Thursday, July 9, 2015

I am Responsible for Aliens not Visiting Earth

I have kept this secret for my whole life, and now that my health is catching up with me, I want to confess, and to tell anyone who cares about what I did. I have carried this with me my whole life, and it has bothered me more than I can describe. I know the magnitude of the consequences of my action, they are immense, and it is a burden I do not want to hold on to any more. My heart is going, and my time is short.

This happened when I was very young, practically no more than an adolescent, and I had just amassed enough funds to afford a vacation. Someone I knew connected me with a tourist agency that was starting up vacations to Earth, an undiscovered paradise. I took the first ship there.

It was a paradise, just as I had been told. Two thirds of the planet was covered with magnificent oceans, deep and broad, with huge cool streams flowing around the southern island and another one flowing south from the northern sea. Warm streams from the tropics criss-crossed through the two oceans that stretched from north to south. Islands and coastlines had shallows that got toasty warm. More varieties of plankton that I had ever eaten before. I was looking forward to a year of just bliss. But the trouble started soon.

It was the native females. Like on all planets, convergent evolution bought the intelligent species to a very similar point, but on Earth the native females were beyond description. Sleek and with delicate fins, snouts firm and perfectly shaped, athletic and full of fun, and I was a goner. The agency had forgotten to warn me about fraternizing with the natives, and being an outworlder, I impressed them. One thing led to another, and the males of Earth got so upset they told the tour ship to get off the planet and to be sure to take me with them. So I ruined the entire vacation for all forty six of my traveling companions. But that was the only the start of it.

No more tours. Despite the pleadings of the tourist agency, the native authorities cancelled the arrangements. So for thirty two hundred years, there have been no more ships putting down into the oceans of Earth. I was foolish and young, but I should have had enough common sense to have conducted myself better. The agency lost a tremendous opportunity to provide tours to what was one of the finest planets in our vicinity. The planet lost the opportunity to learn about other worlds and broaden their horizons. They were one of the planets where mammals returned to the sea before they had achieved a robotic civilization to leave behind on the land, so their knowledge about technology, including astronomy, was very slight. I can certainly understand why this would happen. It is hard to imagine shambling around on some dirt instead of swimming gloriously in three dimensions.

I actually think almost all mammals want to return to the sea. I have seen documentaries about some lesser creatures that actually dig holes in the ground, fill them with water, and jump or dive into them and swim around. They want a little taste of what we enjoy every minute of every day. I can’t blame them; three-d always beats two-d.

We did the transition to the water late on, post-technology, and so have all the trappings that technology can provide, such as stellar travel. It probably took a lot of will power for our land-living ancestors, once they had the ability to modify genes for suitability for oceanic life, to stay on land and develop a method of providing us with all the blessings, but none of the problems, of technology.

As I said, Earth was one place that made the transition early. And that set them up for what I did. It led to isolation. But as bad as the isolation of Earth was, what I did had even worse consequences. Like all planets where intelligent life evolved back into the oceans before achieving a leave-behind self-perpetuating system, other creatures developed some semblance of intelligence. Mostly it was the felines, but sometimes the primates evolved first. On Earth, it was the primates. There, the primates were already digging up places on the planet when I arrived, and part of the orbital part of the tour package showed off their locations. We saw pachyderms and some other things that I forget, but the primates were really going to town.

Like all planets where primates achieve some level of intelligence, they weren’t taking very good care of the planet. Every feline-run planet is neat and clean, with a balanced ecology, pollution almost non-existent, and their ranches, where they keep their poultry, their bovines, their primates, and other food animals, are always built with almost a cetacean kindness to them. When primates get the headstart on intelligence over felines, it’s just the opposite. In short, one way or another, they mess things up. Sometimes I get to thinking that if we had not stopped visiting Earth, we could have done something about it, by working with the native whales and even interceding with the primates. This is very unusual for us to do, but it wouldn’t be the first time.

Two hundred years or so ago I heard about what was happening on Earth. The primates had learned to sail around on top of the oceans, probably dreaming about how nice it would be to live underneath. But they were slaughtering the native cetaceans. It must have been jealousy. I can’t help but hold myself responsible for this. It wouldn’t have been the lovely Luluassomosa or Leannomuta who liked to dive straight down with me, or Laonianoana, whose face I will always remember, who were getting slaughtered, as on planets where the intelligent creatures return to the oceans pre-technology, the genetic change for longevity never gets made. But it would be their descendents, probably just as cute and fun-loving as the ones I met. Nothing but tragedy.

So now I’ve told it all, and I can just wait until my heart completely fails and I can spout no more.

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