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The Tahw Planet Earth
By Jack Bello

By the time the blinking lights landed on Earth, we were doomed.

So many of us had dreamed of First Contact that it was so easy for us to be deceived. Sure there were crackpots around who said the visitors had secret intentions, but who could have believed it? They looked so normal and behaved so nicely.

When the world’s armies finally did strike, it was, again, too late.

At least these are the stories my grandfather and the other elders tell us. When my grandfather speaks of the times before the Earth became theirs, he drifts to another place through his mind’s eye. He can never really describe what he sees so that I understand, unfortunately for me. He mumbles something about hubris and gets on with the tales.

Billions of people over hundreds of lands. Flying machines. Viewing screens of all types. Cars.

Women. So many women, grandfather says.

They simply came one day and a few weeks later, most of the planet’s humans were dead. They promised cures for illness, efficient and clean energy, but it wasn’t meant for us, honestly.

They also brought a genetically engineered virus that had never been on Earth before and only our family survived. The Tahws collected our family from wherever they were on Earth and brought them here. We live in what is called an Eden, but we cannot stray from our homeland.

The Tahws control the rest, they say, in pristine beauty. They extract the needed water, resources, and whatever else they desire. They didn’t want to sully the Earth: the planet’s bounty is what they wanted. The planet is free to go along like we never really existed.

A Tahw ship may arrive in the sky on a mission to extract 3 million gallons of fresh water from the Great Lakes, or pull copper ore out of a mountain. They didn’t stay here. They stopped us from using any of it and leave it like a re-stocking planet.

That a few of us survived doesn’t matter. It was the compromise of a mind that nearly accomplished complete extermination of a planet’s species.

Grandfather says it's just a zoo.

Maybe he’s right, but I’m not really sure what a zoo is.

My Dad says grandpa just misses granny, who was taken in the first woman culling the year after my Dad was born.

Dad says grandpa is too stuck in the beforetimes. He got over my Mom being culled two years ago and right quick.

I miss her.

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