I took a short hop forwards and was much encouraged. Humankind had settled the entire solar system.
My next hop revealed human civilization spreading across the galaxy. Huzzah for mankind!
Another leap, and I caught wind of trouble. A massive war between multi-galactic empires.
But thousands of years later, huzzah! War over, peace reigned. But there was trouble ahead. For the first time, humans wondered if they would grow so numerous that the septillions of planets in the universe wouldn’t be enough to sustain them.
I couldn’t wait to take my last jump. Here I am! But where is the subspace chatter? Where are the great trading vessels plying their routes between stars?
Where have the humans gone?
I have now spent centuries exploring billions of worlds formerly inhabited by humankind. The hulks of cities endure, the detritus of unthrifty lives.
But on world after world, the only life I find is hordes of ravenous feral pigs. The wild hog can now be said to be the dominant life form in the cosmos.
The hogs feed on the copious garbage humans have left.
On world after world, the hogs are evolving apart from hogs on other worlds. Some grow fins. Some fly.
Some are now using crude tools.
I’ll take one more hop and see what they get up to.