Landed safely. No problems
with life support and the moon
was not the problem we anticipated.
There is life on this planet
and judging from the size and
apathy it is viral
and spreads quickly. All precautions
will be taken. More later.
Today I secured my observation post.
Everything is so far as we predicted.
There is too much air on this planet.
And sun and sky.
False-made structures tower over trees and seem
to be an effort to conquer this space
but the local species have not managed to do this.
I sympathize with them.
We also come from a place with too much open sky
and in space, if you look into the void
you feel as dizzy as they must be
so small and yielding
on the moving surface plates of their home.
Today I saw a great mass of water.
It has the same H2 O1 formula
as ours, though it is full of
salt and living things.
According to my translator, the ‘humans'
(that is what they call themselves)
have given this mass the name “O-shan.”
I was afraid.
It reminded me
of the empty spaces
through which I traveled to reach this place.
It was also filled with stars
that lived and died with the toss of the water
and the angle of the sun.
I feel for these humans. They are so small
in a world full of endless things.
How pretty the stars are
from beneath such a thin atmosphere.
like diamonds in the dark–
The language adaptor
I am learning their modes of speech
and how to translate their documents
and outer thoughts.
Like insects that make their own shells.
They seem always to be in a hurry
to be together and to be alone.
They make machines that move them even faster
but where do they go?
I am concealed, listening
to a male human tell a female
stories of his battle injuries. The
fearsome Byke was a great foe
of his and did him much damage.
My observations lead me to believe that this
is some kind of sexualized ritual, intended to interest
the female in a potential mate.
I know I must be neutral to observe but I feel
Is this planet so barbaric
that they must flaunt blood & wounds
in order to succeed?
In any case
she does not seem impressed, or aroused.
Let me tell you of the trees.
An ingenious gas exchange system
working in tandem with the carbon producers
much like our Targoliths but without the required maintenance.
Perhaps they could be adapted to our world?
I’m sending a sample with this report
a small treeling, some soil, a few of the indigenous
mineral deposits it requires.
On a more personal note,
I can’t help but admire
how they are always reaching
up, and out, to the sky, each other.
They smell how life smells
in the true old places.
On closer investigation
it seems that these ‘men’
are no more than a collection of
faults and qualities
which what’s more
seem to switch places
depending on circumstances
and the angle of the light.
More information will be forthcoming.
They bear closer inspection.
I have particular interest in the naming
of their offspring
and the choices
they think they make.
The populace seems to know
the basic laws of nature, or
“physics,” “math,” and “music"
in one of their tongues
(they do so many strange things with phonetics–
in one (Englis) the /ph/ becomes /f/ –why?).
Yet there is so much they don’t know.
I haven’t seen a trace
of the Rigraxian Thesput,
or the Golden Truth of Tkrn.
Not even the most basic theorem of the Glandular Maxillry!
For creatures so advanced they are shockingly stunted.
Future missions may need to switch from Observation
I admit the temptation is there
but I learned the lessons last time
and will not interfere.
Earth is stronger in faiths and powers
than most other Z* class planets
with their scientific development.
Religion influences too many of their decisions
and hampers their progress in all things.
It is irrational. Dangerous.
I know this
and I am glad we abolished it in our home
today I saw a dark-haired girl
kneeling in the grass behind
a building with broken windows
she knelt and stretched her arms to the ground
for some time
and when she rose there was
a beauty in her face I’ve never seen before
as if the trees were breathing through her
and the sky was soaking up her light
and even the building was…was…
there is no word in our tongue.
The moment passed as she stood
and the building
was just a building
and she was one of the ants
that walk this surface
and put invisible ghosts before science and fact
but for a second in my heart
there was doubt.
Is this their power?
Is this how they’ve climbed the ladder from ooze to being?
There is a secret here
that I cannot touch.
I can only breath it
in the dappled shade of trees.
tell me–how did one girl
change the color of my sky?