He was incredibly young when it happened, so logically almost no memory was retained.
He remembers his mom, and the way she dropped him off at daycare with a tired gaze. She had barely left when the world started to quake and fall out from beneath everyone.
The daycare was only on the distant outskirts of the city, so they weren’t directly in a center that got attacked. Everyone still felt it, though. The terrifying minute where the world stood still and for some reason every single member of their species was frozen in fear.
Something entered their world that hadn’t in a very long time.
Like everything else, the daycare became chaotic once the world span back into action. Parents that hadn’t yet left grabbed their kids and ran, but those children who were left were herded into a back room with the door barricaded shut.
There was something in the air.
The second the roof caved in, he jumped.
Landing in a desert, a kind old man found him. Told him where he was, and how incredibly peculiar it was for a toddler to be wandering the desert during the off season.
The off season, he came to learn, was much more dangerous than it was named.
Six years he lingered on Yerine. Six years he lived on a planet where he felt he didn’t belong.
When he left, of course he didn’t have any understanding of his species’ physiology. He was four, for God’s sake. Yet on Yerine, living with the man who found him, he came to the understanding that he was not the same.
Those who lived on Yerine were thankfully close to humans, all for quirks. Used to the more demanding conditions of the desert, they were able to walk for miles and miles without need for water. They thrived off of sunlight.
He, on the other hand, did not share those traits. He thrived in the dark, and required water much more regularly. He was much stronger than most natives, and seemed mesmerized with space.
The planet Yerine as a whole preferred to stay on the ground, where they thought it was safe and predictable. Very few even had the guts to travel over water.
He found this largely ridiculous, mostly because a majority of their planet was covered in water. “It’s better than the desert,” his argument would go.
It was his 10th birthday when another person fell out of the sky. Her hair shone like gold, and her eyes instantly narrowed when she noticed him staring at her so intently.
She told him to close his mouth or it’d get stuck like that.
Her name was Gloss and to him, she was a goddess.
The one time he called her that, she smacked him with his own shoe.
It was through her that he found out what happened. She was like him, she said. She notified him that their planet was still functional, if a bit deserted. Their species was slowly crawling back to populate it, but millions had yet to be found.
She was with a group that had taken up residence in a North American mountain range, and there were other settlements popping up across the globe.
Six years and it’d taken this long to get society going again.
When he told her that it was such a relief to meet another human after so long, she laughed. She then brashly announced that “Sorry, buddy, but we were never human.”
His entire world stopped once more… or so it seemed. Gloss later informed him that he had just passed out. He did it again, too, when she told him that they were part of a species called the ‘Cattlayans.’
So they were the aliens all along?
He preferred to ignore that stunning turn of events. And the fact that Gloss was a little too blunt for her own good.
Instead, he asked to go home.
Six years later, he breathed his first breath of mountain air. Gloss lead him up to a building that may have been a ski lodge a long time ago, but was now their base of operations. At that moment there were roughly 10 people present, but it still felt incredible.
Then Gloss pushed him into the pool.
It still felt incredible.