The planet Zorgox is an old and peaceful place on the far edge of the Andromeda Galaxy. It is small and pretty, and its inhabitants all get along fairly well. The Zorgones discovered fire, mathematics, the cure for the common cold, the laws of physics and how the galaxies were created a long time ago. They are a rational race that abandoned early Zorgonian superstition in favor of science. All the major cities have a great monument and educational facility devoted to the advancement of Zorgonian scientific achievement.
Zorgones are kind and benevolent to other planets in need. The laws are rational. There is no war, no poverty, no disease. In short, for a Zorgone boy of seventeen years, it is the most boring place in the galaxy and there is fuck all to do. Zorgone boys dream of finding a planet with war, pestilence and discord. They long to find a planet where the inhabitants are killing each other in the name of superstition.
One of the major simulation game companies, Zyvix, Inc., took advantage of this impulse in Zorgone teenagers and created a simulation of a new planet in the Milky Way Galaxy called Earth. According to the game, everyone on Earth is killing each other all the time over greed, differences in superstition and territory squabbles. Earth Slaughter was the hottest selling simulation game on the whole planet of Zorgox this year. All the teenagers are playing it. They can’t get enough.
Zygor is one of those typical teenagers. He never cleans his room. He puts little effort towards school and science. He plays Earth Slaughter far too much. He’s really good at the game. He particularly likes the Middle East scenarios where any weapon is available for a high enough price and you can kill anyone with impunity, even one of your own and call it “friendly fire”. If you get away with it, you achieve a bonus score.
Zygor’s parents worry about him. He had always been a little strange for a Zorgone. He is taller than average at just over 3cm and his limbs hang down almost to the ground. He never cuts his talons and he hardly ever takes a mud bath. He has terrible posture and his mom is always nagging him to stand up straight. He’s always stood apart from his classmates.
His teachers say that he’s a genius, but he doesn’t want that kind of pressure. He doesn’t want to study. He just wants to play Earth Slaughter. His parents try to get him to take more of an interest in his studies, but they chock up his disinterest to just a teenage phase. Soon enough, he will settle down and attend the prestigious Zing City University to study interstellar travel. From the time he was three, his future has been arranged as is the Zorgone way, but Zygor sees no need to study since his future is already laid out for him. Whether he fails Zorgonian history or not, he’ll still be going off to ZCU in the fall, so it’s not like it really matters.
Zygor and his friends spend most of their time discussing Earth and playing Earth Slaughter. They wonder if the planet is really like Zyvix, Inc. makes it out to be. The Zorgones developed spacecraft that travels far faster than the speed of light centuries ago, but they spend most of their time methodically exploring and setting up trade routes in the Andromeda Galaxy and the other galaxies around them. It has been over a hundred Zorgox years since they visited the Milky Way because they determined that there wasn’t much of interest there after a cursory investigation. The Zorgones are a trading culture and the only civilizations that exist in the Milky Way are mere babies yet. It will be generations before they are advanced enough to develop inter-galaxy transportation. There is no one to trade with there, so the Zorgones leave the galaxy alone until such time as the Milky Way develops properly civilized societies.
That’s not good enough for Zygor. He wants to go there to see how they are progressing. He wants to see if it really is like the game. It finally occurred to him, like a dumbass, that he is destined to go to ZCU to study interstellar transportation in the fall. His whole future revolves around learning how to travel to other galaxies. He set his mind to learning as much as he can. If they won’t let him explore the Milky Way, he’ll just build his own ship on the side. Either way, he will eventually go to Earth and see it with his own four eyes. He will have an adventure even if it kills him.