Not Alone in the Universe

Reading Time: 3 minutes


More than thirty years have passed since we were made sure that we were not alone in the universe.

Aliens appeared unexpectedly in Jupiter’s orbit: a huge space fleet with unknown intentions.

Our governments, of course, did not immediately tell us. But, in principle, they could not remain silent for long.

However, soon enough, the aliens contacted us.

Messages in several world languages were sent on different radio frequencies.

They said they would not harm us.

They said they would leave after a while.

(Image by Julius H. from Pixabay)

And most importantly, they said: “Please don’t interfere with us.”

As if we could do much!


That was all.

Of course, people are people. The sensation was accompanied by the fuss of politicians, covered by the media. Not without loud statements, of course:

“Aliens are preparing for an invasion!”

“The government is secretly negotiating with the aliens!”


We were simply shown our place.

They even said something to us. I would say they showed remarkable generosity.

The fleet moved around the solar system for three decades. During this time, they managed to recycle Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and many main belt asteroids. Then they headed straight for the sun.

We were afraid. We trembled. We had our hopes.

But they just disappeared, taking the resources they needed.

The talking heads in the media and various interpreters have not calmed down so far.

It is so difficult for many of us to accept the truth.

We invented fairy tales in which kind aliens help humanity. We made up horror stories about invasion, enslavement, or destruction. We considered ourselves worthy of close attention. But the real aliens just glimpsed at us. What a blow to human pride!

My father was one of those who’d hoped. He had a reputation for being eccentric even before the aliens came. With the first news, he firmly believed that the aliens would save us. I remember he did not show even a shadow of fear, which was strange. Personally, I was afraid. And not only me: probably, most of the population of Earth, who did not know what to expect, was at least somewhat afraid of the terrible scenarios drawn by the imagination.

Dad always, for as long as I can remember, took the suffering of humankind to heart. And he sincerely hoped aliens would help us.

But those space travellers destroyed all illusions with their messages, and he could not live as before. He could not live anymore at all.

The night after the messages, he left home. Later, it turned out that he climbed to the fifteenth floor of an unfinished building and jumped out of the window.

Indeed, he was a strange man. He worried about humanity but did not think about loved ones. How many were like him on this planet?

Most of my life took place during the stay of aliens in the solar system.

Scientists have achieved little in their research (we are told so, at least). They say alien technologies are simply unimaginable for us.

Those aliens just left.

A final shot to the head. A second blow to our ego.

They did not find anything interesting in us.

If they were looking for it at all, of course.


This story previously appeared in 365 Tomorrows, 2023.
Edited by Marie Ginga


Igor Dyachishin is a speculative fiction author living in Bryansk, Russia. He prefers to write science fiction, and his interest in science and philosophy is often reflected in his works. Among his favorite authors are Peter Watts, Greg Egan and China Miéville.