Zaarthox’s log, stardate 401.56 by Cecil Wilde

Zaarthox’s log, stardate 401.56
Landing pod still broken beyond repair. Human social customs are bizarre. There are insects on this planet that bite, and I appear to be allergic to them.

Stardate 401.63
Communication efforts with my ship remain futile. Local wildlife seems friendly in the presence of food. I have been informed this is a ‘cat’ (image attached). Apparently, humans domesticate them and keep them in their homes.

Stardate 401.75
Of all the human oddities, what they call gender is the most frustrating. I have had my access to several places limited based on this imaginary. Unfathomable concept. Humans report similar occurrences, but appear not to think this unusual.

Stardate 402.01
I now have two cats. A human agreed with me about gender being frustrating on their ‘internet,’ a planet-wide communication system still in its early stages. Another asked me what planet I originated on, but I could not trust that they wouldn’t use this information against me.

Stardate 402.05
It seems I was too hasty to judge humans: many of them are as confused by much of their culture as I am. As a species, they are unpleasant. Individually, however, some of them are very entertaining.

Stardate 402.17
My new human friend also refuses to be given a gender, which I am still not clear on the purpose of in the first place. It is strange to be so far from home, on a planet barely clawing its way toward civilisation, and still find kinship among the inhabitants. My human friend has offered to introduce me to many other humans who they believe I would enjoy the company of.

Stardate 402.34
I have acquired a house plant. Human domestic companionship is apparently not limited to predatory fauna.

Stardate 402.57
I have still not succeeded in repairing the landing pod, but I realise now that I would hesitate to leave if I did. A group of humans has accepted me as one of their own. For the first time in my life, I feel a sense of belonging. I have responsibilities on this planet.

Final log, stardate 403.00
This is Zaarthox’s final log. Today, I am moving out of the landing pod and into a human dwelling. I have secured employment, and my cats (image attached) will be welcome. If anyone picks up this message, I will still be readily identifiable via DNA markers should a rescue party be sent.

However, if I am dead by the time it arrives, please be assured that I was happy.


Originally published in Concrete Queers 7: Speculative Fiction.

Cecil Wilde | they/them
Cecil is very tired, always writing at least one book, and pretty convinced elves are basically tall cats.

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