily fixed with a little work. After that it was a matter of adding the necessary water and plant life. They built some simple structures and settled in after a decade or so of hard work.
The last ship searched and searched. They finally found a menacing gas giant. “Perfect,” the captain said. “We’ll certainly be safe here.”
They were indeed safe, but it took decades to build structures that would sustain the colony as they grew into their new home. It wasn’t easy, but they were thinking long-term. In the end, they built a beautiful home that would protect the colony as it grew, hidden in the swirling storms of their new planet.
And then one day, a thousand years into the future, a war-like civilization sent out ships to find new places and people to conquer. It didn’t take them long to check the planet with the lovely atmosphere. When the people living there looked into the sky and saw the invading ships, they ran to their initial transport vessel and locked themselves in.
The invading aliens hailed the ship. Their picture showed up on the view screen. They had sharp teeth and long claws and leathery skin. They were terrifying. “Little friends,” the captain said, smiling falsely. “Won’t you let us come in?”
The captain surreptitiously pulled some wires out of place in the main console. “I’m sorry,” he said politely. “The doors are broken. See?” He pushed some buttons. “They don’t work. I guess we’re stuck.”
“Oh don’t worry,” the invading captain said, just as politely. “We have a laser cannon. We’ll just blast down the door and let you out.”
They both cut the connection on their view screens. The people on the transport ship teleported to the nearest sister-ship and set their ship to self-destruct before they left. They ended up on the pleasantly warm little planet with the new atmosphere and settled in quickly with their long-lost relatives.
The invaders saw the self-destruct countdown in time to quickly exit the ship, but not in time to counter it. They approached the blast crater with sour looks on their lizard-like faces. “We can send home for some settlers, but we’d have to build from scratch. The lazy laggards who settled here did almost nothing, and they didn’t even leave behind any workers to do the work for us under our kind supervision.”
And so the invaders left behind settlers of their own and continued searching the galaxy for worlds to conquer. All too soon, they found the pleasantly warm planet and prepared to attack. Meanwhile, the citizens of the planet fled to their transport ship and locked themselves inside.
“Little friends,” the invading captain said and smiled wide, showing his sharp teeth. “Won’t you let us come in?”
The captain begin scribbling frantically, just out of sight of the screen. “I’m sorry,” he said politely and held up the scribbled note. “It says here that visiting hours are from noon to four, and you’ve just missed it. Perhaps you can come back another day or find someone else to visit.”
The invading captain smiled even wider. “But we’ve come all this way. We simply must come in,” he said politely. “Don’t get up. We have a laser cannon. We’ll just blast down the door and let ourselves in.”
They cut the connection and the citizens in the transport ship teleported themselves to the last remaining sister ship. They, of course, set their ship to self-destruct before they left.
Looking into a second blast crater, the invading captain growled. “Once could be overlooked,” he said at last, “But twice is unforgivable. We will find them, and then they will be truly sorry.”
Using the best of their tracking abilities, the invaders finally found themselves outside an inhospitable gas giant. The pilot looked at the gas giant. “Are we really going in there?”
“Hail them from here,” the captain said. The view screen crackled, but there was a tenuous connection. “Little friends,” the captain said with a grin. “Won’t you let us come in?”
The audio crackled, but there was no reply.
“Get the laser cannon ready,” the captain said. “We’ll just blast down the doors.”
But after flying through frightening storms for hours without seeing any doors, the crew became mutinous. “I don’t think there’s anyone really here,” someone grumbled at the back of the flight deck. “They must have passed close enough to confuse our sensors and hide their trail. We’ve lost them.”
In the end, the captain had to agree that they were probably right. They left to conquer other worlds. Thousands of years later, their home world would be hit by a meteor that would wipe out their civilization, leaving the colonies independent as the home world suffered through an ice age that lasted for millions of years.
And the three colonies living on the gas giant, reunited at last, lived there happily ever after. They are probably living there still. Who knows? It’s not like it’s easy to go check.