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Book Chapters and Summary

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To call them large was a gross understatement. They were giants, titans, Gods. To think that the first moment of interspecies contact with alien life would be reminiscent of the moment we decided that Pluto was too small to matter.

They descended upon our world in a ship the size of Rhode Island, landing upon the ocean surface with a grace unexpected for their size. It was June, a date that would be remembered as Day Zero. I was not there that day; though I wish I could have been there in such a historical moment. Well to be honest, not many people were. The ship landed approximately two miles away from the nearest humans who were fishermen that had woken up that morning with the most impressive thought in their minds being about fish. The ship must have been the spitting image of Atlantis in reverse…as though the fabled city had never sank at all, and had instead risen to the heavens.

I suppose it is arrogant of me to say that I wanted to be present on such a historical day. Before Katastrophe I was a grocery bagger in one of those hipster-esque food marts. I’m pretty sure that the man I was then could be called the epitome of shit. Day in and day out was the same deal, middle-class housewives would walk in with their gross, snotty children to purchase their daily servings of Gluten-free mouse semen, or whatever the monthly health trend demanded of them. As they would get to the cashiers their crusty lipsticked face holes would smirk at the sight of me, a twenty-five year old bastard child with a high school diploma to my name. Every time, they would look me up and down and I could see them circle-jerking to their equally gross bimbo friends about how their children will never be a failure as I was. Hell, some would even point at me and exclaim to their demon spawn children that they had better study hard in school, lest they become like me. Personally, I hated them more when they didn’t say anything out loud; their expressions told me everything. They actually believed that they were kind for not saying anything, which is a new level of arrogance.

There were six aliens on the ship, but at the time of landing only one of them spoke a human language, which was English. I’m embarrassed to say that from the news programs it definitely spoke better English than I did. I remember the headlines that repeated its first official words to humans; they were full of big words. I do not remember the exact quote of peace because such a thing is now inconsequential in its irony. But through the hundreds of television and news specials documenting every second of interaction between them and us, I learned more about speech than in my time at school. Granted, I was either asleep or ridiculously high while I was in the classroom. Looking back on it now, the impetus to my fate as a grocer of failure in a can seems as alien to me as the aliens themselves. Well really, after all of those television programs I feel like I know more about them than I know about myself. Though I highly doubt the feeling is reciprocated.

As expected, the whole freakin world panicked when six giant aliens randomly crashed the party. But they were polite and courteous as guests should be, at least as much as aliens can. They were hard to describe then and hard to describe now. Though they walk upon two legs and have two arms they are not particularly humanoid. To be more specific they have many vestigial, or useless, parts to them. They have small wings on their shoulder blades but cannot fly. They have tails that are short and stubby and cannot move. They have two pairs of eyes, but can only see through the upper set. The aliens called themselves the Atlas. I called them freaks of fucking nature.

Granted, we felt no ill will to them in the beginning. On the contrary the entire world was excited to see them. The humans held their breaths on the first day and all warfare came to a stop within twelve hours of their arrival. It wasn’t that the problems were solved, curiosity is simply more tempting. It was a time of rapid change for the major players in the world; Governments had to organize, religions had to make excuses and edits, conspiracy theorists celebrated. When the United Nations arrived on-scene followed by a mob of news stations, we all watched with bated breath. I saw the whole thing on my iPhone 11. Yes, I was that outdated to still have one of those. The crowds of people on site reminded me of Black Friday, if the gates to the mall took place on Aircraft Carriers. The Carriers may as well have been baby carriages in comparison to the ship, however. Crowds of soldiers, news reporters, FBI, CIA, UN, and other world operatives were there. Hell, I’m pretty sure the Westboro Baptist Church was there to be the first to tell the Atlas that God hated them. Before long those gates opened, and a staircase as large as the pyramids lowered. The material seemed flexible; it moved to reach the closest aircraft carrier with slow, deliberate movements that reminded me of a dog exploring a room. The stairs did not press downwards on the aircraft carrier with any weight as the first member of the Atlas descended. This was a great relief to us all, as when the creature came into the light the true size of his, her, or its body was realized by the humans. The freaky giant stopped at the foot of the stairs to conduct its business with the representatives of Earth. And like a cliché upon clichés, the titan first recorded words were:

“I am Sphere.

We are the Atlas

We come in peace.”

Chapter 2

The weeks after Day Zero were ones of great study and rejoicing. The Atlas revealed that they had found some of the pods that NASA sent into the depths of space for the purpose of connection with an alien race. I doubt Houston really expected it to work this well. From the pods the Atlas had learned English, as it was the most popular language on Earth. The reason that Sphere was the only one who could speak English at the moment of landing was because he was the first to complete his full download of the language. To this day I don’t fully understand it, but an Irish scientist attempted to explain the Atlas as follows: the Atlas are all connected, though they still hold individuality. In order to learn and develop efficiently and wholly, they must meditate upon the information (in this case English) that is uploaded to their mainframe. The Atlas are like the Borg or the Internet. Steve Jobs would be proud to market a whole new line of products to these saps if he was alive. Sphere had been the first to completely download the information and therefore was the first to be able to access English in its entirety



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