This is the story of a planet named BR-54778.

BR-54778 is by no means a special planet. It exists in an outer arm of the milky way, roughly 7.8 flugs away from a much more remarkable planet named by its inhabitants Earth. This name really lacks creativity if you think about it, in a staggering contrast to its natives. However, this story won't begin with Earth. It was only mentioned to provide some sense of distance, and to provide an ominous beginning. Back to BR-54778.

BR-54778 would have lived a very quite life. It was born at the same time as its counterparts, on the day 0. After it cooled down, it totally missed to get itself an atmosphere of some kind when that was trendy, and such didn't develop a life form of its own. Some space whales did not really care about atmosphere though and swam by whenever their route lead them close. Once the nearby sun, which BR-54778 circled around, would have ceased to exist, it took the planet with its explosive death and that would have been all about it. But then we wouldn't have a picture of it which shows a much more dramatic death and we also wouldn't have a background story, now, would we. No, everything in this predictable life changed with the discovery of space travel by the humans.

Remember that we talked about Earth a paragraph above? If you do not, you should probably visit a doctor and talk about an obvious problem with your short term memory. Anyway, on that Earth, the human inhabitants realized that they want to visit more then their planet. This filled the rest of the galaxy with terror after some of their rockets reached the closer planets around them. They were monitoring these humans way before they realized that the sun did not indeed circle around them, out of fear they would start inter-galactic travel.

The thing with humans is: They are violent creatures. They live from eating surrounding biological life, which tells you much about their mindset. Luckily, for the first thousand years of their existence they focused that violence on themselves. But when they started reaching for the stars, all other lifeforms in the galaxy feared they would literally do this, not in a proverb kind of meaning. And they were rightly afraid. It only took humans thousand more years to drop their friendly "Just discovering galaxies here" facade and start waging a full scale war on every other being in the universe. The reason why they started their intergalactic war is lost to history, and as it is often with wars, totally unimportant in hindsight.

The Ohibuts on C-966 were the first to feel the wrath of a human invasion force, but certainly not the last. They were overrun and eradicated from their home planet in less then a year. Other species followed swiftly. This lead to an event the humans would call "Scorched earth" if it would have happened on their own planet. The inhabitants of the universe would flee their planets when the first sights of the slow humans rockets appeared, and then blew up the planet so the humans wouldn't get access to their technology or lives.

This brings us back to BR-54778. Its specific story is quickly told after you now know the surrounding facts. In the wake of the fleeing of whole planets, they set up refill stations for their interplanetary vehicles. BR-54778 was picked because it happened to be on the way to a bigger inhabitable planet the humans were probably not going to get to for at least three centuries. And that assumption was almost correct. In their bloodlust, the human military was able to get there in only two centuries. They weren't able to refill at BR-54778 though, because the Phikurs blew it up before the humans got close. And a local photographer took this picture, the last picture showing BR-54778. It is by no means a special planet, but it got to play a role in the war, and at least the Phikurs are happy it existed. Probably also the space whales, but their opinion wasn't asked, it is never, much to their sadness.

The end.


This short story was originally inspired by The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, written by Douglas Adams. I then watched this great video by Tom Scott, who based it on this blogpost. After consuming both, I rewrote the story because I loved that as an explanation for the annihilation of the planet.