Almost Human (I)

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Almost Human (I)

A sci-fi fantasy world

'Getting to know you, getting to know all about you!' How ironic this song now sounds.

When we first came to this planet, we'd been travelling for millennia of your time. Our planet had been destroyed, when our sun went super nova. We piled into our spacecraft and searched the universe for a new home, where we would be welcome (again how ironic).

Our first contacts with your world, led to an exchange of technology and the development of secret underground bases, where some of our people could live and work in peace, cementing the relationships with our new hosts. Although we were only a few hundred thousand, we needed more room than even these hidden places could provide. Our forward bases provided us with data for colonisation and now, fifty years later, we are here in force on this planet.

It started with internment camps all over the Earth. It was thought best to slowly acclimatise the local inhabitants – firstly to our existence, then to us physically being here.

Reactions? The heaven and hell of integration. The vast majority were apprehensive – wondering and checking us out all the time (hoping for the best but expecting the worst – disease, war, famine).

Some hated beyond belief – others loved but just a little too much and in a creepy, perverted kind of way. I don't know which is worse – overly curious or overtly hostile.

It's easier to kill or destroy that which is new, strange, than struggle to understand it. Some of us have embraced these differences between us and seen it as a challenge worth exploring and exploiting; others want to leave now, this instant and wish we'd never landed.

We are an old race. We expected difficulties. we see it in our own people, let alone our relationship to others.

Your prejudices cast their shadow over many areas of your lives: City and country folk; rich and poor; male and female; young and old; straight and homosexual, left and right wing politics, left and right handed; ginger haired and blond; black and white – your smell, your looks, your clothes, your beliefs and now you've got us – a whole new ball game, a whole new race of beings to love or hate, mend or break, blend in with or reject and eject from your lives (new fears to overcome or to overcome you).

The world governments fought hard to keep our existence a secret. at least at the start. For that we thank them. Those were the best of times for us – interacting with your officials, military and scientists. We are more interested in minds than bodies. Our interests as a race drifted away from the physical aeons ago. Now though, with more open contact with your people, we're forced to confront our own physicality again and rekindle a form of life we thought dead. We are being challenged by this touchy-feely world in other words.

It has led to clubs, where our race and yours interact (Wanting and not wanting to be a part of something – denial and affirmation interplay). It has also led to more emotional games that both our races deplore – gang warfare, with their humiliating initiation ceremonies – in other words, pride and shame – the temptation of forbidden fruit/ the betrayal of former allegiances: Wanting to be accepted by a new culture, so rejecting the old one and its values.

'Do-be-do, I want to be like you: Walk like you, talk like you.'

We've found the simplest things explain best what is happening between us and helps us understand you. Childhood games for instance, tells us about your adult games too – Catchings, Pass the Parcel (of responsibility), Snakes and Ladders, Cops and Robbers.

This mutual exchange has led to some ugly episodes – vivisection, botched plastic surgery to look like each other: We tell our young to use their minds, to alter how humans see them but they say that doesn't stop them seeing who they really are, when they look in the mirror. Thankfully we have machines that can mimic the anatomical appearance of other races and for some that is enough. For others though, even this doesn't satisfy them. For these beings, only transmigration of the soul fits the bill. Their spirits enter a human body and they know what it feels like to be truly human in every detail, even passing for Earth men in every facet of their lives.

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