Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

Humans had always been looking for a way to legitimately kill the stupid. But where did they draw the line? An outside force had to make the choice. Humans couldn’t morally make that kind of decision.

After first contact, Earth was catalogued, included in their star maps as possessing both intelligent and non-intelligent life, and then left alone. It was quite anticlimactic. Almost business-like. The aliens themselves had translator machines that picked up our language nuances wonderfully. They went to great lengths to appear human. Aside from the blue skin and golden eyes, they succeeded. Their spokespeople appeared on all of the talk shows and deftly handled all of the xenophobic questions. They mollified the humans, measured them, and left.

The silence in their wake was depressing. Those that had been waiting to become part of the galactic family all of their lives felt like they’d been given nothing more than a high-five.

The aliens left behind a device. It wasn’t understood how it worked but the components were simple and easy to recreate. It was the machine the aliens used to detect intelligent life. It flashed red on animals, meaning non-intelligent life, but green on most humans.

Most humans.

Some humans were classified as red. The mentally challenged, those with brain damage, and most children under the age of eight, for instance. But around fifteen percent of adults tested also fell into the red category. In most cases, it wasn’t a shock. Racists, incompetents, overly aggressive men, willfully ignorant people, non-readers, dubious politicians, and religious zealots for instance. There were exceptions to all of these categories but the ones that showed up red were rarely surprising.

Many genetic theories were thrown into the pot. Perhaps these people, mostly from the same families, were closer in lineage to our ancestors and had not been given sufficient spurring to evolve. Perhaps they were from a strain of the human race with defects. Perhaps inbreeding millennia ago had produced throwbacks.

That’s when the theory started that maybe the human race needed to be pure for the aliens to return, that maybe we were being watched and tested.

The first few ‘red murders’ were put down to extremists but as Green Wave Party started climbing in numbers, death tolls rose.

At first, all of the red-positive folks were rounded up for their own protection. Those temporary lodgings turned into refugee camps as the months and years went by. They were a drain on resources. Several leaders in the scientific community calmly suggested euthanizing the lot of them. After all, according to the alien’s machine, they were no smarter than stray dogs.

Most of the cities concurred.

Calmly, deliberately, and with a cold, orderly precision that would have made the nazis jealous, the lives in the camps were extinguished.

A few rebelled and successfully broke free only to become the hunted. A few were released because of sentimental attachments concerning Green Wave Party members. Wives or stepsons, that sort of thing. They were neutered and let out into GWP custody with no more rights than pets.

After this purge, the human race became smug, docile, and happy. Everyone was routinely tested. Everyone who was green was smart and happy. Anyone red was executed.

And it was all thanks to the visitors. The humans can’t wait to show the aliens what’s been accomplished when they finally return.

They haven’t come back yet.


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