Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Microstory 1622: Invasive Species

I mentioned before how Efilverse was the second universe that the Ochivari went to when they discovered their ability to travel the bulkverse. I wouldn’t call it specifically intentional, but it was at least a deliberate experiment. Before this, it happened by accident. I don’t need to go into detail, but bulk travel is part of Ochivari physiology. It’s encoded in their DNA. But unlike their progenitor, they don’t open portals by punching invisible dimensional barriers. They do it by fighting against each other quite violently, and painfully, and it comes at a great cost. I don’t really know the ratio, but it’s something like, for three Ochivari to break the membrane, a fourth has to die. And for four to cross over, two have to die. Or something like that. I don’t think it goes up perfectly mathematically, and it has to do with total mass, and I believe some deaths are more powerful than others. Anyway, it’s not something that happens easily, which explains why they didn’t discover the phenomenon in ancient days. It just so happens that two Ochivari were fighting both against each other, and against two other Ochivari. I’m sure the squabble was stupid and petty, but this little fight had extreme consequences for the entire bulkverse. The first two decided to stand back to back, so they could face their mutual enemy head-on. They were angry, though, and anger is a powerful emotion. When an Ochivar is emotionally charged, little flaps will rise from their back. It’s an evolutionary response, designed to promote their own survival against a threat. Even though they kind of look like spearheads, these flaps are flaccid and harmless, which is why they don’t actually use them in battle. They’re not weapons; they’re only meant to be just for show, and everyone has always believed that. They had little reason to press their backs against each other for an extended period of time. It was really just happenstance that it occurred this day. While the two of them were locked in this position, a special fluid was secreted from under their stress flaps, and mixed with each other. This prompted a sort of trance-like state, where the two fighters became locked in a glandular battle with each other. They were unable to move, and they looked strange, which gave their enemies pause. Once it was over, one of the Ochivari essentially imploded, and tore a hole in the membrane of the universe, which sucked the other three in. This was the first time the Ochivari crossed over, and ended up in a random universe, populated by normal humans.

These humans were unremarkable until this moment. Their technology advanced at a reasonable pace, religion held them back a little, they didn’t have time travel. Everything, according to most metrics, was totally fine. The Ochivari survivors were horrified by what had happened to them. These humans were other, and they were dangerous. So they attacked. They wreaked havoc all over this world’s version of New York City, in the attempt to get back home, in anger at the humans, and still while trying to kill each other. People died in the onslaught, and so did one of the Ochivari. The humans were surprised, and not because they didn’t know aliens could possibly be a thing, but because their nature was not what they expected. They hadn’t come up with many invasion fiction stories. They weren’t naïve; just hopeful. They wanted to believe that aliens would come as visitors, rather than as hostile forces. The Ochivari’s arrival was the most demoralizing thing to happen to them. The two surviving Ochivari managed to get themselves away from the crowd long enough to try to recreate the circumstances that brought them there. Of course, one survived this next trip, while the other did not. While he returned to his world to spread his story, the humans kind of fell apart. This one incident changed their whole outlook on the universe. They became angry isolationists, bent on killing anything that came their way from outside. They assumed the aliens would be back for a full-scale invasion. It never happened. The Ochivari never came through, and this version of Earth wasn’t situated in a galaxy of resident aliens. They were all alone. Not knowing this, they became more and more militaristic, but since there weren’t any more aliens, they decided to start warring amongst themselves...and it destroyed them. It was probably why the Ochivari felt like they never needed to go back.

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