Viridian: Luxonian Light Being from planet Lux in training for Guardianship position on Earth.
Roux: Luxonian Guardian assisting Viridian.
Cerulean: Viridian’s Luxonian father.
Viridian’s Personal Report – Location: Los Angeles, USA, Earth
Training Day: 91
Another scorching, humid day amid a crowd of humans. This time I’m at some kind of Improvement Park. Pathetic. Cerulean told me I’d meet Roux here, and though everyone looks better than the ridiculous specimens I saw in the mid-west, these versions of humanity look like they have intelligence factors of trog—
“Uh, yeah?” Here we go. Some muscled troll looking for a fool to make his—
“Hi. I’m Roux. Your father’s friend.”
“Roux? You’re a Guardian?” Okay, I’m at a loss here. This guy looks good. Dark skin, rippling muscles, and clear eyes—no one’s going to throw bio-matter at him. When guardians copy humanity’s best, they do have certain…advantages. Pity so few humans are ever at their best.
“Yeah. Something wrong?”
“No. Just, you look different. So healthy and…”
“Strong? Come on.”
What’s he chuckling about?
“Cerulean sent you over to try a new setting. This is a training center for Olympic athletes. You’ve got to be in good shape to fit in.”
Sweat is still trickling down my back, but suddenly, I don’t care. “Good. I’m sick of being a fat boy with bad acne. Being a human is worse than being in a Luxonian prison.”
“Hey, stop. Your father probably wanted you to tough it out so you’d understand humanity better.”
Here we go… “I understand. Trust me. I’ve been waddling around in this horrible shell for three months. I’ve been picked on, kicked, and treated like a scurvy animal. Tough-It-Out has been my middle name.”
Hmmm… Roux just turned around and started walking toward a large steel encased box, otherwise known as state-of-the-art human architecture. One of these millenniums, humanity might realize that nature has a head start on both beauty and utility. Better hustle. In this heat, I’ll soon be nothing but a pile of calcified bones and a pool of sweat…
Yes! Air conditioning!
“Okay, Viridian, your job is to observe without being noticed. You’ll keep taking notes… You have been taking notes?”
“Good. You can edit later. But it’s good idea to keep a running log when you first start. Later, you’ll know how to discern the important material from useless data.”
“Yes. Certainly.” I’m nodding my head like a stupid puppy. There’ll come a day—
“So, how do you want to look?”
I have a choice? “Strong, like you.” Big grin. He likes that. So human.
“Let’s go over here; this room isn’t being used. I have a key. We’ll be able to work in privacy for a bit.”
Okay, this is nice… I guess. Cresta torture chambers could do advanced studies here. The floor space is covered with every sort of exercise equipment humans can conceive of to get their flabby, skin-encased sausages into some sort of shape. And mirrors. Why? So they can see the sweat pour off their appendages like rain off gutters?
“Come here, Viridian. Stand in front of this mirror. Think about what you want. Make yourself take that form.”
Bloody hell. “Okay, I want to be tall, bronzed, muscled…blue eyed…”
“Think of some kind of ethnicity you admire and copy it.
Admire? That’s a joke right? “How about a Norseman?”
“You’re a few centuries too late, but work on it, adapt it…make it fit the current setting.”
Okay. Now… I like what I see. Tall, muscles, tanned, green eyes—
“Wait. You want to look good but not call attention to yourself. We don’t want women falling over themselves to meet you.”
“Let ‘em fall.”
Uh, oh. He’s got Cerulean’s “adult look” trying to stare me down, something the Guardians must have passed on from time immemorial.
“I need to make something clear here, Viridian.”
Here we go again… Time to open wide my I’ll-be-a-good-puppy eyes.
“Take a good look in that mirror. See that man. That man is you, the image that you’re presenting to an entire race of beings. You and I know what you’re really made of, but only you decide how to present yourself and what this body stands for on the inside.”
Now I look sober and thoughtful for a couple seconds. “Yeah… I think I understand. Thanks, Roux.”
Big smile. For such an experienced Luxonian Guardian, he’s got the brilliance of clay.
“We’d better go. I’ve been following an athlete trying out for—”
I couldn’t care less. I’m walking toward the door a new man…or a new man-image. All I’ve got to do is survive a few more months here. Humanity is heading for a fall—And I’m not going with them.
“—So, you understand?”
“Perfectly. Thanks again, Roux.”
“Great. You go out first; I’ll come right behind you. Just look natural, like you belong.”
Roux’s Note 374,653: Cerulean, we’ve got trouble.