For this, and any other Wacky Writing Ideas, I happily release them into the wild for anyone to use. If you like the idea and want to write it up, do so with my blessing! If you want to change it or use it for something else, have at it! If you really want to do something nice for me, feel free to acknowledge me and let me know if you’ve used one of them (I’ll link to your creative work from my blog). If you don’t feel like it, no worries. If there’re a few comments with enthusiasm for an idea, I may write it up, so please comment if it sounds like something you’d like to read.
The idea behind this is a universe where humans developed faster-than-light travel (about 30 years previously) and met other aliens, *ALL* of whom also just developed faster-than-light travel. Commerce and interactions explode, and the various races find the timeframe for major cultural milestones are similarly synchronized: they all developed agriculture at around the same time, and industrialization, and the information age, etc. Not to the day, but all within a few years of one another. The big mystery throughout the galaxy is why the aliens all developed in step with one another. The various races have been looking throughout the galaxy and haven’t found any evidence of older, fallen races or races that haven’t discovered space travel yet – besides a few races that found other races on the cusp of developing the technology for themselves (and who shortly thereafter did discover it and joined the others).
While some alien races are aggressive, there are enough factions to hold them in check – other races will sell / provide defensive information to help any victimized races stand up for themselves. War and violence occur, but haven’t really proven to be worthwhile to anyone.
The protagonist is a trader who visits a recently built space station where he meets and makes exchanges with traders from alien races. Trading is very easy, just because there are so many things every culture has that are useful to other alien races. The best traders make generous, frequent deals.
The protagonist realizes that his trading has been going VERY well, even better than is typical in the new market everyone finds themselves in. It keeps getting better until he finds that he can bend the fabric of reality with trades that he makes – it’s a superpower. He encounters others like himself, who have recently reached new heights with their profession’s / skill’s, becoming almost godlike. For example, a military commander has become undefeatable in battle, an engineer can, in a short time, build devices better than anything else in the known universe, etc.
As a group, they embark to try to figure out what has happened to them and determine if it has any connection to the state of the galaxy as a whole. They discover alien races and others, with similar powers, opposed to their plans.
As an extra for this wacky writing idea, I’d love to hear any ideas about why the races are in sync and where the powers came from.