I slump against the alley wall, breathing hard. They had been chasing me for about four blocks. My chest wound hurts, a raw open bleeding hole where my heart would have been had I been human. I had let my guard down, became too complacent and trusting during my assignment, and I had taken a shotgun blast to the chest at point-blank range. I allow myself a moment to recover, to reflect on the events that lead to this point.
My assignment seemed simple enough. Go to Earth, blend in with the population. Observe them, make notes. Assess their behaviour. A very straightforward mission. And it went well at first. I had been provided with plenty of currency, and a safe house from which to work. I met and befriended my neighbours on the day of my arrival. They were a young couple, just getting started in their life together. I admired their love and compassion, and grew very fond of them.
Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. Every day I observed all aspects of the human race. People had the capacity for love, for kindness towards others. They could laugh at dire situations and displayed great acts of heroism. I came to truly enjoy my time here. I made a few more friends and relished my time with them. Unfortunately I also came to realize that, behind the scenes lurked a deep tendency toward hatred and violence. Someone smiling one minute could turn on you in an instant. I noticed a deep-seated fear of the unknown, and instead of investigating and embracing that fear, human nature would lash out and try and destroy the object of that fear.
One evening I was providing a detailed report of my activities to my superiors, including video and still imagery, when I heard a soft noise behind me. I turned in my chair and spotted an intruder. He was staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the image of my superior on the monitor. I realized then that he had meant to rob me. That he thought that this was a comfortable middle-class home, but he wasn’t prepared for what he saw on my monitor. Before I could react he had raced out of the apartment and into the night. My superior quickly told me to initiate our fail-safe program, deleting all information and destroying any technology that could lead to the discovery of our operation. I had just completed that task when there was a knock on the door. I opened the door and had just enough time to notice the shotgun before it blew a hole in my chest.
Clearly unprepared for an adversary that could remain standing after being shot, they stood numbly as I raced past them into the hall and down the stairs. Unfortunately the sight of my fleeing form spurred them into action and they quickly followed. I ducked in and out of shadows, using every ounce of my stealth and evasion training, and eventually I had managed to lose them.
I look down at the still bleeding hole in my chest. A slight dizziness overtakes me and I close my eyes, willing it to pass. I am losing blood fast. If I don’t get to my extraction point, then I would die right here in the alley. I hear voices and see them running past the mouth of the alley. One stops and points at me, and I realize that my luck has run out. I push away from the wall and keep running. At some point another gunshot rings out and I feel a sharp pain in my shoulder. I duck as another shot goes off, splintering the cement inches from my head. Thankfully I don’t have much further to go!
My craft is exactly where I left it. I open it via remote while running up to it and dive into the cockpit. I can hear bullets striking my little jumpship, but thankfully nothing less than a missile could penetrate its hull. I fall breathless into my seat and allow the ship to automatically start tending to my wounds. As I race towards the upper atmosphere and safety I feel a great sadness overtake me. The human race has such tremendous potential. They can be great, and share that greatness with others. They have the capacity to be a light to the universe, but they don’t embrace it.
My experience this evening has proven to me that the human race is not enlightened. Their natural state of being is cold-hearted and cruel, not caring if they hurt others. They cause great pain where they could bring hope. Tears run down my face as I leave the atmosphere and see my mothership waiting. I weep for the human race, for all the pain and suffering they cause, both to others and to themselves. Through my tears I look back and see Earth hanging against the stars. It seems peaceful and serene. A blue jewel amidst the blackness of space. And I know that I don’t belong there. I don’t belong in that atmosphere. I turn back towards the sight of my mothership, and turn my back on all the pain and suffering behind me.