Kalifer Deil - Collected Works
Published True Stories"The Jumper and the Crabs" by Kalifer Deil originally published in Morbid Curiosity magazine #6 has been republished in MORBID CURIOSITY CURES THE BLUES. This is a collected works of the best of Morbid Curiosity magazine published by Simon and Schuster: Schribner on September 29, 2009. This collection was assembled and edited by Loren Rhoads. It's a great collection of offbeat recollections of off-center people, myself not excluded. It is also available as a download for the Kindle.
This is a true story about when I was a 17 year old lad in the Coast Guard stationed at Fort Point Life Boat Station. I was the cook's helper but this day the station was short handed so I went out on a mission. It had everything, excitement, revulsion, humor, tension and finally complete loss of appetite.
See the book trailer on YouTube
Capturing a Flying Saucer - Autobiography
I was stationed in Luiluilei at a Coast Guard radio station in Hawaii. A Marine guard that I played chess with wanted to capture a flying saucer. We decided to accommodate him. Why not?
Both of the above true stories have also been published in issues of Morbid Curiosity (A San Francisco Annual publication) in 2001 and 2002.See a review in Dark Scribe Magazine.
Online True Story"The Man from Tau Ceti" by Kalifer Deil
Sometimes situations arise that beg for exploitation. All those ingredients were present for a human drama to unfold, or in this case an alien drama. It was in the late fifties, I was in Oakland at the time, around Lake Merritt, a rather nice lake and park in the middle of the city. I was about 20, dressed casually but neatly and had sort of a clean scrubbed look that might be considered unnatural. I also had (still have for that matter) a high forehead that made me look less than typical. I noticed a boy of about 14 or 15 years sitting on one of the park benches reading the latest copy of Astounding Science Fiction. He was your typical nerd with heavy horned rim glasses, sloped shoulders and a concave anatomy.
I was an avid science fiction reader and had already read that issue the instant it arrived in the mail. I also had read a great deal on science in general and Astronomy in particular. I sat down next to him and noticed that he was reading a story about Bug Eyed Monsters or BEMs as they were later called from Alpha Centauri. I felt I had to contribute to his extraterrestrial education.
"Those stories are quite silly! The one you are reading now. There is no life on any of Alpha Centauri's planets. There are five planets and they are all much too cold having rather large orbits." I made a peculiar wave like motion to give an illusion that I somehow read the entire book through some mental process beyond his comprehension. The April issue had just hit the news stands so he could have easily believed I had no prior knowledge of it. I smiled at him with the tranquil smile of a messenger angel delivering tablets of stone.
He looked at me with a start, then after a long pause blurted "How do you know?" You could see the wheels turning in his face. How did I know what he was reading? How did I know that Alpha Centauri had five planets? Why did I have such a large forehead? Boy is this guy creepy! You could read his mind as each thought traced across his face.
"I see another story has life on planets around Sirius. That's completely unfounded since binary star systems cannot have planets for very long unless their orbits are very large. Temperate orbits would become erratic, while they exist. If they exist at all, their weather would be totally inhospitable to the formation of life. Eventually the planets would plunge into one or the other of the binaries. It takes stars similar to your Sun for life formation." I spoke softly, slowly and very distinctly to give the appearance of assumed truth, truth known for thousands even millions of years. I had not realized that Alpha Centauri was also a binary with even a third star circling the first two. Evidently he didn't either so it didn't matter.
"How do you know these things? My science teacher says that we don't even know if the nearest star has planets because they're too small to see even with a giant telescope!" He voice broke as he talked showing his apprehension. His curiosity drove him on. "Are you an astronomer?"
"No, I'm a judge. At least, that the nearest classification you have for what I do." I could see that I was verifying his worst fears, his pupils were totally dilated, his larynx was seized up and he couldn't talk for a few moments. You could see him swimming upstream, his curiosity driving him on, but the currents of fear washed him some ways back downstream.
Words were fighting their way up and out of his mouth. Each one bubbled out separately, "Where .. are .. you .. from?" I could tell that he wasn't going to like the answer.
"Tau Ceti is your name for the Star." I paused to let this trickle down through his consciousness. You could see it reverberating heavily throughout his brain. "It is very much like your sun with the third and fourth planets supporting life. I'm from the third planet; it's called Blour. I spend most of my time now on Tikki, the third planet of the star you call Epsilon Eridani. It's not nearly so nice a planet. It's very cold with a rather thin atmosphere. Its breathable, but not too pleasant." I paused a bit. I had to figure out what else to say. I smiled a lot which seemed to put the boy a little more at ease.
I decided to extol the virtues of our civilization. "We are a collection of many species across the galaxy. We have an interstellar government more than five hundred thousand years old, a fairly recent development, and we have never had a war. We find war most distasteful. We enjoy the diversity and beauty of our galaxy. Your planet, although it has many things that are pleasant to the eye, is otherwise very ordinary. On Tramus, the fourth planet of Epsilon Eridani, there are mountains three times the height of Mt. Everest made of shimmering quartz crystals. The electrical activity around these mountains causes them to glow and emit large balls of lightning almost continuously. It was the study of this activity that led the Tramanians to discover the first interstellar drive over a million years ago. Perhaps I should say rediscovered since there were ancient civilizations before that had such technology. It was with such a drive that the Tramanians first voyaged to our star system. Our civilization had reached the City State level like your ancient Greeks and had stagnated there. We had no space program since it takes more resources than a City State can assume. The Tramanians are much closer to the bug eyed monsters you were reading about and we were terrified of them. But we soon learned that they were a gentle even playful species much like your dolphins are. Unfortunately your dolphins are creatures of the sea making them not suitable for a space-faring species until they evolve further."
