We kept watch for decades. The prophecy said it would come. And soon. But the sun set in the west and rose in the east like every other day since I was born. When it happened when the sun rose in the west and set in the east we barely noticed. Why would we? The slight increase in wind speed felt like any other oncoming storm. As long as the sun was up it was all that mattered. It looked like any other summer day. Corn and grain, fruits, and vegetables. Even flowers for fragrances. The planting season was past. The hard part was done.
And now it was time to sit back and enjoy the summer. As usual, we would enjoy competing in the games, the mornings or afternoons, or both by the ocean. The treks into the mountains to watch the birds fly between the trees and grab fish from the river. All the villages we visited we could see from the top of the mountain. The ones we had yet to visit but only heard of were from our grandparents we could only guess their location.
We always had more than enough. The harvest from every previous season was more than enough to sustain us. Life was good. Why would we notice something as subtle as Chiron spinning in the opposite direction? It was a slow breakdown of the eco-system. We knew we had to leave. Chiron is the name of our home planet. I wouldn’t be pointing that out to you if we weren’t on your planet⎯Earth. And Chiron? We will return. We hope. That’s not lack of faith and action.
Tales have been passed down through our ancestors. Accounts telling of their home planet disintegrating due to an exploding star. Chiron is not our people’s first planet. I’m a grown man. And still, our grandparents refuse to allow us to question their parents about their home planet. But that doesn’t stop our ancestors from reminiscing about their planet before the star’s implosion. We miss home. We’re not far away just a short flight from between Saturn and Uranus to Earth; between Saturn and Uranus...that’s where Chiron is located.
You would blaze right by us on your way from Saturn’s video gaming moons: Daphnis and Polydeuces to Uranus’ video gaming moons: Cordelia and Perdita. No place to live. No place to raise a family. Video game tournaments go on non-stop. When they shut down on one moon the game is transferred to another. The arenas seat a million if we want to attend. Or we will watch them on our computer from home. But it’s more fun to attend. The dimensional depth on the screens are so great you believe you are in the game.
If we return. When we return. We will likely have to live underground. At the time of the shift, the tunnels we explored were inhabited by wildlife. Their way of life made exploring the tunnels fatal for us. The caves⎯there was only a handful that could hold a family. We didn’t have time to build homes underground by the time we realized that the sun rising in the west would cause devastating consequences. We only had time to load what we could and travel to the planet closest to our own atmosphere. There is a planet in the Andromeda galaxy⎯Charis. But it’s inhabitants look too different from Chironians, we would never blend in as we do on Earth.
The shift in the sunrise bought about hurricanes, tidal waves, blizzards. Earthquakes? No. Never in Chiron’s existence. The Gods spared us our land breaking up. But there’s a first time for everything. Our planet’s rotation never spun in the opposite direction. We continue to pray the earthquakes never come. This way the Chironians that remained can continue building homes for us underground.
I am taking a big risk writing this. I would like to reveal our presence. It should not be a big deal since we and the Terrans are from the same galaxy. I would like to thank the Terrans or beings of Earth for their hospitality. There are those who have made it known that a visitor from another planet is welcome any time. But there are those we intermingle with outside our neighborhood who have stated that they would not be happy to learn that we arrived here surreptitiously in the fall of the Earth year of 1999. It was a very festive fall, to say the least with added parties peppered among the holidays to celebrate the turn of the century.
It is the summer of 2020. Almost twenty years since our arrival. We have remained in contact with the home planet. The sun rising in the west⎯the shift...did not destroy Chiron, but the sunrise and sunset never returned to normal. Or should I say the way we knew it? We still have a lot to learn about our planet. Much the same way we still have a lot to learn about Earth and the other planets in our galaxy.
The last handful of messages have reported that it was safe to come home. It said: We have finished building homes underground. We have built a network of tunnels in the mountain ranges as well as below the mountain range. We don’t have four seasons anymore. The days of spring planting, summer escapades, and fall frolicking and harvesting are over. It’s only...winter.
When I sent back the message asking where are we to grow food. The message was returned: Just come home.
I don’t like the way that sounds⎯expressed many of the Chironians after they heard the message. When many of the children heard that there would be no more deep-sea diving or treks to the summit where they could reach out and touch Saturn and Uranus, they decided they wanted to stay here with the Terrans.
We have done a great job keeping our existence on Earth a secret. I told them. We know some Terrans have accepted the existence of extraterrestrials, while others...they’re simply not ready to treat us as civilized. I urged them: We need to go home and work out whatever challenges there is that face us.