He had been on this planet for an estimated 33 years.
Studying, processing and recording aspects of the dominant life forms and their culture, and now he was tired. Just plain homesick. The red light
that infused his small room helped to recreate the feel of his natural Home World somewhat, but it was a small consolation.
The laptop he had purchased was almost filled to capacity, as well as several external hard-drives of what he felt were the most redeeming
contributions the human species had to offer. The database was filled with a comprehensive collection of recorded music throughout the ages, from
every nationality and culture throughout their history as well as literary considerations and several terabytes of artistic renditions spanning
everything from cave paintings to anime.
Included within the laptop ( bought exclusively because of it’s small size and portability) was a collection of journal entries of his time on
Earth, his own memories and reflections on his Home World - tucked away in a folder entitled “fiction and prose” - as well as the daily diary of
observations, experience and thoughts on this New World around him.
He checked his watch, the cool luminescence of the aqua blue digital display calmed him somewhat.
Of all the various cultural artifacts he had accumulated over the years, the watch was by far his favorite. On his home world, such an ethereal aqua
blue color was inconceivable, unknown to his kind. Back home, the color scheme was rich reds and oranges, the occasional rare tinge of purple in a
landscape predominated by rust colored earth tones. He had chanced upon the watch one evening while exploring a popular center of commerce and for a
small exchange of bits and bytes of binary information via his government issued ID, he had gotten the device.
Time, of course, was an abstract concept to his People, and back home it would have been little more than a novelty and conversation piece amongst his
friends. But he didn’t mind. He liked it too much to care.
He was more active at night now that the time of his departure was growing near. The weather patterns of the small planet he had called home for
thirty-three terrestrial years had begun to shift, and sadly, it was not in his favor. The heat during the summer months has rendered him almost
dormant, and, as was the pattern of his people, he had been sleeping a lot as of late to conserve his body’s water. Perspiration and dehydration
was almost always fatal to his kind, and even in his humanoid form, he wasn’t taking any chances.
Fortunately, visitations to this New World had been going on for nearly a quarter of a millennium, and those who had come before him were kind enough
to leave behind various consumer goods and services for those who might need special considerations in regards to their original metabolisms.
Soda was one of his favorites, particularly the icy “frozen cokes” from the nearest convenience store. The beverage, a sugary sweet concoction
infused with caffeine and carbon dioxide bubbles, provided not only the nutritional requirements needed, but also added the bonus treat of a small
dose of the carbon dioxide his bloodstream depended so heavily upon for optimum efficiency.
Indeed, he had trained his new body to breathe at a slower rate to preserve the high CO2 content he required to maintain optimum brain functioning for
his Kind. If it weren’t for the techniques of the Buddhist monks, he would have forgotten his origins long ago, overwhelmed by the influx of
information he had experienced from his lifetime on the New World.
The most recent insight into his Cultural Studies had lead him to a sectional forum on the World Wide Web where no topic was forbidden for discussion,
and he felt relatively at ease discussing and reading up on the mass of information regarding humanities opinions on “other races” as well as
speculations as to the various Galactic Agendas that were underway.
Most of the time, he bit his tongue on some issues, knowing full well he did not have the proper clearance to reveal certain factoids to the populace,
but he did his best to alleviate fear and suspicion whenever possible.
So many stereotypes, so many false flags.
His first encounter with information regarding his People had come as somewhat of a shock - pages upon pages of slander and the verbal abuse of his
Elders - the majority of which were nothing more than wild speculation.
With a little digging and some telepathic astral conversations with his Superiors, he had found out that the authors of said works were little more
than outcasts from his Home World who had been sent to this particular world for the crime of heresy.
Even though he himself was born underground on Mars (a planet he still considered his true home) he had never visited the planet of his Ancestors.
Maybe one day he would be ready. There were still many cultural differences between the ways of the inner colonies and the original Home World, and
it was widely rumored that one had to pass a series of initiation rituals before being allowed to return home.
He still did not look favorably on the final ritual that demanded the sacrifice of his own father before being given entitlements, and had come to the
conclusion that Mars was more than enough for him. Besides, besting his own father in competition to the death would have been an insult to the
achievements his father had accomplished over the course of his lifespan.
Honoring his family took precedence to honoring the Past Ways of his People, but not all of their ways were infused with bloody rituals of this
For example, they also took their genetic engineering to a high art, and they did not create life forms indiscriminately.
True, while there were variations in design to allow for a varied populace - laborers, intellectuals, artisans and the like - the reason for such
variations were not malicious in the slightest. In fact, studies had proven that such genetic specialization was necessary for a civilization to
grow, prosper and maintain itself.
The majority of negative press being levied upon the Elders was coming from those outcast souls who had not had the luxury of being reborn into the
physical caste of their liking (most were reduced to a labor force as punishment for misuse of their previous bodies) and who still harbored
resentment for this treatment.
Reflecting upon his own position, he could understand why so many were so angry, but still could not understand why they had not merely accepted their
punishment and tried to learn from their mistakes.
Even though on his home world he was considered royalty, complete with all the physical characteristics that accompanied such a position - regal
height, the elegant tail, full, strong wings, and gold tinged scales that shone brilliantly in the firelight of the cavernous temples of home - here,
on this New World - he was barely pushing 5’6.
Quite short by even human standards.
But still, he understood. Some of what was written was quite true concerning some individuals on his own world. Very few of the species in the
Intergalactic Community were altogether perfect in every respect.
Stripped of his ceremonial robes shortly before he prepared himself for the soul transfer into a the newborn of a suitable host family, he remembered
the look of disdain in the eyes of one of the palace guards who had attended the ceremony.