Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

You’d expect a physically challenged, mentally retarded child born with a life expectancy of six years to figure out a crude way of getting around. Some simple crutches, perhaps. Or maybe a box to drag oneself around in.

You wouldn’t expect that child to build robot legs that worked.

That’s how the aliens saw us. They looked on us in pity and in fascination.

They came to us from space without the benefit of ships or space suits. They floated down on rippling bio-solar panel wings of unfurling grace. They were humanoid but much taller, bilaterally symmetrical like us. They had four more senses than us and were able to breathe in fourteen different atmospheres. Those solar sail wings could extend for fifty meters when fully extended in space. They were so very thin.

They looked like us for a reason.

And we didn’t look like them because we were deformed.

In this universe, they explained, there was only one dominant form of life.


Planet Earth was seeded with that form of life but somewhere the replication got too many errors in it. A few missing pieces in the helix or a few too many where it counted. Our growth was stunted and our full potential squandered.

According to these superior versions of humans that wafted down from space, normal human beings kept every trait in the DNA that they’d gotten along the way and were supposed to flower in a second puberty around sixty years of age.

That second puberty would have us grow much taller, become psychic, kick all of our evolutionary traits into full-blown activation, and give us the ability to fly into space like a dandelion seed pushed by a gust of wind. And those wings could tesseract space. Living wormhole organs. The distances between stars made it necessary for them to have lifespans measured in thousands of years.

We felt jealous and ripped off. But also proud. These beings had no need for technology. They’d never invented radio or television. That explained the silence of space. They’d never had to invent spacecraft. They’d never had rocket technology or microwaves or chemistry or vacuum tubes. They could construct stable wormholes but they didn’t understand the math behind it.

We were a marvel to them. A doomed, stunted, tragic, tear-jerker of a marvel.

But they couldn’t read our minds. We lacked the broadcast and receiving apparatus. They learned our language in hours and communicated with us using their rarely used mouths. It was a novelty for them.

It gave us the time to mount an attack. Great minds must have thought alike because in a surprisingly effective military movement, as accidentally co-ordinated as it was spontaneous, all the countries of earth killed these super-humans.

The ones that could flee, fled. Around two-thirds. The rest of them fluttered like moths in jars, trying to get out of our buildings as our bullets tore holes in their paper bodies.

The brutality shocked them. They felt the trapped ones die in their minds. We haven’t seen them since. It’s likely that they have marked our planet as a no-go area.

Suits us fine.

However, we’ve been busy researching those bodies. Every country on Earth is in a race to see who can get the first patents. The first stable wormholes, the first space-faring wingsuits, the first immortality drugs, the first psychic warriors, the first amphibious soldiers, etc, etc.

And when the time comes, we’ll spread out amongst the stars ahead of schedule because of them. We’ll see who’s superior then.


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