Last Friday, astronomers made a shocking realization. Many members of a spacefaring species have been determined to be living on Earth. While their level of technological advancement is oddly low for a space-traveling species—it’s rare for them to venture outside their own planet’s gravity well—they have been determined to be the approximate equals of humanity.
The discovery was made after SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) detected some signals that had bounced off the moon. After analyzing the source, astronomers determined that it came from a space-travel capable species currently living on Earth.
Before this discovery, it was considered obvious that any species capable of launching an artificially constructed device outside their solar system would have some kind of a larger perspective. Knowledge of a single planet’s place in the universe and the vastness of space, it was thought, would inevitably lead to all problems looking puny by comparison, so naturally any such advanced civilization would have long since solved them.
According to one entirely unqualified person off the street, “They must not have wars or anything, or they’d never even manage to land anything on another planet in the first place. They could probably wipe us out if they wanted to, though, with all those interplanetary ballistic thingies.”
It was always obvious to anyone who thought about it for a moment that any culture that could photograph their entire species from interplanetary distances must have a much deeper unity than humans have ever achieved. When discussing what such a culture must be like, people threw around terms like “global consciousness,” and considered it a given that such a species would have no trouble taking care of whatever planet they came from. Apparently, though, not all problems can be solved with rocket science.
In fact, these people are oddly similar to humans. In a turn of events that surprised everyone except the general public, this species has a sense of humor, speaks human languages, and has an Internet full of cat videos. Philosophers, astronomers, and other competent people had expected that all alien life would be different from humans to an incomprehensible degree, but consumers of science fiction were completely prepared because of course all possible intelligent species are just like humans plus or minus a few quirks.
This species is even humanoid, and in fact they cannot be distinguished by any current human technology. Taxonomists have yet to agree on an original name for this space-traveling life form. Individuals are of course intelligent and fully capable of stating their species, but since they generally speak English when communicating with human English-speakers, they describe themselves using the English word for a sapient people. Which is of course “human.” (Or the equivalent in some other Earthling language.) This is obviously useless for identification purposes.
Many of these people have been living ordinary lives on Earth, working jobs and raising families exactly as if they weren’t members of a species capable of interplanetary travel. In fact it seems to rarely matter to them. So watch your back, because anyone who looks like a human could be an insidious member of a space-traveling race. Look around you, and anyone you see could be genetically related to a space traveler. Of course, since they’re just like humans, they’re not usually concerned with their origins and rarely look up at the stars.
“We’re really just like everyone else,” said one such person, despite having seen images from deep space with her own eyes. “I was born and raised on Earth; throwing things away from stars at escape velocity isn’t really something I’d know about.”
The general public has of course been hotly debating whether such life forms count as “real people.” Philosophers have been mostly silent on the issue, except to point out that it’s a moot point because for all practical purposes they’re indistinguishable from humans. Occasionally the philosophers even said their piece in words that could be understood, though that may have been an accident.
The other question most often asked is, could we beat them in a fight? You know, hypothetically. The answer is “probably, but we wouldn’t enjoy it.” It’s all but guaranteed that any action we could take that would wipe out these people would cause human extinction as well. Naturally, some of the crazier segment of the human race has begun demanding the use of nuclear weapons targeted at Earth. After all, we are in perpetual danger from their interplanetary ballistic thingies, and it’s the only way to be sure.
As of eight minutes ago, it has been determined that space-traveling humanoids are in fact the dominant species on Earth and have been for over fifty years.