Alarming news! After I released Robert's dour Thanksgiving message (next post), I walked into the desert night and thought I saw a strange comet, which then appeared to be an airplane. As I watched the descending light I received a frantic telepathic message, accompanied with lots of static and some interference that sounded like muffled yelling. Finally I made out Robert's "voice" (thoughts have distinctive qualities, as voices do), screaming (a high intensity thought) something like, "They're attacking me...fellow gilas...bastards!"
There followed a terrible sound of anguish, and I feared Robert was no more. But it turned out he had done the damage to one of his attackers, giving Robert a short respite and time to clarify his message:
"Harry, we’re in trouble! Gilas are able to group together for common cause on rare occasions when it's necessary. We haven't done it since the end of the last ice age, when we had to make some decisions. In reaction to encroaching human civilization, we've grouped together again into something humans might call a ‘council.’ The council has factions, and one of them believes that my relationship with you, my willingness to engage telepathically, my public sharing of the gila's internal world- that these things are endangering all gilas, so that humans, upon learning of another sentient species on the planet, will reenact their historic role of ensuring its extinction."
"As usual, Harry, with the bon mot. If I may continue, the anti-human faction has plotted to abduct me so that I can no longer communicate with you or any humans."
"Again, Harry, the human facility with language is astonishing."
"I mean, damn...what will you do? What should I do?"
"There's more, and I'm learning it as we speak...oh my!"
It's really true that when the gods want to punish us they grant our wishes. I admit I've longed for release from the dreadful constriction of this post-election time, when everyone's mind is confined in a probability box where all is potential, nothing is realized. I've yearned to be released from the box, to unfurl my compressed emotions, not knowing if they will deliver unbridled ecstasy, warm joy, bemused contempt, indifference, confusion, rage or despair. I knew that Robert was about to open the box.
"A forceful gila," Harry continued, "whom I'll call Butch, organized the attempted hit on me. Butch tells his followers that humans with their volatility and apparent suicidal tendencies have become an imminent threat to the gila species, and that I am a traitor. He has organized telepathic attacks on America, as the closest human target, over your holiday season."
"Oh my god! What kind of attacks?"
"Hallucinations, not unlike your 'fake news.' The few stray gila thoughts I've intercepted indicate they intend to stimulate discord between people who are close, so that someone might be talking to a family member or friend and suddenly be filled with fury and resentment towards them. If this happens, people should remove themselves from the scene, breathe deeply for a few minutes and rise above it.
Robert's thoughts ceased, and I waited breathlessly.
Robert resumed his report: "Harry, thank god I can hack through Butch's firewall...he's communicating with your MIC...."
"Yes, your Military Industrial Complex. Isn't that the theoretical entity you've been writing about?"
"It's not theoretical, any more than the gun lobby is theoretical."
"Ok, well the gila monster nation, if I may call it that, has contacted your MIC...they are communicating at this moment."
"Can you pick-up any of it?"
"Just bits. The TU is very interested in the gila method of sowing discord. The gilas want to conduct an action tomorrow, using the holiday...they argue that humans will be unsuspecting and vulnerable, many travelling far from home...the MIC responds that high profile attacks on Thanksgiving would incite too much emotion, too much blood-lust for their current timetable."
"Hold on Robert! What sort of alliance is this? What can a bunch of gila monsters offer the MIC? And what does Butch suppose the MIC can do for gilas?"
"Believe me, I'd like to know that too! Part of it has to do with gilas' telepathic abilities, which the MIC would like to develop in humans, for military purposes. What do you think your MIC ultimately wants?"
I answered, "The MIC seeks to betray the middle and lower socio-economic classes because they will not fit into the automated, jobless and bioengineered society to come. The superannuated humans are to be led into a global conflict in which they will be preoccupied with staying alive, and thus not able to complain that the new human race, which historian Yuval Harrari calls Homo Deus, will not include them. But I'm wondering what the gila monsters hope to get from this alliance."
"Harry, you and your readers will have to wait for answers until I can infiltrate further. Meanwhile…I'm picking up a consensus...the gilas have agreed to a low profile with tomorrow's telepathic disruptions, and the MIC agrees to some of Butch's ideas (e.g. at selected homes, just as the turkey is being carved, the carver and all the guests will hallucinate that the turkey becomes a living gila monster who grins and says, 'Who's human now?'). Though the MIC will benefit from general confusion and mayhem spread by gilas, it reserves the big blow-ups for itself. Harry, you and I are in the same boat, each fighting for the soul of his species!"