The Grey's Song
The Grey sat uneasily in the
He was as uncomfortable with
As we are with his. He was flanked
by four men in black,
Sombre looking creatures with
no lives, no faces.
We filed into the room very
quietly, very apprehensively,
As should be expected on such
The Grey was to sing, after all.
Outside, the word went on its
The first thing I noticed
was that the Grey looked sad,
Sadder than usual. Those great
almond eyes have shown
Vast emotion in the past, but
he was calm now, at peace,
As if he'd done this before.
I think I realized then that he was leaving.
The President nodded security
to leave us,
Meaning the the tapes downstairs
will start recording
In a couple of minutes. He nodded
again, to the Grey,
Who merely lifted a long, slim
finger in acknowledgement.
All was silent for a moment,
as if the Grey was
Allowing us the time to get the
tapes moving. At last,
He moved. Resting his scrawny
grey elbows on his scrawny grey knees,
He began to sing.
He first sang the history
of the Song,
It was an old song, sung many
A Song of many partings, many
Of birth, death, and joy.
Downstairs, the tape machines
Recording every alien nuance.
The Faceless ones in this room
Almost became transparent, as
if the Grey needed their substance for the Song.
I must have missed the beginning;
he's been singing
Deep, then high for a while now,
and the tempo is building,
Increasing until it seems there
are two simultaneous notes held steady,
In harmony, I'm either seeing
real stars, or I'm about to pass out.
Subtle changes around the
sound in this room, weaving,
I have passed out - either that,
or we're all Martians,
Going about our daily doings,
the Song weaves Sister Worlds,
But none of us are ready for
this, thank god for the tapes.
Now the voice is discordant,
Just like all of us here in this
Darting frantic glances at the
door, impossible voice
Saying impossible things! Relax,
it's only the Grey, singing.
The Song sweeps broad, then
homes in on a single hair
Of my eyebrow, startling me.
Something has struck home,
Somewhere; the President straightens
in his chair,
Looks around as if he's wondering
where he is.
Me, I'm the anecdotal Martian
parachutist who jumped in March,
And landed in December. Things
changed as I fell,
My fall slowed with every minute,
Visions of the Martian landscape
blended with Earth.
The Song passed over me, I
straightened in my chair,
Wondering where I was; I looked
around as the Grey blinked,
Eyelids like stage curtains,
closing inwards together. Alien.
Disturbing visions gathered like
predators, and I wanted to run.
At the very last, the Grey's
voice once more became singular,
The high notes and the low became
distinct from each other,
And slowed. The Men in black
regained as much of a prescience as they ever had,
And somehow we were all touching,
I hope no other race in the
universe is insensitive enough
To conclude a centuries old relationship
with a mere handshake,
I suppose I should be grateful
we didn't offer the Grey
Wine and cheese and finger food
for a goodbye.
Play it again, Sam
The transcript was ready the
I didn't know how to react; whether
to jump for joy,
Or cry for the end of the World.
I would only live
To see the fun begin, two generations
down the track it will get serious.
The Greys must leave, the
In a few short years their craft
will no longer
Be able to land on Earth,
Due to a slight decrease in Terrestrial
The transcript continued:
"In a few years, the gravitational
Reduction will be measurable
- a few years after that, it will be
Self-evident. Within the next
century, Luna will have drifted away,
The Earth will not have the gravity
to keep her captive any longer."
That scared me, until I read
what the Grey had sung,
"But fear not, evolution
is not blind - she served the Martians
As she will serve you, your needs
will not be unheeded".
It seems my great-grandchildren
will have some serious adapting to do.
I fell asleep today, in my
dotage, and sent a glass
plummeting down upon marble tiles.
When I opened my old eyes, I
saw afresh the 'antigrav' toys,
The 'floating' chairs, and remembered
the Grey's last words:
"Welcome. At last, welcome.
All intelligence comes to this,
Eventually. We made this Song
for the people of Mars, when
This happened to them. It happened
to my people aeons ago,
You now give our home planet
the flattering name of 'Asteroid Belt'".
"So be it, then. Welcome,
welcome, but we must go,
Join us if you will, in a hundred
years or more,
To begin The Watch on Venus,
next in line."
I velcroed the glass back
on to the place mat and went back to sleep.
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