The Amazing Adventures
of Sara Corel
A novel by Toomey
there, all right. They've known about us for a long time, and monitored our cultural and
scientific development closely. We've come to that point in our history when it's
time we received a visitation.
Not of the kinds we've been expecting
perhaps dreading. No gigantic starships swooping down to scare the crap out of everybody.
No bug-eyed monsters carrying off sweet virgins for unmentionable purposes. No grand
ambassadorial delegations. No mysterious X-File paranoia-fests. Not even Billy Joe Bob in
the south forty greeting little green men with a shotgun. They've got their own methods
for dealing with upstart civilizations.
We may be leaving our little planet on our own
soon, to come knocking on their doors
— invading them, as it were. They need to make sure
that this would be a good thing. Frankly, not everybody out there is particularly enamored
of the thought of welcoming humans into the great community of highly advanced
beings that populate our galaxy.
No manners. Terribly backward, don't you know.
Crude, unfocused, superstitious, intolerant, violent, fractious, undisciplined and, well
— to be honest
— not terribly bright. It would be so easy to just drop a
big rock on us.
But that would be rather messy, and these
are ethical beings after all (or it would have already happened…). And, you never know
— might be some potential in this infant race. There's one tried-and-true way to
find out, of course
— developed over billions of years of dealing with potentially
They would send a gift to our emerging
civilization. A very powerful gift. Nothing alarming, actually reassuringly familiar.
Friendly, helpful, even charming and beautiful
— but unmistakably alien. Based on
some legendary character of our own devising, one that combines great strength with
gentleness, astonishing attributes with ordinary good nature.
This gift would have no knowledge of its
senders, their technology or their purposes to potentially contaminate our species, and
would have no instructions or bear no messages. We'd have to figure out for ourselves
what to make of it, how to deal with it, what it meant. It would be as innocent as a
newborn, fully formed and possessing the speech of our planet, but ignorant and naïve.
And our use of this gift would set our destiny.
© Patrick Hill, 2000