I was on a roll and could have gone on for hours but I could see he was aching to ask a question so I paused.
He asked the question that was bursting within him. "Why .. are you .. here?" It sputtered out.
I inhaled a long breath for dramatic effect. Then I looked at him with a sad look. "I wish you had not asked that question. It would have been better if you had not known. Now that you have asked I must tell you because we believe that to withhold the truth no matter how painful is as bad as lying. And to lie is very bad indeed." I paused again and could see apprehension break out in beads of cold sweat on the boy's forehead.
"As I said before we have had not even a minor war for half a million years. We have determined that war is a hereditary trait that combines aspects of greed, hunger for power and ethnocentrism. The human race has these very dangerous traits. Look what they've done to the Indians, to south sea natives, to any less advanced people. They were plundered. The lambs fall to the wolves. In our galaxy we are all lambs and we can only exist because there are no wolves."
"Are you saying we're wolves?" the boys Voice was pleading. "I'm not a wolf" his voice had a tinge of indignation.
"You have the instincts of a wolf even though you do not act as a wolf now. It's what you do when you feel threatened, or when you feel all powerful. That's when you are a wolf. You have a saying that goes 'Absolute power corrupts absolutely'. That saying makes sense only on Earth, nowhere else in the galaxy.
"But we can control it, we can learn to control it!" his voice was even more pleading. He was pleading the case of the human race, a heavy burden for a young boy.
"You are on the threshold of the galaxy. In a few short years, faster than anyone in the galaxy I might add, you will invent a drive that will give you interstellar capability. If you are allowed, you will plunder the galaxy, it is your nature and you will not be able to control it because it is part of you, an instinct. We have studied your genetic material, we know!"
"What .. are .. you .. going .. to do?" The boy knew he didn't want to ask that question but he had to know.
I paused a while for dramatic effect. "You know about the sudden disappearance of the dinosaurs. That was engineered by a race that died out millions of years ago to make way for the evolution of your species. We know what they did and they made some mistakes. The most promising species on the earth is the dolphin and at the right time we must do the same thing for them."
"Ya ya ya ya mean you are just going to exterminate us like bugs.!" The boy was very agitated and startled that such a fate might be in store for the Earth. "Why can't you just prevent us from traveling in space?" A logical question, I had to think of a logical answer fast.
"Well, there are two reasons. As long as humans are present on the Earth, Dolphins will never realize their evolutionary potential and we don't have the resources to stand continuous guard over your planet to keep you from reeking havoc. You already have weapons more powerful than anything we would dream of. Once you learn how to make an interstellar drive it will prove so simple that one could make it in their garage."
"What .. are you going to do .. to us?" He was scared and sad.
"We will turn down the Sun with a large sheet of gold foil." I had seen gold foil pounded so thin that you could see dim light through it. I also knew if wouldn't take all that much gold to make a sheet large enough to put the Earth in its shadow. "We can control the sunlight in such a way as to decimate the human population and force the evolution of the dolphin. They have the proper genetics to make wonderful galactic neighbors."
"How can you talk that way and say you are the lamb and we are the wolves? You'll kill billions of people! You're worse than Hitler!" The boy was getting more indignant and upset. Tears were welling up in his eyes.
"From your perspective I'm sure it seems very brutal. The dinosaurs, if they could have talked would have conveyed the same feelings. They were, the ancient ones felt, a result of evolution gone wrong. We're changing that to give evolution another chance to come up with something better. We feel this responsibility; it's like an original sin we have inherited from the ancients. Had they not interfered the dolphins would have already taken their rightful place on the planet. What we will be doing is correcting a mistake that was made more than sixty million years ago when the knowledge of such matters was very limited." I lent a wistful sadness to my voice as though I was looking back over millions of years of evolutionary experience."
"But, you may be making a mistake again!" he pleaded. "You said yourself that we are going to invent the interstellar drive faster than anyone else in the galaxy! Doesn't that say we are smarter or something!"
"It does not say you are smarter. It does say you are driven by the demons inside you. It does say that you are a very dangerous species that poses a very real threat to over a hundred trillion intelligent beings. Can we expose them to such a risk?" The boy had tears streaming down his face; he had run out of arguments. "Please don't worry", I felt I had to give him some comfort "The intervention will not occur for at least another ten years and maybe not for another hundred.
When the time comes to pass the torch of civilization to the dolphins you must understand and be ready. You took their turn by an ancient mistake and we feel very badly that it was made. Think of those wonderfully innocent and intelligent creatures every time you eat a can of tuna. They are dying so that you can eat tuna. That's not fair either, is it?" I had no idea of whether he knew that tuna fisherman killed many Dolphins but he would learn soon enough.
I rose and quickly walked away. I did not look back.
Copyright © 2003-2009 Kalifer Deil. All Rights Reserved.