I could only assume that this Karen was coming to my location. I had to calculate what these numbers meant. They were nothing in relation to what you humans had sent out years ago. They worked into no mathematical equations that I knew. I decided it would be best to run them through your human systems. I decided that a blank space at the top of this screen would be the best place to do so.
Someone or something named Google brought me to a map of your sphere, then narrowed down on one location. A fascinating mapping system you had, I may have to let my fellow Valorians know about this. It was a location in a place called Wyoming, near some stone made peaks. It seemed a logical enough place, not so easily defendable but with the mountains around, I could see it used as a minor stronghold. Perhaps this was some military operation? The definitions I had available for ‘safe’ told me contrary, but nothing is certain with your kind. In any case, using what I know of your time tables and traveling speeds, it would take her roughly a month of your time for her to reach this dwelling.
More on this Google. I asked it “what are you?” in the blank space at the top of the screen. This provided no answers to my inquiry. I simply typed in “Google” next. This brought me the answer I sought. A search engine turned globalized company. Fascinating. Is information your only commodity? The screen directed me towards the main page. It held the word “Google” and a simple blank bar. I input “Safe house 64.”
The SafeHouse system is a network of proposed communal areas where humans can congregate and cooperate to survive. Started initially by Survivorship Inc. (a branch company of Google) the SafeHouse system was built to develop into its own humanitarian effort, and is now led mostly by communicative leaders such as Wallace Samwell, Justice S. Lively (a pseudonym for Marian Marx), Karen Cavendish…”
The information went on. And on. And on. I input Karen Cavendish. It had a full profile of her, including her tasks as host and operator of this radio station. I felt as though I could know her in her entirety just through this system. Next was input “Romeo and Juliet.” Apparently an excessively fascinating pair of human beings. My eyes slipped down on the screen. In the corner, it read “Google.” I saw the language board below me also had that word written on it. I got up and walked about. Almost every buzzing instrument in this dwelling had the word “Google” on it somewhere, usually hidden but not hard to find. Google seemed as though it was more than what it had told me.
The air pressure had changed. Something was going on outside. The wind picked up and the dirt outside of the dwelling was flying about. A low hum was being emitted. My core pulsed. It must be my ship. I was being drawn to it.
Reaching the outside, a fellow Valorian greeted me.
“We are leaving. We have determined this to be a dying sphere of little to no value to our people. We’re here to retrieve you. Come.” I did not move. I felt the buzz from the radio tower, I’m sure they did too, but they simply did not care. After all, we entered in a sea of static. A few small streams would be of no importance.
“I’ll be staying.” My fellow Valorian appeared confused. “There may yet be something valuable within their culture, I simply need time to discover it. Leave me here, and send a ship back for me in three cycles.” With that, my people were simply gone. I was alone on your Earth. I looked up at the streams flowing to your tower. Perhaps I was not alone.
by ROBERT COCANOUGHER / literature columnist