The Expatriation, A Story
September 15, 2009
The Expatriation, by Adrian Perez
Allen walked through the river bank. Hopping from rock to rock, he couldn’t see the ships flying overhead through the canopy, but he could definitely hear them. He started to run to the campsite. He would have to pack the fossils later.
In a little while, he stood a collective of Togs.
“What is the meaning of running off to this planet? You had responsibilities,” They implied with some level of force. The Tog were a collective group that long ago evolved from experiments with constant social awareness.
“The Federation really has no dominion over me,” Allen said, “I can come here if I want to.”
The Tog sullened, “But you made commitments. Experiments can’t go on without you.”
Allen always won progress through minimal effort. The Tog experiment had been failing recently and it was devolving into politics. He didn’t see how to change the situation, so he decided non-reciprocation was the best way to sober people.
One of the Togs, the one responsible for sexual relations drifted toward him. It was surprising this Tog collective was here in-person in the first place. They could have easily sent one member of the collective and stayed connected through distance tuning. What was more surprising is that he was now addressing the one he could identify as holding the sex role. It wasn’t like Allen could really respond, these jelly fish like creatures reproduced in a cloud of spores.
However, empathy oozed from this very non-bipedal representative. Allen’s mirror neurons forced feelings of kinship into Allen without him even realizing it. This Tog was good at its Position.
“Perhaps,” the Tog said, “You are in need of a vacation from the other world. One can be stifled by the impressions generated there. If I could perhaps attend with you on a Journey.”
Empathy or no empathy, Allen didn’t want to go on a “Journey” with anyone, he was tired of reaching compromise and unity. The research group was bogged to its neck in understanding exercises and peace seminars. It was an inescapable side activity with aliens.
He didn’t want to go, and that meant it was walking time. He left the tent the Tog was in and went back to the river and his fossils. A Tog who had not spoken went with him. This one looked larger than the others. Allen knew it wasn’t a queen or king. The Tog had none, they were a distributed network of individuals, created by a digital network that had become more pervasive than the one on Earth.
The Tog didn’t say a word. Until they got to the river. The Tog grumbled something as they approached the river bank.
“What was that?” Allen asked. He could have sworn the Tog said something in Earth, a language that the Allen didn’t think the Tog could speak.
The Tog repeated, “Idt.”
“Did you just call me an idiot?” Allen stood aghast.
Then the Tog shoved him with one of its tentacles.The shove was soft and barely pushed Allen back, but he knew what it meant.
Allen shoved back, and like two children in the weirdest play ground, they turned into a wrestling ball of jelly filled Helium sacks, flailing limbs, and gasping lungs. After fifteen minutes Allen got tired of kicking the Tog in what he hoped were reproductive organs, and the Tog got tired of trying to drown Allen in a cloud of spores.
Allen, lying on his back in the cool and shallow river bed, could see the rest of the Tog hiding behind the trees from a safe distance. He waved them over. From then on, Allen would head the new violence-based peace seminars at the research center.