Letters From The Front

Friend Oromissa;


In my recent work on Earth I have encountered some documents which I must share with you, knowing our common interest in alien life forms. First of all, Humans are very different from us; they possess internal skeletons, defined muscles and an encasing organ called ‘skin’. Also, their internal organs are stationary within their form. All of this would indicate they are lower animals, but they also possess technological and intellectual abilities almost as great as our own.

I have been assigned to a team cleaning out a human hive called ‘Istanbul’. Yesterday (Earth’s days are of similar length to Garrida’s), I found a small enclave of humans inside a structure formed of cleverly dried mud. After exterminating them I checked into this structure to search for cultural information that might help us understand them. On the third level I found wealth.

It was a box, unadorned and placed under a cloth cover in one of the sleeping rooms. The box had been chemically sealed with iron oxides, so I knew it must be valuable information that they wished to keep from our people. Even so, a disruption beam made short work of the seal.

Inside were hundreds of pieces of human correspondence, neatly filed according to some alien system. Many were from Istanbul; others were from places called ‘Constantinople’ and ‘Byzantium’, which are presumably nearby. They were recorded on thin-pressed wood, using pigments in various colours. I have scanned and attached images of all the contents.

One such item, number 1915, was from ‘Ronny’ to ‘Lizzy’; it expresses hope that ‘Turks’ will give up quickly so the writer might return home and see the ‘baby’. Attached is an image of two humans, one of which is severely bloated in the midsection.

Number 1907, from ‘Kiraz’ to ‘Ayberk’ expresses fear of ‘Russians’ and a desire to travel south. There is much discussion of lips. Given the purpose of the human mouth, I assume this involves exchange of food.

The lowest pure number is 1204, a letter from ‘Theophilus’ to ‘Elena’ expressing worry about ‘Europeans’ and a ‘Crusade’. There is much discussion of wrapping arms and twining legs. I assume this refers to wrestling practice.

More letters have interrogative marks on the numbers, or sometimes a ‘c’ or ‘BC’. They all share the same tone (according to the translation software), including fear of some enemy or other and discussions of human interaction. A word which translates to ‘friendship (intense)’ is included in all of them.

I draw your attention especially to the letter numbered ‘1c’. It appears to describe, in great detail, a ritual in which human bodies are fitted together like puzzle globs. Humans apparently find this activity pleasant. After studying this account in detail, I may have to reappraise the function of human lips.

My friend, I ask that you forward a copy of this information to Doctor Ostrom; as our foremost expert on the humans, he may be able to glean information that my ignorant self has missed.