Immigrants

They came in their thousands, arriving in large ships. When we first caught sight of them, we didn’t know what to expect. The initial thought was that they were trying to colonize us, but as time passed, nothing happened. They didn’t fire on us and we didn't fire on them: we didn’t want to start a war, especially when there wasn’t a need for one. But we were still unsure as to what they were doing, just sitting in their positions. Some speculated that they were attempting to create havoc for us by raising questions and hoping that we’d destroy ourselves; and sadly, some of us did turn to violence due to our self-induced fears. Many of us died senselessly in the mist of the chaos. Others believed that they were here to save us, that they were our creators who had come home to fix our problems, even though they were creating just as many problems as they were creating reasons for peace. However, we were all too blinded by the shock of seeing them to see the real reason for why they came.

About two weeks later, one of the ships landed near a government base, attempting to communicate with us. The soldiers surrounded the ship, with their weapons in hand, ready to fire when necessary. After a moment’s hesitation, one of them showed themselves: a creature that looked similar to us, except blue and small. We escorted our linguist to attempt to communicate with the creature, picking out small phrases that were similar to some of the dialects that we use, but we could only assume what the creature was saying. A few lines were spoken and the linguist made the assumption that they were searching for a new home. After the conversation, the creature went back in its ship and parked where it was situated before.

Over many more months, through our tensions, our linguist would converse with the same creature, working together to form a common language. Our linguist was able to learn that the creature she was talking to was also a linguist and that they had fled their home because of war. From what our linguist could gather, their home was destroyed and were forced to leave their home after other creatures, that were similar to them, fought to obtain resources in their territory.

Slowly, as our linguist became more acquainted with the creature, the creature introduced us to some of the creature’s friends, realizing that their species ranged in heights and builds, but had the same blue skin. We eventually began to call them ‘Blues,’ after the color of their skin.

As decades went on, we continued to quarantine them, placing them in these restricted camps that were bordered off from civil society in order to assess each Blues’ intentions. Occasionally, we would get the odd Blue who would show signs of anger and frustration, attacking our guards in an attempt to get what was, to them, justice. And when those incidences occurred, sometimes the Blue would get away with it, killing a guard or two; and on other occasions one of our guards would fire on the Blue, either out of fear or to create order by force. Regardless of the result, the outcome would always weaken our relationship with the Blues. However, despite these few incidences, we continued to corroborate with the Blues in order to resort to a peaceful resolution.

To facilitate our collaboration with the Blues, our world leaders came together to form a single global government. The alliance was extremely difficult for many countries, as they still desired to be independent, even though we had now reached a stage in history where it seemed that an independent country was, for a lack of a better word, obsolete. But after all the long meetings, bills that were passed and democratic elections that were held, where a single vote counted as a single vote, we managed to settle on who would be our first president to run our first global government.

Over time, we very slowly became more accustomed to having Blues in our lives, seeing them in our streets, interacting with them through our common language, which we would call, ‘Cosmish.’ For a lot of us, the initial wave of Blues was intimidating; most of us were so protective, fearing for our lives and our family’s lives. But fortunately, there were a few who were courageous, or insane, enough to interact with the Blues, sparking friendships and helping the Blues settle into their new lifestyle. Some even went as far as to fall in love with a Blue, get married and start a family. And in no time at all, nonprofits would form to help Blues belong and help them find jobs to contribute to our society. Many Blues started out by accepting lower wages: as factory workers, cleaners, cashiers, and in many other small-scale jobs. Eventually, some Blues worked their way up to larger jobs, creating small businesses, larger corporations, even becoming entrepreneurs, usually providing services or products that would benefit Blues who were struggling with their transition.

But this way of life didn’t come without its setbacks. The population rise led to a scarcity of resources, mainly energy and food, and because of this, many Blues and people, who lost their jobs, died of pneumonia and starvation. Our global president argued that it was our duty to provide more jobs so that Blues could live with us. Initially, this move was very difficult for many of us, as we felt that a lot of the new jobs were going to be given to the Blues instead of us, which led to riots and human race groups speaking out against the global government and the Blues. But after our early resentment, we calmed down, as we started to see the benefits of having more jobs and Blues in the workforce: an accelerated economy, lowered tax, increased innovation, and many more benefits.

However, living was getting worse. As we increased jobs, our pollution levels rose and our planet’s temperature started to heat up. There wasn’t much we could do. We tried to construct plans, invent solutions, but couldn’t find an answer. Eventually, the Blues approached us with an idea, albeit a very controversial one. The Blues suggested that they teach us how to swim underwater. The global government found this to be quite a strange suggestion as it wouldn’t stop the rising temperatures, but our scientists argued that because we wouldn't be burning energy underwater, like we would on land, the planet would have an opportunity to naturally cool itself. There were passionate debates over the issue, dividing us, producing conflicts, violent assaults and hate speeches. Ultimately though, our global president decided that a change needed to occur and discussed with the Blues as to how this process might get underway. The Blues explained that, with our permission, they would provide us with gills to be able to live underwater and learn to slowly adapt. Originally, none of us liked the plan, but the majority of us made the decision to try.

The first hesitant volunteer was televised, being given gills by the Blues; how the Blues performed a ritual to give our volunteer gills, which was extremely shocking and overwhelming. And everything seemed to be going to plan, until the volunteer was attacked by a shark. The volunteer died and many of us accused the Blues of attempting to send us into the water to meet our demise, while others trembled in fear of the idea of having to live in the water with a larger number of potential threats. The Blues made a public apology for their failure and wished to try again with our permission. The global government started to search for other answers, as many protested against the move to the water, expressing their convictions and sending death threats to our global government leaders to encourage another solution. But time was running out for our planet and it didn’t seem as if we had any other choice.

On the second attempt we provided our volunteer with precautions, giving her weapons to fend off potential threats. And the result was much better, as the Blues taught our volunteer the necessary skills to survive and adapt underwater. Eventually, more volunteers stepped up and were taught the same skills, slowly encouraging the rest of us to follow. We built monuments, civilizations, colonies, usually conforming back to the same social trends with which we had been induced when we lived on land, but without the overuse of energy. And over time, our planet did naturally cool itself due to our lack of presence on land.

It was amazing what we were able to accomplish in such a considerably short amount of time, taking into account the imminent threat we put on our planet; how we were able to collectively come together to solve an extremely serious problem that could have resulted in our extinction. It gives me confidence that we can solve any problem we face, although, we shouldn’t wait ‘til we’re at the edge of our extinction to present solutions to such problems. But we’ll learn from ourselves; I know we will.

Looking back on what the Blues did for us, I couldn’t help but think about their home, how their lives were destroyed just like how we had been destroying our lives, and everything they had to do to survive; how noble they were. If their story should teach us one lesson, it should be this: never give up on your home, for your home will be with you as long as you have hope.

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And finally, thank you so much for taking the time to read my short story. I feel so grateful to get to do what I do and it’s thanks to you for taking an interest in the content I create. So again, thank you.

Keep growing.

Keep creating.

Ewen