It is Not Personal.

October 30, 2015 § 1 Comment

His radio scanner began picking up a regular pattern he knew was coming fron the ship in front of him but he had no way of deciphering the code.  What alien species lay in the hull of the black mass approaching he did not know, and he could not know whether it wanted peace or to destroy him.  He hesitated aiming his guns such that if the ship did want peace, it did not misinterpret his defense as a threat.  He was scared.  Alone, outside the reaches of his own solar system, he was to be the first human to make contact with an alien species, tens of light ears away from even a predicted habitable planet.

Though he himself had stopped his own forward acceleration upon realizing the radio frequencies, the alien ship was still coming towards him, and suddenly he realized that he was being pulled toward it by some unknown force.  As his ship got closer to the aliens’, he became aware of just how immense the alien ship was in comparison to his single person observational rocket, made large wnough to support him in the remainder of his life yet small enough to be able to travel at 4c.  He had been traveling for 12 years now, keeping in contact with Earth the best he could by sending constant radio waves, and he would admit he had gotten lonely over the years with no direct contact with any living thing except the plants he kept.  Now, with his own ship slowly being pulled literally into this alien hull, he found that besides fear he felt an immense excitement to finally be seeing another intelligent being again, something he had doubted he would do before his death.

When his ship reached the alien hull, it engulfed him, surrounding his ship like a black tar, and suddenly spitting him out into a huge vacant room, completely black except for a faint glowing yellow light coming from the center of the room.  He used hs instruments to scan the room and found the space around him filled with fully breathable, pressurized air.  He hesitated at first, but finally mustered the courage to open his capsule doors and step into the room.

The ground was soft and gave like snow. Sqinting in the dim light, he looked around the room.  At first it appeared vacant, but after his eyes adjested he realized near one corner of the room was a large black mass, roughly 7 feet in height and slender.  It seemed to be facing directly at him.  A being?  It had no sensory organs that he could see and could have just been a part of the ships hull, but nevertheless he found himself scared to approach it.  Luckily he didn’t have to: it began to approach him.  At first he instinctively backed up.  As the being approached he found his original estimate of 7 feet was innaccurate, it was at leat 9 feet tall, nearly double his height.  He finally stilled himself and allowed its approach.  It came within a few yards of him and stopped.

I wonder if it is just as afraid of me as I am of it? He thought.

The figure moved again, and at this distance he could tell that it was merged with the ship where its legs should be.  It began shrinking and molding until suddenly he was facing a fugure roughly the size and shape of a man, except completely featureless and all black.  He shuddered.  The figure had likely meant to make itsself less menacing, but it was now even more terrifying.

It observed him and he it for a few minutes before suddenly the figure spoke, or rather spoke in his mind.

Your language is complex.  It took me a while to learn but now we should be able to communicate now in this way. 

The sudden advent of the creature’s voice in his head put him on guard.  The voice he heard was smooth and kind but he still felt violated that the thing could be inside of his head.

I am sorry I have offended you, but this is my way of communication.  My species is what you would call telepathic.

He stared at it, trying to bring himself to talk to it in his own mind, but its alienness was too overwhelming.  It seemed to ignore him and continued.

Do not take offense, but as you are the first member of your species I have encountered, I must study you and your living systems.  It is through this learning that my species evolves.

A fear rolled over him.  What did it mean study him?  Suddenly, he turned around and tried to run back to his ship, only to find that his ship had been engulfed once again by the blackness around him.  Pure fear radiated off of him.  He turned around and stared at the creature, still in a humanoid form.  He was helpless.

Do not take offense.  It is not personal, I do this with all encountered organisms.

Do you not want to meet my species? Make peaceful trade or learn of our culture? He pleaded with it.

No.  We explore to learn.  An entire species encountered is useless and could try to war with us. Single encounters where we can simply learn are best.  I will learn your biology, how you function, and take what I want and save all the information for if your species does wage war in order to protect my kind.  It is not personal.

Suddenly he felt himself sinking into the ground of the ship, or the being, or whatever.  He could not get over his fear.  He began to struggle against the blackness that was engulfing him, but he became paralyzed.  His fear heightened, and then it was gone.  Somehow, the being had taken his fear away and he was left with numb in every way.

Do not be afraid.  I do this with all encountered organisms,  It is not personal.

Then there was only black.

-Cassie Woolley

§ One Response to It is Not Personal.

  • sarahmjamison says:

    I thouroghly enjoyed reading your latest blog post. Meeting idea another intelligent being in the universe is a concept that is both fascinating and terrifying because it represents a huge unknown. We are naturally scared and distrustful of unknown things, and the idea of meeting something as intelligent (or more intelligent) as we are would mean a lack of power and control.

    We like what we can control. We like being superior to other things and knowing that we have control of the situation. We like to know that, if push comes to shove, we as human beings have an upper hand over other organisms. Yes, a tiger is terrifying, but they are the ones in cages at zoos, not us. (I rather not discuss zoos. I am so hugely conflicted about how I feel about zoos. They are both fascinating and sad. I love seeing the animals and learning about them, but it is tragic they are caged and in such an artificial environment. So, not really sure how I feel about zoos. Anyways. . . . . ).

    But if the other organism is as intelligent as we are, then we don’t have that control. And worse yet, what if they could actually control us, as your story depicts?

    I loved the idea of the man being engulfed by this unknown being. There is something so poetic about our species just being absorbed into another. Almost as if we are being integrated into the alien species.

    Another fantastic blog post.

    – S. Jamison


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