Tamra was playing with her blocks with the news in the background. Fires were raging, according to a blonde local news anchor, and suddenly — scratchhhhh! scratchhh! scratch!
The screened turned a pleasant periwinkle.
The TV made no noise. Slowly, a face appeared. It was a nice face, thought the 1-year-old. The face had a pleasant smile. It reminded Tamra of her mother. The face had a pleasant voice, and Tamra listened intently as she began to speak:
Hello fellow humans. I have intercepted all radio, tv, and online communication to bring you this message. Don’t worry, no one has been hurt. I’ve made sure of that.
At this time you might be wondering who I am, why I am here, and a myriad of other things. I will get to everything, I promise. Just keep listening.
I have gone on an inter-dimensional journey to bring you this message.
For many years, scientists have speculated that Extra-terrestrial Intelligence may exist – somewhere out there. I can now confirm that it does. I have interacted with it, and through the technological prowess of this life-form, I am able to intercept communications and send a message like this. This Extra-terrestrial Intelligence, which I will shorten to ETI, is watching this.
I am not a scientist nor an expert. In fact, I would say I’m pretty much no one. Before I was summoned here, I had a banal and pleasant life in Los Angeles. The ETI studied me throughout my life, as they have studied all of you, as well.
I was summoned by the ETI and have been learning from them. I retain a lot of skepticism towards what the ETI claim, because while they are exponentially more intelligent and powerful than me, they have no reason to tell us the truth. At the same time, their expansive knowledge and power over our world and the world beyond it means we don’t matter much to them. So since they have kept me alive, and continue to teach me things, I’m assuming, for now, that they come in peace.
It is difficult for the ETI to communicate much with me. For them – talking to me is similar to the experience I have speaking with my dog. It can be fun, especially if you have a smart dog, but you rarely get a point across.
Despite this, the ETI have been patient with me. They have also shown me their observations of the universe with the hope that my understanding of the world will grow. It has, but my limited mind still holds me back.
For thousands of years, the ETI have observed humans with zero recorded interference. In the last 20 decades, there have been two Critical Errors, as they call them. Critical Errors occur when ETI interfere with our natural environment. The first Error occurred on October 13th, 1835. An ETI was observing a bee in a Croatian poppy field and removed it from our world.
The second Error was the one-degree rotation of a Mountain called Kabru. It’s a mountain in the Himalayas on the border of eastern Nepal and India. An ETI wanted to see if humans would notice. They didn’t.
Because of these events, certain ETI have become responsible for our survival.
From what I understand, there’s a universal law among all of the different civilizations of ETI – it amounts to something we know as “you break it, you buy it.” The ETI that took the bee is called Shemet. Shemet is a hive-mind type of population. Basically Shemet has many bodies and exists in all of them, but is always the same person. Shemet is neither male nor female, but when I explained human gender pronouns to him, he asked me to call him “he”, because he says it reminds him of half a laugh. Shemet is one of our first observers. Because Shemet took the bee he has become responsible for the survival of our species.
See, it’s bad for an ETI to destroy a fledgling new Intelligent Species (IS) — yes, we qualify as intelligent! But so do crows — so Shemet has been watching us to make sure his removal of the bee will not cause any species termination on our planet. It was always highly likely that we would end up destroying ourselves, so it is actually good fortune for Shemet to be responsible for us. Because of his small mistake, he has gained a taxing responsibility.
Shemet keeps the bee, which is still alive, in the Museum of Things that Vibrate at Different Frequencies, where he serves as Chairman. The museum is a popular hangout spot for certain ETIs.
Shemet told me that he didn’t *mean* to take the bee. This surprised me. I figured that with a heightened intelligence and a much more expanded way of perceiving the world, Shemet wouldn’t be subject to temptation and would be able to make better decisions. Not only does Shemet have an immeasurable intelligence, he also is a proud owner of unsurmountable childishness.
See – Shemet knows he must take care of us, and he will, but it is a very taxing problem for him. All in all, he loves the bee, but doesn’t think it was worth it. The truth is, he couldn’t resist the pull of his curiosity. He wanted to see how the bee would behave in different atmospheres, timespaces and dimensional sheets. Don’t be alarmed, I barely understand what any of these things mean, but Shemet assures me, if I did, I would die of curiosity.
Shemet, being the good galactic citizen he is, accepts his fate of stewarding our world.
However – things become a little more tricky when we begin to think about how the Galactic code treats the criminal involved with Earth’s second Critical Error.
scratch. scratch. the screen goes dark.