A Homesick Alien’s Letter To Home

Dearest Mother, I hope this communication finds you well. Better, at the very least, than I am in my current assignment. Never fear, physically, my condition is satisfactory. Mentally, however, I am struggling. I lay this strife at the feet of the humans. I have only been here a few of their “days” here and I am no closer to understanding them than when I arrived. Every day, these beings commit acts that seem purposely devised to confound me. Nothing they do seems to have any grounding in logic. I am beginning to wonder how I will complete the six lunar cycles this assignment requires.

It is not just the humans, either. This planet is a hell world where everything is attempting to kill me. Oxygen is so prevalent here, and in concentrations that border on toxic for our people. It is in the air, in the water, and only the Maker knows where else. Yet these humans immerse themselves in it. Their physiology, apparently, craves it. And, the temperature varies widely due to something the Earthlings call “seasons”. This is due to their planet’s insane axial tilt of 23.44°. They claim this makes life possible here because of its effect on plant life. When I tell them that Gexat has no such tilt and we get along just fine, they are mystified. Honestly, they are not very bright. I constantly wonder how they ever managed to leave their home planet.

Of course, they were likely motivated to venture out to the stars to escape the wildly dangerous flora and fauna found here. There are multiple predators among the animal life: canids, felines, raptors, and even an enormous creature called a “hippopotamus” that is said to kill hundreds of humans every year. And, these berserk humans go to great pains to protect them! The plant life is no better. There are multiple organisms that are highly toxic. One, known colloquially as “the tree of death” is so noxious that even the water that drips off of it is harmful. And, just as with the hippopotamus, humans work hard at protecting it. It is truly amazing that the Earthlings survived this hellish place long enough to master even the most rudimentary tools, let alone space travel.

As distressing as this planet is, however, it cannot compare to the shock of interacting with the humans themselves. Nothing about these beings makes sense. They are wildly mercurial, as changeable as the winds of the Khuk plains back home. One moment, they will be “happy”, and the next exceedingly “sad”. I know you find those words puzzling and I apologize for not providing more meaning. But, to do that, I would need to understand them myself. But, I. Do. Not. I am told they are “emotions”, which are mental states brought on by certain chemical changes in their brains. I am sure you are as mystified as I am by this explanation. There is simply nothing in Gexatian physiology that would even begin to provide a frame of reference.

As unstable as they are, however, being the “friend” of a human has its benefits. I know that “friend” is another strange word, but this one is a bit easier to grasp. The closest analog that I can think of would be a clan mate who isn’t directly related. I say this state of relationship is beneficial because once a human decides you are their “friend”, they are extremely loyal. Oftentimes, they are loyal beyond the bounds of logic. Human history and folklore are filled with stories of beings sacrificing themselves to save other members of their party, even when those members are part of another clan! I call this a “benefit”, and believe it to be so, but I do not understand it.

I stated earlier that I was unsure if I could complete this assignment, and I am serious about that. If at all possible, it would be greatly appreciated if Father could use their contacts within the ministry to arrange for a posting on another world. Perhaps one closer to home so I could visit from time to time. Definitely, one without humans or that contrives to murder me each time I venture outside our compound. If this is not feasible, I will soldier on, endeavoring not to bring dishonor to our clan.

Always your appreciative offspring,