Tuesday, January 8, 2013
When their ship crashed—purely coincidentally in the Tunguska region of Russia, where the big explosion occurred in 1908, authorities not unnaturally approached the artifact with caution.
The justification was there, for the alien starship was massive. It had been extensively documented in its slow trajectory as it nosed over and took a dive into Earth’s atmosphere, yet still restrained by some form of gravimetric system. It landed safely, with only minor damage. The sheer bulk and our gravity caused the ship to sag after landing, and ultimately to crack, and settle to less than half its former diameter. The inference was that Earth wasn't the ship's original destination. With the hull compromised, the cargo was unloaded for safety reasons by authorities. The site was quarantined for a 100-kilometre radius, due to unknown hazards from its operating systems, motors, and other possible contaminants. Scientific investigation continued under tight wraps.
There was much self-congratulation among world governments on the new spirit of cooperation and the notion that the ship was a trust, to be used for the benefit of all humanity. It justified their own claims, perhaps.
The windfall technology was one thing. The cargo was another, especially when it was found that independent systems were still keeping the bulk of the occupants alive in the less damaged inner sections.
For the first time humans had encountered proof that they were not alone in the universe. The basic theory was that it was a commercial shipment—possibly livestock, or even pets for some vast and distant consumer society not unlike our own.
One theory even went so far as to suggest the animals were part of a planet-forming process that corresponded to terra-forming. That might account for the sheer size of the cargo. It was meant to be a huge gene pool, or so the idea went. Other species would no doubt have been dispatched on their own millennial journeys. The alien planet-builders would have started small, using microorganisms and simpler forms at first, making the atmosphere and water necessary to larger creatures, then built up to a higher, more complex ecology that mirrored the home world.
When the first one hatched, no one thought very much about it, although the media were rife with stories that left viewers literally in awe.
People said that.
“Aw.” That was the universal reaction.
The alien invaders from Proxima Centauri were just so darned cute…
They also ate a lot, pooped a lot and tore the upholstery off a couch faster than creatures of a more mundane origin could ever dream of.
Once it was determined that they didn’t carry exotic parasites or disease, it was only a matter of time before DNA samples of one or more were smuggled out of the lab.
It was like everybody wanted one and weren’t exactly shy about asking. Sooner or later someone cracked under the pressure of just a whole pile of money and brought one out.
If only the Proxies hadn’t been so darned cute. The fate of the world might have been a lot different.