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14th May
2012
posted by amber

The Get-O

I took a wrong turn and ended up in the Get-O, surrounded by Get&Fetchits.

Or, to be more politically correct, surrounded by Digicerians. But who calls them that?

I’d been around them before, but usually at a distance. In an eatery, for example, where they would be wearing aprons and clearing tables, or at some wealthy person’s estate where they would be wearing coveralls and raking up leaves.

I’d never been afraid of them before, but I was now. For one thing, they were naked. I should have expected this. I know they wear clothing for our sensibilities, not for theirs. Their home planet is quite cold, so they find our preferred temperature oppressive.

For another thing, they seemed taller. I realized that they are always slumped when serving us, and I guess I’d thought that was their regular posture, but in their part of the city, they stood much straighter. In fact, most of them were taller than I am.

They didn’t act threatening toward me, but they bunched together and jabbered in their strange-sounding language and looked at me with their odd eyes and I couldn’t help but recall the circumstance of their being among us.

The first intelligent species we encountered when we began to colonize other planets, and we destroyed their home world. It’s no excuse that we didn’t know they were there, that we didn’t know harvesting oxygen would destabilize the atmosphere; we turned a green forest world into an airless wasteland. And so we brought them to live on our planets.

Our biggest fear when we set forth into the universe was that we’d meet a race superior to us. Some hoped such advanced beings would elevate us, but most expected them to despise us and enslave us. And now we have done that to the Digecerians. That we’ve done it more through accident than intent does not excuse it.

And coming face-to-face with them in the Get-O, confronting my fear which arose from my guilt and not from their loud outcries which might have been anger, I ultimately felt sorry for them. They were in the wrong place through no fault of their own, and no right place for them existed among the known planets. We had ruined the world they call Earth in their tongue, and halted the progress which may have brought them a future as bright in knowledge and technology as our own.

StoryADay gave us the suggestion to write about someone in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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