No one told Mrs. Eebie that her newborn was a beautiful baby, for little Cjaneash most certainly was not that. The child’s small skull was oddly shaped and there were strange flaps of soft bone around her ears. It even made odd gurgling noises in her throat instead of communicating telepathically like the other infants. There was no use in prancing around it: Cjaneash was a throwback: a genetic echo of a time when Bissenites lived above ground. But there were so few live births nowadays that Mrs. Eebie was overjoyed to hold the small bundle of joy in her arms.
Cjaneash was a good-natured baby whose personality fit in wonderfully with the happy inhabitants of the Fifth Hall of the Seven Sisters.
As her daughter grew, Mrs. Eebie taught her to speak with her mind, although Cjaneash occasionally made that strange sound with her throat if startled. When she entered adolescence, Cjaneash discovered how to style her hair so that most of her physical faults were hidden. Everyone knew that she would never marry, but she had many friends and was as intelligent as possible and open to new ideas.
So it was not out of character when she became excited instead of frightened when she was told about the Aliens. All Bissenites had accepted the premise that life might exist elsewhere in the universe, but that vague idea had now landed at their doorstep.
“The welcome ceremony is going to be held at 1630,” thought Dintae to the rest of the teenagers around her.
“What took them so long to get here,” quarried Busic as he followed the girls towards the Great Hall. “I thought they landed over three weeks ago."
Cjaneash stopped leading their small band long enough to answer his question. “The aliens had living creatures in their fluids. These creatures had to be killed before the aliens could meet us.”
“How do you know that,” Busic fired back.
“She’s studying aboveground history,” smirked Dintae smugly.
Cjaneash almost blushed. “There are legends that all ancient Bissenite clans had to be cleansed before we descended.”
“I’ll see you later,” thought Dintae loudly as she raced towards her family. The eight teenagers filtered through the crowd, each finding their own families. Eedie’s aura mellowed as Cjaneash joined her towards the front of the crowd.
Over a million Bissenites stood in front of the Staleamic Sea as its gentle waves lapped the shores. Overhead, a holographic star blazed, giving light to those below. All eyes were now focused on the elevated mouth of the Great Hall. A sonic wall had been activated between the crowd and the visitors which would act as a translating device.
The exalted Governor of the Seven Sisters walked through the opening, followed by five figures in helmeted suits.
“Gentle people of the Clan of Passell, I am here to introduce to you visitors from outside our world.” He stepped aside as the five aliens walked forward.
A tall male alien pushed his way to the front. At his hand signal, the group removed their helmets. After stepping to the edge of the translation wall he began to use his throat to make noise. “People of Mars I bring you greetings from the inhabitants of Earth,” shouted Captain Shiva, before quickly stumbling to a halt. All eyes were focused now on a Bissenite three rows from the front – a female who stood taller than the rest.
“Look Captain,” whispered Lieutenant Straker, “there’s a human among them.”
“And what a beauty she is,” whispered the Captain, beginning to smile.
Cjanease began to smile also.