I got this short story idea from poster labreuer on lotharlorraine, so thank you for that. I wrote it in about an hour late at night, non-stop. I procrastinate mightily but when I get inspired to write something I get in a zone, and tend to finish the shorter stuff in one sitting. This one really is short – less than 1000 words.
The story is kind of a long-form thought experiment: What is one planet when compared to a quadrillion occupied planets?
Inevitably, no matter how illogical, some humans would still insist on perpetuating violence against other humans, and instead of leaving those humans would fight back. The fools! The reason for such fighting had evaporated; the causes of war were gone. Religions co-existed peacefully, with nobody bothering anybody else. Food was plentiful. Resources were limitless. Population growth was infinitely sustainable. But still people fought! And for a time, so the history simulators show, it seemed as if violence would creep back up to normal levels, and war would come again. So in 6050 the leaders of the original nine planets in the Earth Prime solar system held an emergency meeting to discuss the matter. Their solution was remarkable in its simplicity.
The math was extremely clear: If violence rates continued trending the way they were, the golden age would end, as had every other supposed golden age in mankind’s history. This, it was decided, was intolerable. So an equation was performed, so simple it did not even need a supercomputer. It would involve remarkably little governance of the other planets and would leave almost everybody completely unharmed, but as long as it was kept up faithfully the problem would be solved with almost no fanfare.
I have submitted the story to the Analog Science Fiction magazine, so wish me luck.