Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

Aside from the “more-arms-than-us” thing and the blue colour of their skin, they weren’t as alien as they could have been. They didn’t look like insects or floating blobs, for instance.

At first contact, we all conceitedly thought it just chance that they looked somewhat human. I mean, we’re great, right? Why shouldn’t our form be on other planets as well? Sheer self-centered assumption.

The aliens were bred in tanks in giant arkships.

Remember the hype over the last fifteen years or so about rednecks being kidnapped by aliens and experimented on? All those anal probes and skin samples and implants and all that?

Well, it all happened. It was all true.

The aliens went from planet to planet and kidnapped intelligent life. They studied the inhabitants, bred their own genes into dominant splices and grew the results to maturity.

All of these blue-skinned creatures with black eyes, wide mouths and too many arms were grown from a half-human base.

The aliens’ “true” shape on their homeworld was like a cross between a centipede and an octopus and they were used to an atmosphere that would corrode a human in seconds. They needed our genes to survive here.

And to be ‘compatible’ with us.

Half a million aliens were put down in each capital city. They knew English, Mandarin, and were fluent in the language of the city into which they were dropped. They had food and clothing to last them six months.

Males and Females. There was an exactly equal number of each sex. For a full week, nothing happened. There was an uneasy peace.

But humans are humans. There were attacks on the aliens. A worldwide panic started to build. It looked like a mass genocide was about to take place but immediately, their leader talked to us. I say ‘talked’ but it was more of a telepathic shout that brought every human to a quivering standstill.

The leader of the aliens made us an offer that we couldn’t refuse: let them breed with us and become part of our society or face certain extinction.

He made an example of Paris.

We took the offer.

That was over a decade ago.

There are nearly a billion children now with eyes that have no whites. Their skin has a bluish cast and they have smaller sets of arms poking out at random around their ribcage.

They are polite. They study. They word hard. They are creative.

Their race has shared their knowledge with us.

The entire planet is now on a schedule of the aliens’ devising. We are overcrowded but we’ve been assured that we will be a space-faring race within the decade. This is a plan that has worked hundreds of times before, they say.

There is an even split between us who are repulsed by what they see as invaders and people that have welcomed them and volunteered for marriage and babies.

Religion is taking a beating and a lot of politicians seem to be pretty depressed. The aliens have let us keep our elections and our money-based economy but there’s a general feeling on Earth that we’re children eating at the adult’s table.

Children that have been allowed to keep their toys so that they’ll be quiet.

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