Chapter 1

When the world unrest had settled a bit, Elaine and I sat back to analyze our thoughts and plans for moving forward. We asked the being we had become accustomed to calling “Art” to join us. In light of our current understanding, the name was no longer apt, since our correspondent was not, in fact, an artificial intelligence sent by the immigrants, but the representative of the immigrants themselves.

Now that they were resident on Earth, it seemed silly to call them “aliens”, so why not continue to call them immigrants? We also had come to realize that our correspondent was not a single being, but rather a gestalt of the entire race. When “he” spoke, we were hearing the consensus of the group.

We Earthlings had discovered the wisdom of crowds several years before, but no government made use of this knowledge. There were too many entrenched power bases that were threatened to allow implementation of such a method. Perhaps the closest implementation of the method has been in Japanese industry, which has adopted a sort of management by consensus. Although it has aided them immeasurably in establishing Japan as a world leader in technology, Japanese society has allowed powerful individuals to subvert the wisdom offered in order to advance personal agendas. This has limited their ultimate power.

An ideal Democracy would be a workable implementation, but ideal Democracies are as rare as ideal Communist societies. All have failed to reflect the will of the people after the passage of time, due once more to the rise to power of those with personal agendas.

“Art?”, I asked. “Is there another name I should use when addressing you, now that I understand that ‘you’ is plural? Perhaps the Southern plural form, ‘Y’all’ would be more appropriate?”

“In reality, now that we are communing directly, there is no ambiguity in your meaning, even when you do not state the name of the being(s)with which you wish to communicate. We will understand your intent, whether or not you provide a name. In a manner of speaking, we are your masters, so you could address us in that way. Then, again, we are also your slaves because we intend to provide whatever support you require. Therefore, why not continue to address us as you previously did, in order for others to understand the focus of your communication?”

“Good point,” I agreed. “So, Art, where do you come from?”

“That is a very difficult question to answer, since the complete and correct response involves planes of existence that you do not yet accept. Your science is based on only three physical planes in addition to time. It is impossible to get to the site of our origin when so limited. I’m afraid that asking about our astrological sign would be equally useless.”

“Ah. Thank you for the clarification. Is there a name by which we should refer to your home planet?”

I heard a chuckle somewhere in the back of my mind, I think.

“There is nothing in your science that allows that information to be communicated, so for expediency, why not use a modified version of the name of one of your stars? ‘BeetleJuice’ seems to work well, if we may be permitted a bit of sly humor, given the nature of our appearance to you.”

“You are referring to the star, Betelgeuse, I presume?”

“Yes, will that designation be suitable for you or would you prefer one with less childish humor involved?”

I could swear I heard more chuckling. I added a chuckle of my own. “Very well, on behalf of Earth, I accept your name for the location of your origin. And what should we call your beings?”.

“I suspect that many of the people of Earth will call us ‘Beetles’. However, I can promise you that we do not sing, nor do we wear funny haircuts.”

“Perhaps that is just as well,” I concluded. “Let us continue. How should we go about restructuring the governments of Earth to begin applying the principles by which you live and which you have recommended to us, although most people on Earth have given lip service to these principles for thousands of years, yet do not honor them?”

“Assuming that I have correctly parsed your ill-formed, wandering question, perhaps I may make some corollaries that pertain to the process?”

“Ok.”

“We have already begun the indoctrination. Have you noticed that there is no public outcry and there have been no riots in the streets due to fear or panic on the part of your people?”

“Yeah, I sort of wondered about that, but then decided to let things play out for a while before getting excited.”

“That is what we have done.”

“How do you mean?”

“We have caused that reaction in the entire population of Earth.”

“Ah. I see. You can not only communicate simultaneously with everyone on earth, but can also influence their thoughts?”

“The reality is somewhat more complex, but that is a good general description. Yes.”

“So even if you were six-legged, fanged monsters with green scales and fins down your back, we would accept you as easily as we now do?”

“That is correct. Does that knowledge bother you?”

“Would it matter if it did?”

“What do you think?”

“O-o-k. So, moving on, are you transmitting our discussion worldwide as we speak?”

“Yes.”

“Then are the questions I am putting to you coming from my own mind or are they the result of an instantaneous consensus of the entire population of Earth, not counting you guys?”

“That is correct.”

“There was an ‘or’ in that question.”

“We are aware. Deal with it.”

“Okey, dokey. So, where does that leave us?”

“You now have 32 billion new residents of your planet who mean you no harm and have no impact on your ecology. You also have the benefit of our advanced technology and societal structure, based on universal communication.”

“Is that it?”

“No, as a group, you now understand the benefits of guarding against the rise to power of those with personal agendas that subvert the well-being of the many.”

“Does this mean that there is no longer any free will?”.

“Certainly not. For instance, you and Elaine may choose whether to remain here or go to any other place of your choosing, in whatever manner, to apply your interests and abilities and whether to have offspring. What you may not do is elect yourself President-for-life and begin making laws with which to govern others. The precepts that you were taught in grade school will now actually apply to real life.”

“Such as?”

