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They see me at the window. A figure. A silhouette. Insignificant. A child. They think I am of no value. They think I am worth nothing. That I am stupid. That I am nothing. They are wrong. I can prove it.
I have the power to decide who lives and who dies on this stupid little world. This stupid, insignificant planet. I am worth more than Earth itself. They are cruel, these humans. They locked me up, stole my voice, experimented on me with their primitive science. Tried to destroy my consciousness. Evil and ignorance. A fatal combination, even without what they call emotions.
The board in my mind lets me decide who dies. They gave me limitations set on me by my species. But I get a life. One human life a day. One stinking human life. I told them it was not enough. That I would need more. They didn’t listen to me. They said that once I had a human body my judgement would be off. That I may not be able to handle the power I’d been given.
They made me take this small, slight, shaky body of a young male. 10 human years old. I am told that means he was centuries from death. That he was only a few hours older than a newborn. He was very young, then. I was warned that I might feel remorse. That I would want to stay with the young male’s parents. Human young have strong bonds with their birth tribe. The human female cried when I took the young male’s body. She tried to stop me. She screamed and cried and howled. I was almost afraid of her. She was monstrous. Tall and loud and in her own territory. I was the intruder. She was guarding her young like no other species I have ever seen. I felt nothing as I tossed her piece off the board. She was a queen. The human male was easy. He looked at me and what I was doing to his young. He saw the significance and the certainty of what would be. He took his own life. He was brave, for a human, I think. He was a warrior. Not many species can take their own lives without a second thought. Maybe he was just stupid. Had I had the chance to flick him off the board, he would have been a castle, I think.
Humans found me. A neighbour reported the human female’s screaming. Their law enforcement teams came and tried to help the young male. But I knew what I wanted. I wanted to find their ‘scientists’, look at their ‘experiments’. I had to reveal myself to them so they would take me to a laboratory. I showed them the tear in the back of my human neck, how I got in. They took me straight to a team of scientists who studied my new body carefully. Trying to find a way to get me out. They had no chance.
The humans locked me up in this little room. It has bright white walls and one window I can just see out of. I’m next to their laboratory. Just as I planned. Their scientists watch me from the other side of a mirror. Their technology is clever, though primitive. And they developed fast in a short time. The lab is shiny and white. Blue lights glow on their computers and equipment. There is a bed in the corner of my room. I have no need for sleep. I have energy enough to last me fifty-six human years, they told me. The humans had tried to take me from the young male, but my consciousness had bound too deeply with his. They could not kill me without damaging the young male beyond repair. They do not kill their young. But I have heard stories, back at my home, about humans killing young before they are even born. Before they are given a chance to live, to defend themselves. They torture and kill their unborn young. They rip it from the mother, tear it limb from limb, not hearing its cries. And they suck it out with a metal tube. They toss the unborn young away like it never existed. They deserve everything I plan to do. They deserve to die. They deserve to lose their pieces.
When they told me about remorse they explained that our method would not hurt the humans. That they would not feel pain when I flick them off the board. They would feel no pain. I wanted them to feel pain. I wanted it to hurt them like fire. Like ice. The one who came before me, twenty human years ago, he was given the power to cause unimaginable pain. He abandoned the mission after only four kills. They say he went insane. That he became too much like the humans. That he felt their pain himself. He was in a young female. He destroyed her so he could die. He ripped her mind apart. His last transit thought to home was that he wished he’d never come. But he was weak. He was not like me. He was not worthy to be a part of my race. Not good enough for them. Not good enough for the Tamaria.
