Exercising the craft—May 1, 2017

By Ekta R. Garg

Prompt: Somewhere out there, the real humans are hiding in the shadows.



When we came to this planet, they thought they ruled the earth. But we knew better. We saw what they had done to their lands, and their water, and one another.

They didn’t rule the earth. They didn’t rule anything. Their hubris ruled them.

We came in twos and threes and fives. We came so no one would notice as we amassed our population here. We came so they wouldn’t get distracted from their selfish goals.

They saw us in human form, for that is what we presented to them, but we loathed that personage. The two legs and two arms. The singular body trunk. Only two eyes.

What is this obsession with the binary form?

We allowed ourselves to become constricted in this pudgy flesh, ignoring as best we could the effects of the singular star ruling this solar system. Neither of our stars back home are nearly as strong, and their revolutions allow for them to shine on our planet turn by turn. None of this constant daylight for hours at a time.

Most puzzling, almost offensive, to us was this obsession with emotions. Every human seemed compelled by something: love; hate; anxiety; confidence; denial; frustration; gratitude; desire. At the root of their most basic actions, we found emotions.

Stupid humans. Do they not know how devastating emotions can be? We stamped out emotions millennia ago. Logic rules us. Logic, which leads to the discovery of right and wrong. Which leads to swift and complete judgment.

The humans to whom we first revealed ourselves seemed intrigued by this approach. Later, as they cowed before us, they begged for mercy and for us to consider an alternative approach to life. Had we no compassion, no sense of humanity?

How could we have a sense of humanity? We are not humans.

The war, by human standards, ended swiftly. We knew nothing different. Logic brings any conflict to an expedient end. The new order of the land allows us to mete out justice without the need for messy, uncultured feelings. We sort out the facts and then declare a decision.

In the beginning, most humans resisted this change. Many fought with a great deal of valiance. Those on the opposite ends of the love-hate spectrum showed the greatest amount of resilience.

We applauded their efforts and their willpower. Even we could not remain impervious to effect of the power of emotions. But what good is willpower without the coolheaded approach of logic to fortify it?

One would assume willpower needs a great deal of personal investment in the outcome. Nothing could be further from the truth. Willpower simply requires a decision. A firm, unshakeable decision to pursue a course of action.

Since then, we have brought all of the humans in line. They all seek logic, and many have expressed the thought (in private, so as not to upset others) their utmost relief. They revealed to us that expressing and carrying around emotions became quite the exhausting venture.

Unfortunately we were not able to bring all humans under our rule into submission. Those humans still hide. Rumors and reports suggest they have eschewed the way of life we provide and call themselves the “real” humans.

Somewhere out there, the real humans are hiding in the shadows. They forage for food and steal life’s necessities. But eventually we will convince them, as well, of our superior way of life.

Poverty without hope only appeals as a choice for so long. The humans will exit the shadows. And they will come back to us.