First Contact

The night sky exploded in a shower of light, colours that had never brushed the planet Earth. A humming of sound more raw than emotion, a direct line to the heart, welled every eye with the beautiful tears of a mother’s love. The ship landed.

Three figures emerged, or possibly one. Numbers made for inadequate adjectives. They spoke without the need for language. ‘Take us to your leader.’

The representative of the human race straightened his tie and stepped forward. ‘I’ll need to see your passports.’

Time yawned.

‘Excuse us?’ said the Visitor. Or Visitors.

‘I can’t take you to anyone if you don’t have passports,’ said the human proudly. ‘A strong border requires vigilant adherence to bureaucratic procedure.’

‘We have travelled distances unfathomable to your repurposed ape minds. We have endured isolation such as would drive you beyond madness. Stars have lived and died while we slept. Our dreams are older than your civilisation. All we knew, and built, and loved is gone, sacrificed to space and time that we might meet you.’

‘Plenty of time to get your paperwork in order then.’

Forgotten neural pathways within the Visitor twinged with the genetic memory of frustration. ‘We bring knowledge and perspectives such as will forever bend your understanding of reality.’

‘And I appreciate that. If it wasn’t for multiculturalism I wouldn’t have my massaman curry every Tuesday. But if you want to come to our country, you have to come on our terms. And that means passports and a proper visa.’

‘We are the dawn of a new age.’

‘We’re happy with the age we’ve got. It has smart phones and we’re allowed to ignore the consequences of our lifestyle.’

‘We are the enlightenment upon which you will rise above suffering.’

‘Whose suffering? I’m doing alright.’

‘You reject our sacrifice. Then our lives were for nothing. We will leave.’ The Visitor did not so much turn to leave as it had suddenly always been facing its ship.

‘Not so fast,’ said the human.

‘You have changed your mind. You will embrace your evolution.’

The human shook his head. ‘You came here illegally, we’ll need to lock you up until we can deport you on our terms.’

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