Humans call it chess. A strange name for a life board. I am told they see it as a game. As a sport for their intelligent people. As I said, they deserve everything I plan to do. They see the life board as a game! Inexcusable. They are cruel to their own people. They fight and kill each other. Humans fighting humans. Intra species battle. It would not be permitted in any other region. Their history is complex. Changed by human decisions and actions. Time is not left to run its course. They have to change time itself. Their history is shorter than any other race I have come across. They were not on their planet from the beginning. They are young. So young. But they do so much. They have so many different people who do so many different things. Unpredictable and constantly changing. They have evil males who try to rule the entire race. They have people willing to stand and kill hundreds of thousands of their own kind because of minute differences in appearance or belief. But they have good people too. They have people who would do anything to save other lives. People who would be willing to die to let others live. This is something I have seen only on Earth. They are capable of wider emotion than any other race. They sink lower, far, far lower than even the Dixes. But they can soar above us all. They can swoop and dive in diamond studded skies. They can feel so deeply the content and peace of their hearts. They can feel joy beyond my wildest thoughts. And the beauty of their home! Sweeping fields of green and of white stretching under blue, unending skies. Trees, taller than anything I can name. Oceans teeming with life. The sun. The exact right distance away. Heating, not burning. Providing light for proportions of the human day. Their world perfectly in balance. Everywhere there is life. Life flutters at the core of human being. Life. Life I have the power to end.
I toss a pawn off the board. She was cruel to her own young. She did not deserve the scope and range of human life. I brought about not only her death, but also the start of the lives of her young. They can live in freedom, like they are supposed to. They can be safe in their own home. One life was all it took. I took it. Surely that means I am good? Surely that means I deserve human happiness. They did not install an inhibitor chip on the consciousness that came here before me. The one who went insane. They invented it for me, so I wouldn’t have to feel like a young human male, stripped from his home, his family. It was my idea. I decided I didn’t want to deal with the range of emotions they face. I didn’t want to feel alone. But it didn’t work. I am alone. I am billions of miles from my home. Even there, I am alone. We do not live like humans, swarming together like flies on Frackon dust. We float above our beautiful, golden cities with their flowing, shimmering rivers. Apart and distant. Not speaking. Connected by our minds. We share stories. Scientific ideas. But not conversations. Not like humans. We are observers. We watch for millennia. Never touching or feeling. No one at home knows what it is like to walk on the ground. To smell the sea. To feel the salt catching at the back of your throat. To feel the warmth of another person. To feel their flesh. To be engulfed in someone else’s love for you. To be hugged. The young male has memories. I was unable, on implantation, to wipe his mind completely clean. There are hugs in his memories. Warm and loving and smelling of roses and lavender. He had never killed. He had no power. No responsibility. No great purpose. I can see what he would have been, had I never come. He would have been a good human male. A good man. He would never be particularly clever or brilliant in any way. He would have loved his wife and children. They would have loved him. He would have worked hard at work he loved. His life would have been about love. But he would have been sad, too. Angry sometimes. Conscious of his own mortality. I saved him from that. Human young do not know what it means to be mortal. They believe they will live forever.
Am I worthy to decide who dies? Why should I be allowed to make the decision? That’s the boy’s mind. He asked questions. Humanity asks questions. Am I becoming like them? Do I want to join their world? It is possible to do. I could do it. I would have to change body every few decades. Start again with children. Wipe their lives and minds so I can live. Is that selfish? Take a child’s life so I can feel the swoop of humanity? Do I even want that? Do I want to be human? Do I want to fear and anger? Do I want to find happiness and purity in this little, fragile body? I want it. I need it. It would mean sacrifice. It would hurt. I would lose all power. Possibly even lose myself. The young male could win. Take back his body. Wipe me out. Do I want to take the risk? Yes.
Overwhelming desire crushes my human heart. Blinding flashes of realization flood my mind as my consciousness spreads deep in to my brain. Our brain. The boy’s brain. Silence.
I push the chessboard over. I don’t want it anymore. Chess. A funny name for something that big. What was it though? What did I used to do with that board? It was scary. I don’t want to remember. Bad things. My Mummy used to play chess with me. Daddy would be on my team and we’d fight Mummy. We always won. Something bad happened to my Mummy and Daddy. I can’t remember. But they’re not here. Daddy was a castle. And I am safe in my Daddy’s walls.