Chronicles of Alien Dwellers

At the laboratory

They use six entangled photons to create two alternate realities — one representing Wigner and one representing Wigner’s friend. Wigner’s friend measures the polarization of a photon and stores the result. Wigner then performs an interference measurement to determine if the measurement and the photon are in a superposition.

The experiment produces an unambiguous result. It turns out that both realities can coexist even though they produce irreconcilable outcomes, just as Wigner predicted.  

The engineer looks at Charmayanne. Again Charmayanne attacks the engineer who brought the elevation device. S/He examines it with curiosity and admiration, then the s/he rips off the engineer's head and proceeds to kill other visitors. It happens as the engineer explicitly says: "You developed more advanced skills and technologies. You started becoming greedy."

But it is also possible that Charmayanne was growing inside of the engineer even before the elevation. Therefore the engineer attacks Charmayanne. S/He gets killed without being impregnated with new technology. 

The engineer doesn't want to say a word after elevating.

"I'm just getting started. And for my next violation, I intend to do something, ... something very big." 

The conversation remains extensively reduced. Then the events unfold.

Just like the birth of a shape-shifter requires the sacrifice of a host, the engineer must sacrifice themself. 

According to Charmayanne their theory cannot explain why engineers tried to send the deadly virus. 

Charmayanne's derives systems and cycles from plants and animals – cicadas, hermit crabs, algae, sting rays, sea squirts, sea sponges, and frogs.⁠ S/He teases the visitors with the dire abjection of plastic evolving from the earthy clay. ⁠

⁠"The ironic choice of plastic takes aim at the conundrum of future evolution," says the fragrance seller of Bhopal.

⁠S/He doesn't care.

"Now continue. Tell them why I came and only retranslate whatever I say."

Charmayanne translates it back. 

They propose a reason why other lifeforms will think like them, in spite of different origins. They think that all problem-solvers, intelligent or not, are subject to the same ultimate constraints – limitations on space, time, and materials. 

The fragrance seller of Bhopal attacks the engineer.

The visitors think very deeply.

They mistrust poets, because they believe they often speak of things they can't truly know about. They popularise complex ideas.

"Do you think I have a theory? Do you think I am saying, well, this is what that is? I describe, I give examples. You have to describe ways of living in order to be clear about the aesthetic principles."

"In particular, things are changing in a very radical way. I had this very powerful experience, which I've talked about more than once. There, treasury chests were all neatly piled up in one room. At that time, it was very important.  And, and I, I, I just, ...it was a revelation for me because I thought for the first time, I could see how to think. I've never known how, and as I say, there was nothing in the literature that would have taught me how, and so forth. And I thought, Wow, so how, you know, where is the difference between seeing yourself thinking and thinking itself? And that seems to me to be an incredible question. It could never been asked before."

They are witnessing an unexpected elevation of a sloth.

The sloth is known as Charmayanne. S/He belongs to the family of three-toed sloths. All sloths are spending most of their time hanging from tree boughs with its three long, curved claws. The species has a very complicated digestion system that enables it to get enough nutrients out of less nutritious foliage. Sloths defecate only once a week in a hole in the ground dug at the base of a tree. Sloths inhabit tropical forests, but they are in danger of extinction due to deforestation, field burning and forest fires. Charmayanne will rescue them.

"S/He already has put us in touch with feelings we've always been afraid to express."

"It’s crazy how beautiful you can be even though you’re basically alien."

"For us, a safe space will soon be a reality." 

Charmayanne is heading to the Welcome Habitat.

"You have wonderful muscles."

The forward observation room

"We are just thinking how far we've come in such a short time."

"We certainly have."

"Cosmic thoughts?"

"We were speculating ... Is s/he really out there?"

"Maybe s/he's not out there. Maybe s/he's right here ...in the heart. ...Vin'nyla."

"Don't you have anything else to say to me?"

"Ha, ha, ha! You've developed a sense of humour after all."

"It was not my intention to amuse you. This is serious."

"It is a completed process not open to future innovation. Further advances should not be expected."

Emergency channel open.

"To anyone within the sound of my voice."

"We read you. Over." 

"A hostile force has taken control of us and put us on a direct course to the Great Barrier. Our co-ordinates are zero zero zero, mark two. Request emergency assistance."

"Acknowledge. What you fear ...is the unknown. The lifeforms of your planet once believed their world was flat. They said the sound barrier could never be broken. ...It was broken. The Great Barrier is the ultimate expression of this universal fear. It is an extension of personal fear." 

"We are afraid of nothing."

" ...I'm sure you have many questions. Here, ...amidst the stars of our own galaxy, we shall seek the answers together. There's so much I want to tell you."

"Maybe if you can wait until we are a wee bit stronger. I don't think we could take it in our present condition." 

"I so much want your understanding. I want your respect. Are you afraid to hear me out?"

"What is this ...power that you have to control the minds of my crew?" 

"I don't control minds. ...I free them." 

"How?" 

"By making you face your pain and draw strength from it. Once that's done, fear cannot stop you." 

"It sounds like ...brainwashing to me." 

"Your pain is the deepest of all." 

"What?" 

"I can feel it. Can't you?" 

"This is some kind of trick." 

"I've done everything I can do. You've got to hang on." 

There is an emergency sending apparatus in the observation room at the Welcome Habitat.

"What is this?" 

"Vin'nyla?" 

"What have you done to the galactic sloth?" 

"I've done nothing. This is who they are, didn't you know that?" 

"No, I didn't." 

"Now learn something about yourself." 

"No. I refuse." 

"Try to be open about this." 

"About what? That I've made the wrong choices in my life? That I turned left when I should've turned right? I know what my weaknesses are. I don't need Vin'yla to take me on a tour of them." 

"If you'd just..." 

"To be brainwashed by this con man?" 

"I was wrong. I am afraid you'll have to remain here."

"Vin'nyla?"

"I cannot go with you."

"Why not?"

"I belong here."

"The bond is strong. Difficult to penetrate." 

"I don't understand."

"Vin'yla!" 

"I guess you'd better count me out."

"Then I'll see you on the other side."

"Wait! ...You know we'll never make it through the Great Barrier."

"What if we do? Will that convince you that my vision was true?"

"What vision?"

"You are mad."

"Am I? ...We'll see."

How will they survive?

"I say they're wrong. I say the danger is an illusion." 

"We have no instrument readings. Is it there or isn't it?"

"Fascinating! Are we dreaming?"

"Is it possible?"

"If we are, then life is a dream."

"No special conditions?"

"No conditions."

"I am no longer in control."

"It's amazing! The land. The sky. Just as I knew it would be."

"Let's get out of here." 

"Vin'nyla, get us out of here!" 

The galactic sloth appears on viewscreen.

(S/Ηe knows all about illusions.)

"Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing." s/he says.