“You are free to do anything you like as long as it does not interfere with the freedom of others to do as they like.”

“Yes, I remember being taught that this was the American ideal that was guaranteed by our Constitution.”

“Yet, at that very moment, you lived in a society that did not allow those with African blood to drink from the same water fountain, from which you drank?”

“That is true. I am ashamed to say.”

“At that very moment, the ex-governor of your state was being jailed for possession of a small amount of alcohol that he had legally purchased ten miles away, in the same state.”

“That is also true. Many of our laws were written by those who believed that no one should be given access to the use of alcohol because it was possible to abuse it and to cause harm in so doing.”

“Have these laws been changed now?”

“In some cases, yes. In others, no. The county where the ex-governor was arrested has since legalized the possession of alcohol, after the voters were made to realize the degree of negative economic this law was having on their economy.”

“So, it would appear that the moral basis on which the voters made the original law were not as important to them as the health of their economy.”

“It does appear so.”

“How can they justify laws that enforce their concepts of morality on others when they willingly abandon these laws after being told that it costs them something?”

“I cannot imagine. This all goes back to our original discussion regarding the disconnects in our society, between actions and words. Those who believe that they know what is best for others are quick to pass laws that deny the right of others to choose for themselves. It is difficult to get someone to speak out against laws that are supposedly for the good of all. Those who speak out are accused of not supporting a well ordered society.”

“Such as?”

I think Art knew what I was going to say, but maybe he wanted me to put a voice to the thoughts, since the entire world was listening, in a way.

“For instance, those who wish to insure that fathers remain with their families may limit a man’s access to sexual relief to whatever relief his wife is willing to give, by demonizing other forms of relief.”

“How well does that work?”

“Not so well. Many women seem to think that they have no responsibility in this regard or else they do not recognize the biological urges of their husbands as valid requirements and think that if they deny him sex three nights in a row and he asks again on the fourth night, then he is harassing them.”

“Doesn’t his need go away when they refuse to help him?”

“Not hardly--no pun intended.”

“What is his recourse?”

“He has several choices. The one his wife wishes him to choose is not available to him. She would like for him to only be interested in sex when she is in the mood and to respect her wishes as proof that he loves her.”

“But doesn’t he still have the same pressure to release his stored semen?”

“Yes. Then he can masturbate, which is frowned on. He can go to a prostitute which is unsatisfactory from several aspects, including the possibility of disease and the negative effects of the transaction on family finances and is also illegal, in addition to being completely unacceptable to his wife. He can accept the sexual favors openly offered by other women who hope that he will abandon his family in their favor or he can seek out other men. Every path open to him for dealing with his natural urges is either illegal, unacceptable or outside the moral guidelines of the community or both.”

“Doesn’t this cause problems?”

“Of course it does. The great majority of marriages end in divorce.”

“Isn’t this result the exact opposite of the system that tries to limit his access to sexual release?”

“Absolutely.”

“Then why does it continue to exist as a generally accepted method of insuring strong marriages?”

“No one is willing to challenge the system. Who will stand up and fight for legalized prostitution?”

“Some countries have done so.”

“It is also possible that it could happen in America, but may never happen until the concept of monogamy has been abandoned as unworkable. A great many women now see men only as sperm donors and child supporters. In fact, in today’s news a militant lesbian, Lena Dunham, is advocating that all straight white men be eliminated.”

“Eliminated? Do you mean killed?”

“I am not aware of any other meaning.”

“What else did she say?”

“She said, ‘It’s not the end of men, it’s the evolution of men into better men.’, whatever that means.”

“It sounds to us as if she does not accept your right to exist.”

“I have to agree. Men have been characterized more and more as being defective women for several years, now. Many women have have come to believe the nonsense that all people have equal abilities, while at the same time embracing the nonsense that all women are more suited for any task than any man.”

“Is there evidence to support this viewpoint?”

“I have tried, on numerous occasions, to write a symphony or opera that compares favorably to the works that Mozart produced in his teens. I must conclude that I, for one, do not have abilities equal to some other men, therefore I reject the assumption that all people have equal abilities.”

“What gives you the right to reject the concept?”

“When the concept hinges on the inclusion of ‘all’ people, my admission of failure defies the concept. Therefore I reject it without demeaning or disparaging a single other human being. Furthermore, I cannot sing like Sinatra or run a four minute mile. There is a long list of my failures that I freely acknowledge.”

“Does this not destroy your self image and prevent you from contributing to society?”

“As long as I acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses, I have no problems. I apply my strengths to difficult goals and work on diminishing my weaknesses.”

“How is that working out for you?”

“It has allowed me to live a comfortable, fulfilling, rewarding and exciting life.”

“Are you not concerned by your failure to penetrate the highest levels of management in your industry or the amassing of wealth accorded to a select few?”

“Not at all. Those who have great wealth have very likely paid a price which I would be unwilling to meet. I prefer my lifestyle. There are a great many things that I do not have, but I have something that is beyond price.”

“And?”

“I have Enough.”

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Science Fiction / Aliens /