The Ingentem

September 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I first started imagining supposedly crazy aliens, it was shocking how un-alien they truly were. They all walked on two legs, communicated by talking through mouths, and considered the world in a manner similar to us. Sure, some of them resembled animals and others had unrecognizable extremities in random places, but they were all essentially human when it came down to it. The following alien race (the Ingentem as I’m calling them) represents my attempt to get away from these human-like constructs.

The Ingentem were found in one of the places mankind least expected to find life. It had always been hypothesized that our neighbor life forms would inhabit a world similar to our own, full of the water and carbon supposedly necessary for life. After centuries of searching worlds like this, scientists had essentially given up on the idea of sharing the galactic neighborhood. We were apparently alone.

It was around this time that neuroscience really came into its own. Instead of simply analyzing biochemical processes, this field was able to finally decode the language of the brain. Simply by looking at electrical and biochemical signals, their systems were able to deduce the exact thought a person was having and the emotion and feeling that accompanied it. One such scientist decided to plug in what was supposedly background noise from space just to see how the computer would visualize this non-thought. To the amazement (and horror) of the scientist, the non-thought seemed almost intelligible. It was as if he was listening to a different language that he and the computer just couldn’t quite understand.

While it was beyond the scope of humanity to realize this at the time, this scientist had just recorded the only other intelligent life ever observed in this universe. These creatures do not exist in the way we think of life, nor do they perceive the universe in the same way we do. Their bodies can be tens or even hundreds of lightyears across, at times encompassing just molecules per mile. To them, distance is an abstract quantity because they do not move nor do they have concrete boundaries. They simply are. They observe events on planets that take thousands of years as if they occurred in days. All other life is inconsequential because their timescales are so short. To them, the human race is simply a fluctuation in the temperature on a planet that has barely been noticed. All the sufferings and joys of humanity are lost in their vastness. They have seen hundreds like us and will see hundreds more after.

It is impossible to tell how many Ingentem there are. They might all be one huge consciousness for they communicate instantaneously almost as if they think as one. In fact, our perception of them may be completely wrong. Perhaps they exist as individuals but in extra dimensions unimaginable by humans. Perhaps these huge clouds are just a way of communicating with us, like thrown away thoughts. Perhaps they are the souls of the dead. Perhaps they are really God.

– Joey

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