Twelve Months to Midnight
A Brief History of the Relations Between the Fraal and the Humans
- as explained to the best of Olexandr Alimov’s knowledge and understanding, transcribed into better English than his thick Belorussian accent allowed
It should be noted that Olexandr is not a historian, has never set foot on his people’s home planet, and is not 100% sure of the factual nature of everything he said. This is his best memory of what he learned as a child in school, and through his adult life talking to others. He admits that there are some gaps in his knowledge, some assumptions probably made on his part, and some items will probably be plain wrong, but this is what he comes up with as the closest to the truth.
The Fraal are a naturally peaceful species of aliens with psionic abilities, commonly referred to on Earth as the Greys. The uniting factor that really makes a Fraal a Fraal is their respect and honor – that is, if an agreement is made, they stick to it. A Fraal does not lie or intentionally mislead, and does not go back on an agreement. They believe in an eye for an eye, and otherwise do not attack unprovoked. Every Fraal possesses an ability (similar to highlanders) to be aware when one of their own has died (and his/her exact identity), although no other knowledge is usually known at a distance (unless a Fraal specifically has dedicated his abilities to maintaining this knowledge).
Many thousands of years ago, the Fraal found themselves on an interstellar journey to collect resources (primarily gold) from suitable planets. Along the way they stumbled upon Earth – home to abundant resources and easy labor, one might make a pun and say it was literally a gold mine. They set up bases around the globe and lived peacefully among its people (it was easier and more enjoyable to be viewed as beneficial gods than as evil task masters), acquiring their work in exchange for luxuries of life – food, clothing, and simple technology (which would later be lost to history). They constructed buildings, usually in pyramidal form, and helped advance many civilizations in ways that would have taken centuries on their own.
Once things settled, most Fraal moved on, but some stayed behind to control the mines. In order to better organize the humans under a severely reduced Fraal presence, the Fraal established agreements with certain leaders, granting them special powers in exchange for assistance in controlling their people. These people became known as “chosen” or “initiates.” At first, these leaders were granted living artifacts – objects which were alive and able to do marvelous things if treated properly. These artifacts generally took the form of scepters, crowns, books, staffs, rings, swords, etc. You know the drill.
Eventually the chosen humans wanted more. They did not want to be removed of their power when separated from their artifacts, so Fraal scientists worked on a solution. Recognizing that Fraal and Human DNA was strikingly similar, they found ways to encode their own powers into the DNA of humans. At first, chosen humans were granted only small, lesser powers, and were already viewed as favored by the gods, or even gods themselves.
Soon, scientists were interbreeding between the two species, and to their surprise a fully functioning hybrid was created. Slightly short of stature, still possessing frail bodies and large oval shaped eyes reminiscent of their Fraal ancestry, these half breeds could still intermingle with humans and might not be noticed. Of interest, while the Fraal have no ears, and Humans have, well, “normal” ears, the half breed ears are pointed. (Half breeds cannot sense when another half breed or Fraal has died, however pure bloods retain this ability with regards to the muggles.) Half bloods are generally looked down upon by pure bloods as somewhat of second hand citizens.
One day, Fraal began hastily packing their things to leave – there was war at home, and every Fraal was needed. They were forced to leave behind countless artifacts and technologies that they regretted having to leave in the hands of the humans. Before leaving, they struck a final accord with the human leaders, blind with greed and interested only in personal gain:
The Fraal would return on a date which, in today’s calendar, is known as 12/21/2012. Upon returning, they expect to be paid something in the order of trillions of ounces of gold and other minerals, as if they had been here the entire time. If they are not paid, the entire human race is forfeit. A caveat: the Humans will be destroyed by their own hand (Olexandr is not entirely sure what this point entails, but he is pretty sure that he remember it). In return, initiates were granted even more powers, to help them keep their people in line and working hard. They truly were seen as gods now.
A few centuries later, with the seas of war beginning to calm, some half breeds were sent back on a good will mission to make sure things were in order, and to offer assistance. What they found was shocking, although they realized afterwards that it was just human nature – they found a war torn, divided earth, driven by devotion to the blood lines of long dead initiates. Barely any indication of genetic psionics could be found among the humans of this day, but many of the living artifacts were still in use.
In an attempt to reign in the humans, a new plan was devised: too many initiates had been chosen last time, and were able to battle each other for supremacy. This time, one should be chosen, who would unite the people under his banner. He would be a prophet to the gods…this failed, of course, though the experiment was repeated many times throughout history. Many were chosen to be leaders of the entire species – people known as holy men today (Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, etc). But while they succeeded in uniting people from across the globe, there were always those who resisted, and there were always those who stayed loyal to the last prophet who had come and gone. All the while, the half breeds stayed hidden, manipulating the chosen by speaking to them telepathically, appearing only when necessary (and being recognized as “angels”). Eventually hope was lost, and so the half breeds became strictly observers, hiding in the wilderness. Occasionally seen, they entered the folklore as elves, with elements of their desire for gold seeping into tales of leprechauns.
For centuries, they stayed in hiding, until finally the belief in them died. They bred amongst themselves, and sporadically would receive an influx of new arrivals. Olexandr was one such arrival, coming to earth in 1920 with his wife and young boys, trying to escape some bad decisions he had made with someone he only refers to as “Francois,” with a shudder.
Things got hairy over the years, he left his wife but would rather not talk about it. He took the now grown boys. They got kidnapped, he opted to leave the Fraal nation. Contacted you. You’re up to speed now.