Dear Planet Earth,
“Homo soricomorpha and homo sapien evolved simultaneously and somewhat peacefully — at first. Their numerous shared characteristics are too dominant to ignore. They are nearly identical physically, both bipedal and with two upper appendages infinitely useful for their respective tools.
“However, the humans can easily be discerned by their comparatively colossal height. Though some fully-developed humans do resemble the Inheritors’ short stature, no significant studies have yet found a common link between these supposed ‘dwarves’ and homo soricomorpha. Humans also deviate in that they are virtually hairless. Both sexes grow ample hair on the tops of their heads, and some males do often sprout more on other parts of their bodies, yet they still contrast greatly with the superior Inheritors.
“Those who have had the opportunity to study both of these species up close generally agree that the most striking difference between them lies in the eyes. Humans are notorious for having a wide spectrum of pigments in their eyes due to the constant strain of adapting to both sunlight and natural darkness. This, in addition to their oftentimes darker skin, make them an odd sight next to the familiar whiteness of their evolutionary cousins. Interestingly, there are some cases of humans born with naturally light skin, hair, and eyes who display an extreme aversion to sunlight, though as with the ‘dwarves,’ it is unlikely that they share any ancestry with homo soricomorpha.”
Dear Planet Earth,
For your perusal, an excerpt from A History of the Inheritors:
“The upworlder year of 1629 was a turning point in the ever-shifting truce between the layers. The humans developed the steam turbine, a technology that had already been in widespread use by the Inheritors for centuries.
“It appeared the upworlders were creating new tools at a more rapid rate than first predicted, and the possibility of true coexistence among all of the planet’s sentients seemed likely at long last. There were serious discussions among The Wise Ones contemplating whether or not upworlders had achieved a level of communal intellect worthy of the Inheritors’ recognition.
“All dreams of such a symbiosis quickly crumbled as humanity entered its so-called ‘Industrial Revolution’ 100 years later. They brazenly ignored the ill-effects of overusing steam and coal power on the upper crust. The environmental damage from their hasty, unnecessary innovations were drastic enough to be observed by even the most naive human, yet their unfiltered greed and arrogance blinded them to the inescapable truth that they were destroying the Earth beyond repair.
“The Inheritors, by contrast, carefully measured the changing states of the crust and mantle, taking great care to maintain the most prime of conditions — and prepared for the day when they could finally liberate the planet from its most dangerous parasites.”
Dear Planet Earth,
He’s been coming to my cell for the past couple mornings. My father. My dad. I don’t know what to call him. He didn’t stick around long enough when I was a kid for me to give him one of those common labels. I don’t even know his first name. Maybe I’ll ask him next time — if I don’t try to punch him in the face.
He told me that they worked on recruiting him even before I was born. The homies — he chuckled over my new nickname for them. He said that they told him about the coming invasion, of the mole people, the true inheritors of the upper crust. He chuckled when he used the word “mole people,” too. To him and his fellow homeless minions, they were and always will be the “Inheritors.”
They ruled over all levels of the Earth for thousands of years until we homo sapiens revolted and drove them underground. This was eventually seen as a truce by the Inheritors. They could tolerate our dominion over the inferior crust so long as we maintained peace and the fragile ecosystem affecting all of the layers. But humans screwed it up. We destroyed our planet beyond repair and the Inheritors saw invasion as their only option to protect the Earth.
He said he’d understand if I couldn’t forgive him for abandoning me and Mom. He said he tried to save us from the same fate as the others, using his considerable pull to keep us away from the fighting before it began.
I sat silent for much of this, turning this new information over and over in my mind, seething. He left me a book to read — the same one that convinced him to leave us all those years ago.
I should have punched him in the face.