Reverse Alienation, an Experiment

Supplementary report Lambda Omicron Lambda stroke Zeta, concerning star system 1123-6536-5231.

From: Third Cohort Expeditionary Force, Commodore Jin commanding

RE: New insights concerning sentient life-forms of system’s only type four, life-bearing planet

To: Science Division

Honored scientists, I must at this time amend my report on the higher life extant on the planet currently under observation.  It would seem the initial indications as to the planet’s dominant species were erroneous. This is not to say that the warm-blooded bipedal species is not sentient, but that they in fact are a subservient organism to several less populous species of quadrupeds.  This was not recognized at first as the bipeds operate all forms of industry and technology, as well as dominating many lesser species used both for labor and food-stuffs.  In addition, while the quadrupeds live among the bipeds, acting as the center of each household, not all residences contain one, while others have several, indeed, one older biped was observed caring for no less than two dozen members of the smaller species of quadruped.

Unfortunately the evidence for the biped’s inferior role is still inconclusive, but what we have gathered is powerfully suggestive.  The larger species is often seen outdoors with the bipeds, leading the bipeds around attached to a short length of fabric or metal, with the trip’s direction and pacing totally at the quadruped’s direction.  One observer theorized that this is done by the quadruped to stimulate physical activity in the biped, who, as noted in an earlier report, is naturally inclined to a sedentary life, damaging the organism’s capabilities.  The most intriguing aspect to these destination-free outings is in regards to the quadruped’s waste. The quadrupeds seem to lack any concern for ‘modesty’ or ‘propriety’ observed in the bipeds, probably due to the fact that as fur covered beings they need not rely on textile coverings for temperature control, and in fact evacuate wherever the need strikes them.  This alone is not remarkable, as both tendencies can be readily observed in the member species of our own alliance.  What is interesting is that the quadruped requires the biped to collect the waste, presumably for later disposal or use as a fertilizer.  The bipeds seem to abhor this duty, performing it with resignation at best, anger at worst, but they do comply.  In one instance a uniformed biped, observed elsewhere handling such matters as public safety and delinquency, forced a non-compliant biped to collect his master’s waste.  The implications of the quadruped’s employment of bipeds in their control of other bipeds will be discussed further in our next standard report.

The quadrupeds themselves are divided into many types and subspecies.  Oddly, one of the smallest species seems to be among the most powerful, seen primarily in the company of the upper levels of bipedal society, accompanying said members practically everywhere, carried about in small handled bags.

Detractors of this theory of quadruped dominance have made much of the fact that many bipeds live without quadruped supervision, but their argument is illogical and emotion based.  Most familial groups of the bipeds were seen to acquire quadruped masters at one of two stages: Either when a couple or individual has gained a residence large enough to support a quadruped, or when their young had reached a sufficient level of development to no longer be a danger to the quadruped, and to help with their maintenance, maintenance that is all inclusive.  The bipeds clean, groom, feed, and do everything for their quadruped.

Further observations will be included in our next scheduled contact,

Respectfully,

Commander Cor

[tags]science fiction, short stories[/tags]

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