Greetings Pentans!

In early July, I started revising a story set in my Human Republic Universe. When I first wrote the story some years ago, I had written that the Pentans (one of the alien species in my universe) had arrived at Earth in 2009. They observed us – learning our language and customs – before making contact with us in 2056.

I had forgotten that they arrived this year, and I thought I should write a blog welcoming them and letting my fellow Humans know that we’re now being watched. But when should they get here? I didn’t want to make them arrive on some important anniversary or important day. So July 4th and 20th were out. As well as August 6th (Hiroshima), 9th (Nagasaki), 14th (the release of District 9), 29th (Judgment Day, see Terminator 2: Judgment Day), and September 11th. At first I was going to use August 3rd – one month after I had the idea – but I didn’t have this written up at the time. So today will do. 😛

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The Pentans are amphibious pentopi (octopi minus three) who evolved in the oceans of a world some 300 light-years from Earth. Tens of thousands of years ago, the Cetans – intelligent whales from the same oceans – began educating the Pentan ancestors, helping them become an intelligent species. The Pentans then explored the land of their world – and in time space – and shared what they discovered with their teachers.

Right now they are a few centuries into their several millennia project of constructing a new homeworld. Their star is expanding into a Red Giant, but neither the Pentans nor the Cetans want to disturb the evolutionary potential on other worlds. Therefore, they are building a small planet out of asteroids and comets that will act like a giant space station which will float through interstellar space.

They are pacifists who are methodically exploring space. In the 3000 years since they developed tunneling technology – allowing them to cross interstellar distances with transient wormholes – they have only explored about 250 light-years from their homeworld. Earth was still some 50 light-years beyond that, but then they detected our radio signals, so they came to learn about us.

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What does it mean to us now that the Pentans are “here?” Well, not much. As I said, the Pentans don’t reveal themselves until 2056. Until then we Humans are oblivious of their scrutiny. (They only watch us from a distance, tapping into our communication systems and using stealth satellites. They don’t do anal probes.) So, the next time you’re surfing porn on the net, just remember, a Pentan might be watching.

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