The Amazing Adventures of Sara Corel
A novel by Toomey


       They're out 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 — or 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 Cryptoaliens 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 troublesome newcomers.
       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.

Chapter One: Discovery

Table of Contents

© Patrick Hill, 2000