Prologue

Fourth Wall: Broken

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Dear Reader,

You are dead.

You died in the fourth month in the year 2053 of the Gregorian calendar. You weren't alone in your death. Your entire species went extinct.

I wasn't born when Earth was destroyed, but others like me were. We've always been here, always living among you. We are Anunnaki, the people of Eridu, and we came to Earth in peace.

The first Anunnaki settlers touched down on Earth before humans were fully walking upright. Only those that possessed the same range of skin tones as humans were sent to your planet. The various shades of cerulean many Anunnaki are born with would have immediately given us away.  Our scouts were given strict rules not to influence or harm any species. They were ordered to only investigate your planet for possible colonies and collect information on any intelligent life. Eridu was -and still is- terribly overcrowded, and the Anunnaki people needed a new place to settle. When individuals live for more than five centuries, planets become too small very quickly. So, we looked to yours for the answer.

We were there when you built your first fire, when you hunted and gathered. We watched as you built the Great Pyramids and mourned with you as you lost the people of Pompeii. We rejoiced in your flourishing civilizations and stood by helplessly while they collapsed. The Anunnaki did not intervene when dictators ruled, nor when mass genocides took place across the Earth. We did not step in when you threatened to destroy yourselves with nuclear war. We allowed catastrophic mistakes.

We lived among one another for centuries. Many of your ancient civilizations turned us into Gods when they became aware of our true nature, but such religions were discouraged among the Anunnaki. Mating between our species was strictly forbidden once it was determined that doing so would result in a chromosomal disorder in the offspring. Of course, some of you fell in love with some of us and us with you, but no children ever resulted from those unions.

When it was obvious the destruction of Earth was upon us, we fled in a mass evacuation. There were lengthy debates about whether we should save your species. Advocates spoke of evacuating some of you along with the Anunnaki, but it was eventually decided that trusting your kind with the knowledge of our existence was too risky. Humans were notoriously untrustworthy en masse.

So, you were exterminated. All of you.

Not at first, of course. You had time to prepare, collect important artifacts and documents and seal them underground. You even tried a few tactical operations to save your planet but nothing worked. Some of you survived the initial impact, but the fallout eventually claimed those that clung on. The only sign of humanity that survived were the things you left in capsules underground and the pieces of yourselves that you imprinted on us.

Things like the entire collection of Shakespeare and paintings from a museum in France I can't remember the name of. Writers like Hemingway and Vonnegut lived on beside writers like Flynn and King. The Matrix trilogy survived, as did the entire collection of Doctor Who. Thousands of items filled the capsules, and when the dust settled, and we returned to Earth and found them, we restored everything we could. Your styles and trends, your politics and popular culture, even something called a meme, not only live on, but still enrich the lives we live today.

There is a lot of dispute over which society influenced the other more.

We brought you dancing, and you gave us surfing. It was you who discovered the dinosaurs, much to our chagrin, and us who found the lost city of Atlantis. You gave us cooperative sports and we gave you time and the solar system, even sacrificing a few of our own to your burning stakes just to further your knowledge. We gave you one of your first advanced measurement systems, which you then improved upon greatly. Many of us still use our traditional system, but yours is undoubtedly better. We, ironically, taught you humanism and helped you combat dogma. You taught us ambition, although most of us still prefer to live without it.

There are thousands of things we have shown and taught one another, too many to distinguish in this short note to you. Just know that although you were not aware of us, we were aware of you. We are grateful for the planet you once called home, as it is the planet many of us call home again. Thank you for teaching us, working beside us, and loving us.

Perhaps your species will evolve again. Maybe you will work your way out of the river and onto the sand once more. Out of the trees and onto your feet. Out of the dark and into the light. Maybe, one day, you will be who you once were. Until then, we will do our best to honor you.

Signed,

Talibat Damuzi


Day One: Chapter One