The more I read of their writings, the more my suspicions were confirmed. There was no war, no crime. Nothing to interrupt the peace of this people. Not surprisingly, I was beyond frightened when I learned that they still had a word for killing. This seems like nothing to us, who kill for almost every meal, but these passive beings were vegetarians. They did not hunt. They had no word for hunting. But they had a word for killing. And every time I had an interview with them, all I could think was that this creature knows what killing is, and has nothing to inhibit him from doing it to me.
I shared this with Major Rogers once. When I told him this, he seemed nonchalant about it. I asked him, "Doesn't this worry you, sir?"
He shrugged. "We have no need to worry. They know of killing, but we are stronger. To them we are gods, flying around in our chariots of fire. They are simple-minded, are they not?"
I couldn't disagree with him. On an average, they had an I.Q. of seventy-two. "Yes sir, but the minds of children can be dangerous in adult bodies."
Major Rogers looked at me like a father reassuring his son that the boogie-man isn't under his bed. He asked, "What is the context in which you have read of this 'killing'? Were they once carnivorous?"
"No, sir. It was in a tale that I understand to be mythological. A monster from a foreign land came to one of their villages. The monster, named Bezar-uik, began to kill their children in the night, but during the day he hid on the hillside, far from the people. Then one day, he decided to make himself known to them. He thought for sure that they had not seen him in the night, so he masqueraded himself to them openly. He claimed to have just arrived in town, looking for friends that came through their land. Before he could utter one word to them, they saw his sharp teeth, and evil eyes. They called on their god of peace (for they have no god of war), and he swooped down from the sky as a knight in shining armor, riding their equivalent of a white horse, and savagely killed the beast."
"So what are we to fear? Are you scared of their "god of peace," and his flying horse?" He let out a deep laugh from his gut, and dismissed me.
He dismissed me before I could tell him that Bezar-uik was the word in their language for "foreigner".
The next few days my conscience grew heavier and heavier. I tried to ignore the fear as I watched our men drug and dissect these innocent creatures. And, as you know, they were only doing their jobs. All I could imagine was how we would feel if the same thing were happening to us. You trained us to ignore the humanity of the "specimens" before the mission, but after conversing with them I started to see how very humane they were. Weeks went by and our studies grew more gruesome, yet they were never hostile to us.
I tried to forget during the day what my dreams made me remember at night. They forced horrid images on me that would wake me up in sweat and tears. After the first time we accidentally killed one, I dreamed that I was on a frontier. I had chaps, spurs, and boots. I felt my head, and I was wearing a ten-gallon hat! I laughed in disbelief and realized I was riding a horse. I rode with many other cowboys, and we rallied together, riding on towards a village. Then I realized that we were coming up on longhouses - Indian homes. A red-man with a big feathery costume stood in the road waiting for us. He was their Chief. We stopped our horses in front of him, and I looked deep into his old gray eyes. He stunk of age and sweat. The ancient Chief held up a hand of greeting, and as I looked deep into his eyes, hypnotized, a bullet blasted a hole right between them. Blood spewed out, and I got off my horse. The cowboys cheered as I walked toward him, and I scalped him! They yelled even louder as I held up the long lock of gray hair and skin. I wiped my bloody hands on my chaps, and woke up. I couldn't sleep for two days afterwards.