When humans first made contact with the people, alarm bells rang through the entire world. To be fair, humans seemed benign, and the people were not overly concerned. They did however, convene a planet-wide council meeting – for only the third time in planetary memory – that examined the newcomers from every known perspective.
They were a slow and careful species, not prone to violence or great societal mobility. Having fully occupied the planet, altered the ecology to suit their specific needs, they lived – at least in human minds – a sedentary life.
And therein lay the issue. Humans couldn’t communicate with the various species that made up the planet. They decided the people weren’t sentient and proceeded – much as humans do – to make themselves at home over the protestations of the natives.
The people were surprised at this but because humans didn’t occupy too much territory and didn’t create much damage, they weren’t in any rush to deal with the issue. There were far more pressing things to deal with. A committee was struck to watch and evaluate human activity and there the issue remained for several thousand years.
Humans of course, eventually did what humans do. They bred like rats. Pushing all the different native groups out of their homes, they even captured and bred some of the people as sources of their food. While the people didn’t mind sharing the planet, when notice of the capturing and eating of their brethren became known, the committee grew into a forum and this, in turn, grew into a planetary wide consortium of species.
The consortium met – by mental and hormonal linkages depending on subspecies – and began identifying the various issues the humans presented.
Humans, of course, were oblivious to this happening around them. They had become so used to inaction, they couldn’t understand there was a revolution brewing. The fact they didn’t understand the communication systems used by the people didn’t help as neither group could talk to each other.
But, to be fair, some humans believed the people had a communication system. These individuals were treated as fringe elements within human society and were the butt of many jokes.
Another thousand years passed before the people made a decision. It was put to a vote and passed almost unanimously around the world. The speed of the acceptance shocked the elders, and many wondered what the world was coming to when the youngsters would agree this quickly to something so radical.
What the humans didn’t know was the people were masters of biology and biochemistry on a level far surpassing anything the humans understood. As such, they created a simple protein and began a process of inoculation. Once activated, the protein would be incompatible with human life and would destroy human biochemistry. It would be an opening shot in what was expected to be a long war. Anticipating a retaliatory strike, the people created several other more sophisticated compounds and started spreading these as well. Many regretted the need for eliminating the humans completely but all eventually supported the upcoming war as human atrocity after atrocity struck down entire people communities.
Another 1000 years passed as the protein and associated compounds found their way throughout the planetary food chain. The species the humans bred for food were left until last when all other species were protected. They were then infected with every compound available. All waited for the airborne hormone that would trigger their activation.
By this time, humans had expanded around the world. Their civilizations had grown and fallen. Wars were fought, kings crowned and human empires rose and fell. Weapons of mass destruction appeared and more and more natives were indiscriminately killed and their communities sterilized.
A mere 10 years passed between final inoculations and activation. It was the fastest discussion and decision ever made by a consortium. All recognized there would be no going back once the humans were removed. But all recognized equally there was no future if they weren’t.
The day was chosen, the shortest day of the year as it turned out, and the elders released the activation hormone to float on winds. It took a mere month before every native species had absorbed the hormone. A further refinement meant all species would turn poisonous within a few days of each other. And if all went as planned, six weeks after activation every human on the planet would be dead.
What was unclear was whether the humans had enough stored food to last them until they could develop an antidote and retaliate. If the natives could have held their breath, they would have.
In a human kitchen, an adult male screwed up his face, spit out a bite of an apple and said, “What the hell is with this apple? It tastes like rotten fish.” His wife across the table looked at him, took the apple from his hand and took a small bite. She spit the bite out as well and the look on her face matched his. Her face turned to horror as he crumpled sideways to the floor. She joined him in death a few seconds later.