The Kaa-tah arrived in early Spring, as the snow was melting. They came down in unsettled areas, their small landing craft hiding easily in forests, in deep grass, in rolling hills. They were picked up on radar, but even so, falling a few a day, all over the globe, it took the world’s authorities too long to recognize the invasion for what it was.
The Kaa-tah did not immediately engage local populations; instead, they put the robots and tools they had brought to good use, building structures, setting up small, isolated settlements and beginning to manufacture more tools, more advanced robots.
The first humans to discover Kaa-tah-eh settlements were gently rebuffed, sent away with a light smattering of weapons fire.
Those that were more persistent were dealt with more harshly. They were knocked unconscious – some were killed, as the Kaa-tah learned the limitations of their new neighbors – and carried, by robots, out past the boundaries of Kaa-tah territory into what was clearly human territory. The Kaa-tah were not ready for company.
The humans – being, after all, human – did not take no for an answer, and continued to test the Kaa-tah-eh defenses. The Kaa-tah, in return, continued to push back gently, returning the humans to whence they came. They fought from hiding, from inside robotic suits, from inside tanks appropriated from the human attackers and changed to suit their needs; they fought with technology and remote-control robots, so that it had been two years and the humans still did not know what their invaders looked like.
The human governments grew first angry and then frightened and still angrier. They could not touch these invaders. They couldn’t speak to them. They couldn’t even see them; they didn’t even know if they breathed Earth’s atmosphere or were using some sort of regulator. All they knew was that they had superior defenses and weaponry to every known human technology.
(Some people doubted that they were even alien; the settlements, they claimed, were a government conspiracy).
The Kaa-tah had been on Earth for two and a half years, by best estimates, before they deigned to speak to any human. From seven settlements, one on each continent, one representative came forward. Seven Kaa-tah-eh vehicles travelled from their chosen sites to the nearest human settlement. Seven Kaa-ten stepped from their vehicles and bowed to the nearest human.
Cell phones, traffic cameras, video surveillance, and one lucky news crew recorded the first known images and the first known words of the Kaa-tah to humanity.
“Greetings to humanity.”
They spoke in the primary language of each continent, and then again in the secondary. Their accents were obvious, but their words were clear enough.
“We are the Kaa-tah, and we are here to stay. Inconvenience will be mild. Do not attempt to remove us.”
They were humanoid in shape, with sizes from tall child to very large adult. Their ears, most commented, appeared catlike: pointed, furry, patterned. They appeared to have tails which matched their ears.
And, although early reports from scientists cautioned against applying human standards to aliens, they appeared to have some form of sexual dimorphism.
“To facilitate relations, we will be taking one human into each of our settlements. Those who wish to be considered for this position should present themselves at this location in exactly one month.”
There was speculation that even the unflappable-seeming Kaa-tah were surprised at the number of volunteers they received.Want more?