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The Unfamiliar Host

July 27th, 2008 · 3 Comments

The first of the families had arrived at the settlement camp 10 days ago, the young girl had been exploring the unfamiliar terrain and unusual rock formations, noticing the strange dull brown dirt and the green hues of sparse low lying plant life.  What an odd planet.  She had spied a small cave a few days ago and was reluctant to investigate it but like all young children eventually the temptation of the unknown grew too strong and she could no longer resist.  Scientists from her home planet had established that there was no life here other than ground cover plants that the advanced missions had seeded, and certainly no alien life. The popular media had called it the dead planet with good reason.  The girl slowly walked into the cave, confident that no cyclops alien monster would appear.

It took a while for her eyes to adjust to the dark, it smelt dry and dusty not at all like the caves back on her home planet which smelt damp. She looked at the walls and wondered how they formed; she guessed the scientists would soon undertake geological research to find out more about the rock formations. Disappointed, but not surprised at discovering nothing, the girl imagined herself stumbling upon some green slimy alien creature and how famous she would be, the girl who found alien life on the dead planet.  But after seeing nothing that moved, she decided it was time to head back to camp when a smooth part of wall caught her attention. Standing out amongst the rest of the uneven surface there was a faint outline of some kind of shape.  The girl traced the outline of the shape with her finger – it was almost a triangle. Knowing what her mother would say if she came home covered in dirt she used the bottom corner of her jacket to wipe away the dust revealing some kind of symbols inside the triangle.  Was this the green alien or at least the home of the green alien she had hoped she might find?

Over the last 10 years the young girl had had watched her planet die, the last of the fossil fuels had been used, world-wide war, mass carnage, extinction of animal and plant species.  The breakdown of the society was so rapid that it was hard to believe that billions of years of evolution could be undone in decades.

There had been warnings of a planetary energy crisis but no one had listened, alternative energy including nuclear fusion, solar power and hot air travel were all considered but by the time people actually realized that the colour of their couch was not a priority it was too late for any action.

100 years ago scientists had researched a planet over 50 million miles away that if seeded with plant life and given an atmosphere, life would survive and maybe in time even flourish.  Teraforming had been surprisingly easy, the planet had responded well to all efforts to make it livable, a process further hastened by the concerted efforts of a very frightened population.

The young girl’s family had joined the first migration group comprised of mainly scientists, researchers and those with enough money to pay for an early escape.   Once the families had settled and infrastructures were in place the plan was to transfer more and more people to the new planet before their home became superheated and unlivable.

Following the girls discovery in the cave, researchers and historians came in large numbers to study the mysterious symbol that the young girl had discovered. It seemed to all that the dead planet hadn’t always been dead, at some point creatures with bodies, languages, symbols and lives much like their own had existed here long ago. They too had damaged their planet, and been forced to leave to survive. They had called this planet Earth and had fled for the girl’s home planet, a place called Mars, now their ancestors had returned home without realising it was home. How many times had they destroyed their home planet, left for another, and then returned many millennia later and made this discovery? Once? Twice, or always?

Tags: musings

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 PeterMontee // Jul 3, 2009 at 10:34 am

    What necessary words… super, magnificent idea

  • 2 Forest Lake // Jul 9, 2009 at 6:53 am

    damn mad writing Kath!

  • 3 kimbakat3 // Jul 9, 2009 at 7:43 am

    why thank ya!

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