Visitation of the Elders

Written by Justin Tabao |

I am a member of a spacefaring race in search for sentient life. The infinite void of space guarantees a success, but only with due patience and toil. It was the most ambitious space mission we ever embarked on, the project to finally make contact with extraterrestrials who are either possessing contemporary technology to ours, or the potential to reach such a state, and I was chosen to serve as the 7 Cycle Plan to Modernization mission’s lead explorer and the skipper of the spacecraft. Such a craft was an immense feat of engineering that took generations to perfect, but it was now ready to traverse the very rips of our universe’ fabrics, and reach world’s unknown.

 Within around a hundred thousand planetary rotations, we had finally reached our destination world with relative ease. Nonetheless, it was one giant leap for our kind, and it was physically impossible to contact home, unless we head back, and we shall not do so until we have made contact with this alien race. As we probe the planet, we find that it is truly inhabited with sentient life, albeit in its early tribal form. The mission also dictated that we study the anthropological and biological characteristics of these carbon based lifeforms, and that we must facilitate their evolution towards a benevolent and wise race. It is the greatest experiment in manipulating the very path a civilization will tread towards, to get the natives’ cooperation, we chose to appear as a deity to ensure their subservience and obedience. Me and a select few officers made touchdown to communicate. I went to each and every tribe and examined their social hierarchy and customs. We groomed them to accept us and our teachings. For a generation of their kind, we communicated with symbols, gestures and ideas. Although there was relatively a small overlap between our common gestures and theirs, the aliens were particularly receptive to gestures referring to basic senses and symbols that represented the laws of the most basic mathematics, which is a universal language. They learned to trade and communicate through logic because of that. With such an advancement, the next generations were encouraged to pursue diplomatic relations with the other tribes, and vice versa. Due to this, at around 500 years on their planet, they had effectively reached the Iron Age at a much faster rate, in fact, even without our direct intervention (as such was forbidden until they had reached such a time to be able to comprehend us fully), they had become a relatively unified species, with their own language that was centered on logical syntax, like one used on a computer. I remarked to myself and my executives, “They have been put on a pedestal that will allow them to grasp at the stars faster than us. We are like the parents who will never achieve the potential they know possess. Nonetheless, we must adhere to our protocol and complete their development as a specie all the while studying them and their growth. So let us not get so attached to the individual, for many have passed away in every generation, but rather let us take pride in their maturation as our successors.” This resonated with the crew, and they cheered for themselves and for the natives. During the Iron Age, we taught them the concepts of advanced agriculture and architecture, through practical demonstrations, mathematical models, or even in basic illustrations, but never in direct communication. They were progressing quickly and a few generations or a half-century more, the alien race developed philosophy, which was something incredible, not a single culture from our race have developed such rationalizations in such a juvenile stage, neither have we had united and equal growth throughout the planet save for a few exceptions. The only thing more surprising was that in two thousand years since our arrival, there were already deviant thinkers among them. These individuals questioned our presence, but made no effort to hide their gratitude in uplifting their race. They saw us as superiors, but not Gods, they debated on what truly is a “God”, and what definitions of it did we possess or lack. This surge of free thought was a major step to their maturation, and it is with no surprise that these free thinkers led to a massive spark in industrialization and discovery. By 3000 years, almost halfway through our time there, the aliens had arrived at the Industrial revolution. It is with great interest to log their activity at this point, not only because they had gone far in terms of technological growth, but also because we have become more involved as they reach sapience. So far, the aliens have not experienced mass conflict, rather, they focused more on philosophy and the sciences. Due to their indoctrination as logical beings, they are seemingly lacking in artistic expression, as only works that depict deep and rational concepts were ever entertained. Their political system was a pseudo-democratic one, with a philosopher-king at the top. Overall, their performance is most impressive at this point. At around 6,000 years worth of our sojourn, the aliens were able to completely understand our purpose in their history, which was to understand and guide them to civilization. Finally, we chose this specific point in time to reveal ourselves to them, we no longer appeared to them as gods and they no longer viewed us as such, instead, they saw us as the wise elder race of the cosmos, and regardless of mortality or divinity, treated us with outmost respect. The remainder of our stay was marked as their greatest period of growth, where we could stand beside them as mentors. After all these generations, we had completed our mission, and after preparing them for spaceflight, we took our leave. I would like to close this informal mission log by saying, that the student shall surpass the master, and that, in a thousand more years, I shall meet them again, but this time as equal beings.

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Author: Justin Tabao
Filipino citizen who is an amateur writer. Prefers to do short fictional works and poetry.


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