“Can you believe this,” Cindy asked, watching the president speak on the tv. “Aliens, like in the movies. I bet they’re all slimy green things with big teeth.”
“Yeah,” Jon said, taking another sip of coffee.
All around them the office was abuzz with the echoes of the newscast and people’s reactions. Some like Cindy were positively bubbling with opinions and observations, while others sat quietly in their cubes praying to whatever deities they followed in hushed tones.
The president paused in his speech, his face visibly exhausted. All around the world other leaders were revealing the news to their own countries.
“The Kra and J’Dulta have maintained diplomatic relations with Earth throughout our entire history. As a result of Earth’s neutral designation, and in exchange for technology that has proven invaluable in saving human lives, we have accepted many of these visitors into our borders as refugees.”
The office collectively gasped.
“They’re here?” Cindy all but screamed, looking around as if a little green man would appear at any moment.
“Please, I ask for calm,” the president continued. “These visitors are almost identical to humans. They have lived, worked, played and fought alongside us for millennia. It is likely you know these people. It is likely you are friends with them. Given the passage of time, it is likely they exist within our own family trees.”
Cindy almost looked as if she would be sick. Jon looked around uneasily, feeling the unease in the room.
“We will of course release more information in due time, but I ask for compassion during this transitional phase. Those among us who wish to come forwards will be able to do so without fear of persecution. For those who choose to remain anonymous, I ask that others respect that right.”
“Screw that,” one worker shouted out, throwing a scrunched up ball of paper at the large screen on the wall. “I ain’t gonna live next to no stinking alien!”
“Shut up Mike,” another coworker shouted out in response.
Jon watched the tribal mentality froth to the surface. Cindy was shaking, watching the anger boil over in the room.
“Are you ok?” he asked, placing a delicate arm on her shoulder. Her eyes darted about constantly, her bottom lip quivering. Directing her to a seat, Jon passed her a cup of still-warm coffee.
“What if they’re dangerous?” she finally whispered.
“You heard the president, they’ve been here for thousands of years.”
“Yeah, but what if… what if they eat people?”
“Then I’m pretty sure they’d be told to leave.”
“You’re not scared.”
It wasn’t a question, but Jon felt like he had to answer anyway.
“What’s really changed?”
“There are aliens walking around!” Cindy nearly screamed, her voice getting higher with every syllable.
“No, you just found out there are aliens walking around. There are still the same people here today as there were yesterday.”
Sounds of commotion interrupted their talk, a fist fight had broken out between Mike and his neighbour.
“She was my mother!” the neighbour shouted out.
“She was a fucking alien! That makes you one too!”
Mike swung wildly, anger driving his fist into the other mans jaw so hard he hit the ground.
“Dan, you okay?” the office manager said, taking a knee next to the fallen half-alien. He showed concern, but hesitated before he put a hand on his shoulder.
“She was my mother,” Dan repeated quietly from the floor. He wiped blood from a cut in his lip, the red plain for all to see. “My mom, she came here to get away from a war you people can’t even understand.”
“Bullshit, you’re just like every other illegal alien coming to this country,” he quipped, pleased at his own joke. “I bet you never even saw this war.”
Dan gulped, his dual-heritage birth making it obvious he was born on Earth and so had never seen first-hand the war of which he spoke.
All eyes turned to Jon. He gave Cindy one last squeeze and stood, moving over to the fracas.
“Ju krasak bu m’tim?” Jon said, helping Dan up. “Bu m’tim?”
“Gana bu,” Dan replied haltingly. Either he didn’t know J’Dulta well or he was still shaken from the blow. “I’m okay,” he replied, in English.
Mike looked as though he’d moved a couch and found a pair of cockroaches hiding underneath. “Fucking aliens,” he muttered.
Jon stood, spun out his leg and sent Mike falling to the floor so fast no-one even had time to blink. Mike tried to rise, but Jon twisted his hand and powered his face into the cheap floor tiles with a solid crack. The fight went out of him instantly.
“My name, my birth name, is J’orntataylu bu Tankomori Ki,” Jon said to the crowd, standing in a growing circle. By now, the entire floor had come out to watch and probably some of the others too.
“I was born on J’Dultalim, which is a really, really long way away from here. I’ve got two arms and two legs. I came here twenty five years ago with my parents. My green card is all legal and aboveboard, except the country of birth isn’t listed.
“You all know me. We’ve been for drinks together, played squash together.”
The assembled employees shared a nervous glance, as if by admitting to such activities they would somehow become tainted.
“What you don’t know, is what we fled from. Your wars, they’re nothing. A few nations attacking others. My people, my entire planet, have been at war for 400 generations!
“I was born in a country where my only choice since birth was to fight for the Tsalyu, our president, or work everyday and night with no hope or future. My parents, they were soldiers, part of the Kitzku, special forces. One day they get orders, a Kra ship had been picked up in-system.
“They’re the other guys, the Kra. Never met one myself, at least not that I know of, but I imagine they’re okay guys. Anyway, my parents get orders, board the ship, find out what it’s doing and where it’s going. And they do. They get on this little ship, no bigger than a jumbo jet, and they tell me it was packed. From bulkhead to bulkhead, just packed with civilians.”
Jon swallowed. How much would the government release? Should he tell the people here the whole truth? Would they believe him? Would they hate his kind?
“This war. It’s not like yours. There wasn’t a start or an end, no light at the end of a tunnel. There isn’t even a word for peace in our language!
“My parents were good people.” Jon looked around pleadingly. “They were only following orders.”
Faces began to drop, eyes widening as the connections were made.
“The Tsalyu granted my parents a child, as a reward for their ‘heroic actions’. That’s when they decided they had to leave, stop fighting. One day I’m at home, taking the aptitudes to decide if I’m a fighter or a farmer, and the next I’m stuck on a tiny cargo ship heading to some alien planet I’d never even heard of.”
The crowd began muttering, turning in on itself as discussions broke out. An older man broke out from the group, striding up to Jon.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, J’orntataylu,” he said, holding out his hand. Jon took it in his own. “I’m isa Du Mon. Guess you can call me the first Kra you’ve met.”
Prompt originally posted by TranshumansFTW on reddit and received 5 upvotes.