THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED
In the beginning, we were told, God created the heaven and the earth. We were told the earth was a dark, formless waste, and that the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. Then we were told about everything else God made, everything from food and water to stars in the night sky to dry land, light and day, and there was even a blessing in to have as much sex as we could muster. God wanted us to live in bliss.
We already had everything we needed. We had a fertile planet, not too close to the sun, abundantly rich in oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. We had intelligence. We had figured out how to farm, how to have our food much easier than hunting for it. We were set. So when the Anakim told us 4,000 years ago that all of this was God’s creation, to enjoy it, to be prosperous, you would think we would have simply said “thank you”.
The Anakim had arrived and terraformed of the most barren and uninhabited land on this foreign planet. Not much was known about us from their perspective. The third planet in a system of 8 regular planets, typical young star, ripe for life with intelligent inhabitants, but those inhabitants hadn’t yet understood their place in the universe. They didn’t know their world was one among many. They still believed in Gods and other superstitions.
This made the Anakim’s arrival that much more dramatic. As any futuristic happenstance is viewed as magic from the previous generation, the arrival of the [ALIEN A] was an act of God. Their ship, bright and hot as the sun from its journey through the atmosphere, slowly landed and transformed the land around it, a procedure that takes, well, about 145 hours or six days. They prefer to terraform the environment around their ship before meeting the locals as kind of a goodwill gesture. It’s their way of saying “we mean you no harm. In fact, look at this beautiful piece of your planet we’ve created for you.”
Originally, the seventh day was the First Day, the day the Anakim made their first contact with us. We took it as a blessing that something so magnificent could be interested in us. It must have been God, yes? I mean, it seemed like every plant on every field was growing. It had rained for the first time in years. (This was the middle of the desert.) One could understand how a hunter-gatherer with no ability to even fathom creatures from other worlds could feel like he had a whole new life given to him, a soul, previously denied him by his too-simple existence.
The ancient word for this place where the Anakim originally landed was called Itl-Eden, or as it was popularly simplified over the centuries, Eden. In this place, in their grandest symbol of peace and friendship, they created a spectacularly bountiful garden, overflowing with fruits and vegetables, lush green trees, no predators. It was a place for early humans to live and have the opportunity to think more, to evolve as a species.
Part of their terraforming created a lake in the center of the development area, mined from a nearby aquifer. Enough water sprang from the lake that four rivers left Eden, flowing through different lands, and gaining different names. The Pison flows through the entirety of Havilah, where gold, bdellium, and onyx are mined for trade. The Gihon, similarly, runs the entire length of Ethiopia. The Hiddekel cuts through the east of Assyria. The fourth river, of course, was the Euphrates.
To keep our early ancestors safe, the Anakim sent a guardian to live amongst the humans. They tried their best to replicate the appearance of humans, but they usually lived for centuries, sometimes millennia. Even in human disguise, they still lived for hundreds of years. The first one they sent was named Ahdam.
To say Ahdam was a guardian would be selling him far too short. Ahdam was the Anakim’s equivalent to a highly trained survivalist and goodwill ambassador of sorts. They sent him with every tool he could need to win over the locals. This garden, of course, was a great start. The second phase of the terraforming project creates more complex organisms from the host planet. Ahdam was crucial in this process, spending time learning about the native flora and fauna over his stay on Earth.
One night, while Ahdam was sleeping, the Anakim sent another guardian to Earth. She carried a message from her commanders for Ahdam. She handed him what looked like a twig or a branch. When he grabbed it, an image projected in a faint blue light from all of the little tips of wood.
Ahdam, this mission just got much more dangerous. The Baalists have found this planet. We’ve intercepted several reports that they may already have spies there. The orchard has an emergency distress beacon. It’s wired into the red apple tree. If you sense anything out of the ordinary, take a bite from an apple from the tree. Your messenger is Eive, and she will be your partner for the remainder of the mission. It may take a few revolutions in this sun’s vortex before you see any signs of a Baalist invasion, so your mission in the meantime is to try to learn as much about the local species as possible. Observe their customs and traditions, and emulate as much as you can. Enjoy this opportunity to learn about a group of aliens nobody else has ever seen.
The transmission ended, and the tips of the branches all simultaneously ignited into tiny, candle-like flames. Ahdam and Eive looked at each other and smiled. They realized they were both naked. (The Anakims are an advanced warm-blooded species, able to regulate their temperatures in much warmer and colder environments than humans. They were also more emotionally mature. Thus, they had no need for clothes. They turned to face the humans that had already gathered to see what the spectacle was. They continued to smile. This was science. This was forming bonds with an alien species. And even though local human customs of the time demanded they wear clothes, they were not ashamed or embarrassed. They just laughed it off, grabbed a few nearby fig leaves, and got to work building a habitat like another couple of the native hunter/gatherers who had shown up to investigate all of the commotion.