A signal stabs into the black void like an electrical spear.
It calls out with the simplest of messages, "Am I alone?" There comes a response. "No, you are not. We are on our way."
Anticipation builds until it becomes a near tangible thing of its own with its unique color, taste, and scent. What will they look like? Will our movies be correct? Or will they be something altogether more strange, stranger perhaps than we can imagine? Artists attempt their own predictions. The resultant paintings and sketches range from the sublime to the ridiculous. No one knows. All that is known is that the most momentous event conceivable is about to occur. We can't wait for them to get here. In fact, we begin wishing away time to draw the day nearer. If only Carl Sagan could here...
Then they arrive. It is an utter disappointment. All of this waiting, all of this eagerness, and they are the most unexciting thing we humans have ever laid eyes upon. Same number of legs, same number of arms, and faces nearly identical to our own. The one difference? Their color. Alabaster white. Plain. Occasionally tiny, pimple-like growths break out on their skin, swelling to falcate droops before disappearing as fast as they arose. Even their blemishes are fleeting and bland.
They don't do much. No powers and abilities beyond our own, save for the knowledge to traverse space. In fact, they begin to drain our resources. Not in an "invasion" sort of sense, more of a parasitic one. The drain is slow but it makes our lives more difficult every day. Not at all what we expected. Not at all what we wanted. All of that excitement for naught. In the end, we wonder, was any of this worth it?
Can you toss someone away because they aren't exciting enough? This may be an occasion where we didn't keep the receipt. There's no going back. "It is what it is" as we so often say around this place. Not what we planned for. Not what we had in mind. But they are here nevertheless and we have no choice but to deal with them.
Tears form in my eyes as they approach. I'm hoping I can come to live with these aliens. Maybe even one day give them a hug.
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