Haji gazed longingly upward, his hazel eyes wandering from star to star as they took in the expanse of sky above him. The Afghanistan nighttime extended forever outward, its infinity calling him upward and outward, and its distance drawing his imagination into itself. Oh, if only the winds were stronger, maybe they could pick him up and carry him out into the heavens. Maybe they could carry him all the way home. Somewhere in that skyline, among those infinite lights hanging eternally over him, was his home, his true home. Makka Bakkia called to him like a lover, its promises of family and comfort dizzying him as if they were sweet kisses landing on his cheek. How he longed to be there again, how he yearned to see the faces of loved ones once more. He could be rid of this desert and all of its troubles, he could toss off the turban and show his face without fear, he could hunt the forests for Monsters with his father, and he could be himself again.

What he had been made to call home for so many years was nothing like his beloved Makka Bakkia. In his real home there were no wars for religion, no fighting over money and resources. In his real home there was no time for violence as there was simply so much wonder to be discovered. Yet here, here in this cruel desert, the only thing ever discovered were new ways to end lives. Men with uniforms and machines would storm into a village and take people away from their homes, then men with robes and bombs would chase them and try to kill them. So many people would die for nothing. Well, at least Haji believed it to be nothing. Money, religion, resources? What are those things compared to life, that men would slaughter each other for them. On Makka Bakkia the people lived in harmony, using their resources and knowledge to advance their people rather than destroy them.

Haji had once read of wars on Makka Bakkia. They were long ago, eons in the past when the Makka Bakkians lived in fear of the Monsters from within the forests. Their fear of what they didn't understand drove them to hate one another, drove them to fight each other instead of work together. Maybe that is what was happening here. Those Americans, the ones with the uniforms and machines, didn't understand the Afghan people. Maybe because they didn't understand them, they feared them or hated them and so they fought them. Maybe it was the other way around, and the brown skinned men didn't understand the Americans, so they attacked them and hated them because they were afraid of what was different. Whatever the cause, Haji could only watch as a bystander.

He had been sent here as a scout, an envoy even. There had been much debate among the astronomers of his people as to whether or not this planet, 0841AA, or Earth as the humans called it, could support life. He had been tasked to go and see for himself if life could flourish here and then report back his findings. He was in awe with what he had discovered. He had found civilization, beautiful and complex society formed around systems of government not all that different from those that were used by his own people long ago. The water based organisms known as 'humans' were intelligent and resourceful, though they were often violent. He wished to stay and research them, live among them and see what he could learn. His ship dropped in a place where the people covered themselves in long robes to protect themselves from the sun, so he decided to cover his blue skin and hide among them as an observer. His shape shifting form convulsed and morphed to match that of his host species and he quickly made a point to learn their language. With his face covered to conceal his blue skin and his accent established from altering his vocal chords, he could walk among the Afghani people as a ghost, unnoticed in the crowd. He had even taken a name like they do, Haji; "the pilgrim."

Years passed, then decades. His deathless existence ticking away as this strange people lived before him, unaware that he was an outsider in their midst. As the time passed his curiosity was overshadowed by homesickness and his desire for knowledge was overtaken by the ever present longing for home. Patiently he must wait for his ship to return for him, but until then he will stand watch as a foreigner, as a stargazer.