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About the Aliens

General observations on common perception of aliens

Firstly, I do not research Roswell nor follow Strieber at all. I am not a devotee of alien conspiracy theories (although I am quite willing to make use of them.) I am sceptical of abduction stories. I will not believe that we are being visited by aliens until the genuine articles arrive in a blaze of publicity.

What information I do have is gleaned from the odd (generally, very odd) TV show, film, and occasional browsing through remaindered paperbacks, and general media observations. It is this, and only this, which I use to develop the alien race in E Motel.

Much of the talk about aliens involves a strange bleeding-over of new-age spiritual talk. Some races and types have souls (or "soul-matrices") where others (generally the reptilian ones) do not; some can use magic(!); others exist in higher dimensions; and psychic powers have frequent mention. This provides sceptics fuel for debunking abduction accounts as little more than particularly lucid nightmares informed by popular culture. (Obviously, they cannot make such assertions in the E Motel universe!)

When a civilisation meets another, they can respond in one of three basic ways. A Type A civilisation is always friendly, feels no need to demonstrate superior force, and is quite willing to share its knowledge base with other societies. Type B civilisations are more reserved; while they are willing to be friends, they metaphorically keep one hand near their sword-hilts. Type C civilisations are hostile to any approaching (or approached) civilisation and will attack until the foreign power is beaten into retreat, submission or extinction.

The aliens that sired Greg and Khristo (and presumably others) are modelled in shape upon the most common form, known as the Grey (a.k.a. "Zeta Reticulan".) Nominally, members this type B race are much smaller than humans, being roughly the size of children, but here I have them roughly five feet tall. Their almond-shaped eyes are generally immense and black, the eyelids tilted; nose, mouth and ears either very small or non-existent. They are also bipedal and hairless. (It is claimed that these creatures are reptilian in origin as well.)

In this strip, the aliens do wear clothing, although abductees seem to differ in whether their particular abductors wore clothes or not. Here I say yes. It just makes sense to add a protective layer to one's skin when traipsing about an extraterrestrial environment. (The addition of pockets is also a plus.)

The typical abduction scenario involves some sort of medical procedure, often unpleasant, sexual in nature, or both. I will refrain from commenting on the crude nature of the implements used, except to note that it is quite possible that, like humanity, their technological advance may well be more extensive in some fields than others. Evidently, they have some interest in humans and their DNA, hence the taking of sperm and egg samples.

Hostile reptilian-esque aliens seem to be a staple of modern horror. Giger/Scott's Alien needs no elaboration; the Predator has elements in its appearance which seem either insectoid or reptilian; Alan Dean Foster has his AAnn; and then there are the Skarrj from Unreal. In the mythos of abductions and Visitors, there are the Reptiloids, or Iguanoids from the region of Orion. Some schools have this race and that of the Greys related; and some have them in conflict. I don't even know if the damn things exist in the E-verse.

The aliens in this comic

The aliens in this comic are, obviously, derived from the popular perception of "Greys", those peculiar beings who seem to have an obsessive, not to mention intrusive, interest in human rectums.

My primary sources for developing the aliens' culture and mindset are Alan Dean Foster's The Damned trilogy, and Brother Termite by Patricia Anthony.

Foster's trilogy can be considered an amplification of the themes expressed in his short story With Friends Like These... where alien lifeforms, threatened by an aggressive civilisation (i.e. the Amplitur and their thrall races), seek help from humanity. The Amplitur, actually, can be considered religious fanatics; they are wholly devoted to The Purpose, whatever that may be. The aliens, however, resort to seeking aid from humans, who aren't all that hot in the civility stakes, but they can do war extremely well. But what happens when the humanity defeats its designated enemy?

The leader-priest alien's "Purpose" prattle is obviously taken from that trilogy. However, here the aliens are tackling humanity directly. Whether or not any other alien races are involved, or going to be, is unresolved at present.

Anthony's novel concerns the changing sensibilities and attitudes of one Grey regarding humanity. He has, after all, a hybrid daughter. But the novel ends on a downbeat note; the Grey is literally fucked to death.

Taken from Anthony are two things: The Greys being insectoid in descent, including the idea of "queens"; and the "double lightning bolt to the sky" insignia as seen embossed on the leader-priest alien's forehead. (Actually, there is a variant emblem with only one lightning bolt, which acts as a military ensign. It appears on the regular uniform, boxes, paperwork and sundries.) The double-bolt form is a sacred symbol that is only used for ceremonial occasions.

The term "leader-priest" implies a tight relationship between church and state, something anathema to modern Western sensibilities. The reasons for this lie in the evolution of the Greys, and their mentality.

The homeworld environment of the Greys probably favoured creatures that formed groups, protecting vulnerable members such as young. Perhaps the planet's orbit is highly eccentric, with severe climactic variation between summer and winter. This could mean that food sources were unreliable, possibly scarce. Beings that banded together would fare more chance of getting something to eat than loners. Also, wildly variable weather would favour those creatures that had good access to shelter. That is, burrowers.

The large eyes of the Grey suggest that they are nocturnal; the bright light of day would probably hurt their eyes. Their double-thumbed hands can make excellent scoops; no doubt there were specially bred "diggers" for just that purpose.

Returning to the concept of a harsh, challenging homeworld, it follows that survival would demand total obedience to one's superiors, and putting the good of the group first. Which leads to something paradoxical: Grey clan/tribes are much more likely to unite than fight. Fighting consumes valuable resources, including one's fellows, without necessarily benefiting the group. Sharing, or at least negotiating a mutually beneficial deal, is much preferred, as the augmented strength of numbers obtained aids in survival.

(There is an ancient myth of the Greys, entitled "The Last Warrior"; it details a terrible battle between two clan/tribes, until only one queen is left. She declares victory, but as animals descend upon her unprotected eggs and self, she realises that she has actually lost.)

Their motives are in doubt. There are basically two camps: Khristo and his followers, who believe the "Visitors" are here to help humanity ascend to a "level" of development such that it will be eligible to join the "Galactic Federation", and those who write books such as The Threat, where the aliens are on some sort of mission of conquest. Personally, I suspect that there could be two different camps and that we've only seen one. So far.