I fear I’ll never know why they did the things that they did. Yet, this is the very question I find at the end of every shred of truth in my quest to understand these humans.
Why did they do what they did? This rudimentary, fundamental question has haunted me since the first day I began studying these creatures. From the very first memory I transposed…that hazy, clouded image of a mother violently stripping the bottle away from its child’s thirsted lips, I’ve always wondered – why? For what purpose was this done?
It is this that sparked my quest into the deepest levels of their consciousness; a quest motivated not only by my lingering curiosity, but by the ever-present weight of my superior’s expectations. I must understand the workings behind the human psyche. I must understand the reason behind their actions. I have been privy to countless written recollections, detailing the lives of this species. Why did his mother protect her child from the dangers of the world? Why did that General fight to the death to protect his subordinates? Why did a tribal shaman perform dances to ensure a bountiful harvest? What forces were behind these behaviors? What thoughts created them?
I must understand…why.
Such a curious concept. It exists behind everything we do, does it not? I used to think so. Yes, I used to tell myself that every single action, every single behavior, every single thing we ever do is motivated by conscious thought and intention. But I was wrong. Much of what we do in life is done with little or no thought whatsoever. Breathing, for example. Do we think every time we take a breath? I think not. And yet we do it, no?
This question is why I am having difficulty compartmentalizing the minutia of human behavior. What things do I file as instinctual behavior, and what things do I classify as conscious behavior? It is a task my superiors have asked of me, and quite frankly, I do not yet know where to draw the line. What behaviors were under these humans’ control? What actions manifested due to the circumstances at a given time? What could be helped, and what couldn’t? I am facing a particular unease in my attempts to discern the instinctive from the intended.
The more answers I seek, the more questions I seem to find. If I am to speak openly, I am not confident that I will complete my reports within the time frame I have been given. There is a noticeable degree of behavioral nuance from the recounts I have been combing through, making a thorough analysis of human activity a tricky shell to crack, indeed. This question of why may be my undoing.
The answer continues to elude me.
My superiors are hounding me.
They claim to know more about these humans than I do. Obviously, this is impossible. I have spent an entire career studying them, unearthing their records and artifacts over many decades. No, those who oversee my operation are simply misinformed. They have no idea what it is I am carving into. My research has produced the most comprehensive account of humanity available in the entire Collective’s library. They were primitive, to be sure, but I maintain there was a certain brilliance within them. My peers point to the ancient transcripts I have deciphered when they speak of humans; accounts which tell the tale of a world fraught with conflict and violence. Yes, it is obvious based upon such interpretations that there was much turmoil plaguing their civilization.
And yet, my research indicates that they lived on for many thousands of years, despite such conditions. How did they achieve this?
These questions haunt me. I shall unearth this mystery, I know it. The truth is here somewhere, waiting to be discovered.
I will find the answer.
I have made a breakthrough.
Today I discovered a most perplexing machine. The device, which I find hard to describe physically, seems as if it somehow stored visual records of the lives and events of certain individuals. The object resembles a small box with a circular opening on one end. I couldn’t believe what I saw after tinkering this the thing. I was able to actually witness with my own eyes and ears how they looked, interacted, and audibly communicated. I find it strange that they would record themselves in such a way, rather than simply living their lives.
It is a curious concept to me, I will say. I can only presume that they preserved such events so the recollection of their civilization perseveres. I have come upon many of these mechanisms during my research in the field, but never before has one displayed any sort of operational integrity. It was truly fascinating to watch them behave.
After viewing everything the box seemed able to show, I found myself even more confused than before. From what I have read, humans were somewhat unimpressive physically. They had no dominant methods of locomotion; they could not run fast, they were weak muscularly, and they had no definitive means of defending themselves from a stronger species. Their superior intellect over other predators was all that kept them alive for so long.
What the box showed me, however, was the life of a gifted individual that displayed characteristics which are completely new to me. Without effort, this human projected its body into the air, flying with no observable means to do so. What’s more, it appeared that it was physically capable of things no other human could possibly do. During one moment of the visual recollection, it lifted one of the vessels the humans used for transportation with only one hand. This individual even wore bizarre clothing, stylistically incompatible with everyone around. It wore a red shawl on the back, along with an unusual form fitting suit of sorts, resembling the color of the planets oceans. A geometric pentagon was knitted on the bust of the individual’s suit, which contained a single scribe of their archaic language.
I cannot yet determine what this means in regard to my task. What kind of civilization was this? How was it that this specific human could perform such impossible feats? Had it somehow harnessed the full potential of universal physics, enabling it to navigate our reality however it pleased?
My research must dive deeper into this anomalous finding. I am relentlessly compelled to discover who these particularly capable beings were. Perhaps these privileged few carried knowledge beyond our understanding.
There is much work to be done.