All this terrible talk of alien ships being stolen, and alien lifeforms becoming stranded! It concerns me that my own ship might someday be stolen, or worse, caught by some deep-sea fishing outfit and sliced up for consumption in some we’ll-eat-anything-that-moves area. If she were merely stolen, I could easily have her back, for she is bonded to me and will come at my call, when our time for departure is nigh, but were she to be caught and eaten! I would have no way to leave this world, or to deliver my findings to the Inter-universal Research Council, or to download my data and undergo the necessary metamorphosis that would allow me to “reincarnate” and experience a new situation here. My mind might become so full of this world’s noise that I could lose all of what passes for my sanity, at which point, my original (rather explosive in this kind of atmosphere) form would intrude upon this denser one and attempt to occupy the same space, and I assure you, gentle readers, that this would not be something pleasant for any of us to experience. Not that any of you would remember it, being as you’d all be reduced to atomic bits within some few nanoseconds, but I would remember it, and what is worse, I’d be flung who-knows-where, without even a mothership to cling to. Homelessness taken to the point of no return! No one in the vast emptiness of deep space can read your “help me get home” signs, after all.
Ahem. Yes, well. Where was I? Oh, right. My ship. At the moment, I am reasonably certain that my ship lies at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean–though she might have, out of her boredom, gone roaming, and could be anywhere in the depths of this odd world’s waters, eating who knows what, over-educating the underwater flora and fauna with her intelligent excretions, and absorbing her own set of data on this world–Earth, that is, as it is known to its bipedal inhabitants. What my kind call this world is of no consequence, for it is the Earth peoples’ perspectives that interest me, and not my own people’s. I’ve not come here to evangelize our philosophy, or to “save” humanity, or to spread our superior learning and technology; I’ve come only to observe and record the sentient beings here and their fascinating ways. I have spent many incarnations here, of varying lengths and at varying times, wearing varying genders and races and ages and shoe sizes, and occupying varying social positions, in order to learn and experience as much of this world’s different cultures and eras and situations as I may, in the time that the Council have allotted to me. Which amount of time is, of course, grossly inadequate, as is always the case with such extremely pointless–er, important studies.
Our term for my scientific title has no direct translation in any Human language, though for the sake of convenience, you might think of me as somewhat of a cognitive ethologist, an affective neuroscientist, mixed with a bit of cultural anthropologist, a smidgen of psychologist, a dab of archeologist, and a large portion of “foodie.” I study, experience, and record the behaviors, thoughts, emotions, motivations, edible delicacies, and ways of living of conscious beings, and how they interact with and affect their respective worlds. Although I attempt to study all such beings equally, I admit that my interest can fall into “rabbit holes,” wherein I become fascinated to an insane degree with one type of being or another. Currently, the rabbit hole is filled with cats. Did you know that the common domesticated house cat can and frequently does cross dimensions and universal membranes without even trying? Well, now you do. And now you also have some idea of what the cat might be looking at, when they are staring up at that seemingly empty corner of the ceiling.
Unfortunately, for me, my kind have no true conception of the passage of time, so that, whilst I have been given a rather arbitrary amount of time to spend on this world, I have no real clue how much of that time has already passed, or how much of it remains, though I have a dreadful feeling that I’m quite near the end of it, with so much yet to study and so much yet to taste! I cannot even say with any amount of certainty how much I have already learnt, as every time a physical body I am wearing “gives up its ghost,” i.e., spits me out and my essence wafts its way into the waiting cocoon of the mothership’s belly, all of my learning is downloaded into her data banks, and I am wiped clean of it, save the barest threads of knowledge needed to begin a new set of circumstances in a physical vessel. It is the most efficient method we have come up with, though, to insure that each new micro study starts out as clean as it can possibly be, whilst at the same time, allowing the researcher to truly become part of the studied biomes, and not instantly die at the first taste of something like aged blue cheese.
I do know that, at the end of my series of study on this world, my essence will enter the mothership’s womb one final time, and she will make her quiet exit from the seas and begin our long journey to the next interesting world on the agenda. During this time, my essence will be thoroughly wiped of all Earth experience, and the mothership’s psychic probe will forge ahead and select an appropriate form to apply to me, so that the delay between our arrival at the new world and my insertion into an appropriate “mother” there will be of the shortest duration possible. Though sometimes these incarnations are in some way extremely painful or otherwise unpleasant, I rejoice in the knowledge that my work in this field will enrich my people’s understanding of the greater universal population, and perhaps, will give us new ideas for improving our own ways and thoughts, or at the very least, allow us to feel justified in our smug belief that we’re better than all of you little people. That said, I sure would like to have another life of material comfort, before I depart from Earth. It would seem a fitting way to go out, with a silver spoon, full of fine dark chocolate, resting deliciously in my mouth; a flute of fine champagne nestled in my hand; and a purring interdimensional cat curled up on my lap. Yes, that would be very nice, indeed.