This Is One Dying World

2020 A.D.

All across the planets, stars, star systems, and galaxies, there existed many sentient races of beings of so many types, and they inhabited countless worlds orbiting countless suns in numerous galaxies. In one particular galaxy, known to some as the Milky Way, there was a planet that seemed rather insignificant, a somewhat backwater planet simply called "the Earth." It orbited a small, un-regarded yellow sun with eight other planets, none of which were inhabitable to Earth's inhabitants due to temperature, surface conditions, and either no atmosphere or an un-breathable atmosphere. But these other planets in the Sol system do not come into this story. This story centers on Earth and its people, but it concentrates first and foremost on the planet's non-sentient and semi-sentient life forms, the animals. And, essential to the story, a race of aliens from a faraway world are also in this story. A race of aliens who are visiting Earth and, in the process, are on a mission to save its inhabitants from fulfilling a terrible mistake they had made since the beginning of Earth's time.

A large star cruiser was drifting through space. It was called the Oasis. It served as a mother ship for a race of sentient, hyperintelligent, pan-dimensional beings whose physique and logical thinking was not too different from that of creatures on Earth, who were coming to Earth on a special mission. Their task: Simply put, they were going to attempt to save the remaining animal inhabitants of the Earth from displacement and extinction.

The Oasis was itself a haven for animals, animals the humans of Earth would consider to be alien animals, although these aliens evidently thought the same of Earth's animals. They had many of the same classes and families of animals as Earth, but theirs were exotic in wholly unique ways. There were birds with four wings instead of two, as well as birds that could talk as intelligently as a sentient and desire things for themselves, like a forward-evolved version of a raven or a crow. There were fish that could walk on land, and even fish that could glide through the air for more than a mere few seconds. There were reptiles that could sweat and there were warm-blooded, amphibians that could breathe either air or water and live in or out of water at any time, and mammals with two heads, six legs, or arms in addition to legs (not just primates). There were even hybrids of animal classes, like reptavians, bird-reptiles, and reptomammals, bird-mammals, for example. These animals came from a variety of planets across the galaxy, and were well cared for. They were studied, too, but with the utmost grace and courtesy to the creatures, instead of putting them through torment and pain.

They had just reached the Terminator that surrounded the Earth, and the ship's admiral was calling for her shuttle to be prepared. She also ordered her commander to transmit "Universal peace," and "Hello," in all known Earth languages. Soon, she was contacted by a human man from Cape Canaveral in the United States of America.

"What is your business here, unidentified ship?" he asked with all politeness.

The admiral replied, "Earthman, this is Rear Admiral Justaine Offey of the Animal Confederation, an organization that is dedicated to the welfare, safety, and overall happiness of animal families and species all around the galaxy. This is my ship, the Oasis, and I am its commander-in-chief. I think it might be a little more convenient if you will but allow some of us to come down to the surface of your country in a shuttle, so we can talk to somebody in person."

"Very well, Admiral Offey," said the man, "I can give your shuttle the coordinates to land your ship in Florida, not far from the city of Orlando. The president of the United States will be glad to talk to you."

"Thank you very much, sir," said Offey, "We are on our way now."

Then she went through some passageways in the giant ship until she reached the main hanger bay. Along the way, she collected her captain, Luka Veston, and her first officer, Shanor Nuws, to go with her, as well as their bodyguards, and an animal that looked a lot like a chicken, and indeed was part-bird, but had hard scales like a reptile and twin tails coming out of its behind. She called it a Kuner. There was also a domesticated beast that looked like a cross between a coyote and a bobcat, which was known as a Caynar. They all got inside the shuttle, and were on their way down.

Within the grounds of Cape Canaveral, the shuttle landed without any problems. It looked strangely beautiful to the humans who saw it land. It looked like some sort of organic thing, like it was made of the flesh of a living thing instead of hard, clunky technology. It opened, and Admiral Offey, Captain Veston, and First Officer Nuws stepped out with their bodyguards. Soon, the two alien animals followed.

A man who happened to be the President of the United States walked up to Offey and greeted her politely. "I take it you are Real Admiral Justaine Offey?" he asked.

"Yes, that is me," she confirmed, "These are my subordinates, Captain Veston, and his First Officer, Nuws. And these are two animals from other worlds in the galaxy, a Kuner, and a Caynar."

The president and the men from Canaveral gazed at the creatures. "Are they friendly?" one man asked a little nervously.

"The Caynar is domesticated, so he is usually friendly," said Nuws, "The Kuner is wild, but it's also somewhat tame, and isn't a predator, so it's relatively harmless, too."

"Well good," said the president, "That's good to hear. I am President Neal Vogel of the United States of America, and these men are in charge of this NASA base called Cape Canaveral. Why, may I ask, have you come to the planet Earth? And what sort of organization is this Animal Confederation, if you don't mind my asking?"

"I will answer the second question first," Offey replied. "The Animal Confederation is a confederacy of worlds throughout the galaxy that have banded together in our self-proclaimed mission to protect the animals of the galaxy from dangers that have caused many of them to go extinct, and provide safe havens and other ways of making the various planets good homes for all the remaining animals on that planet. 'Save the Animals' is our primary motto. And we have come to Earth for a few reasons. First, we have become aware that this is one dying world, with 98% of its original species of animals extinct since the beginning of life's existence on Earth, and it's still gradually declining. Second, we know that while many humans don't care about the animals, except as food and hunting trophies, many more do love animals and are doing anything they see as a good means to save them from being wiped off the Earth. Third, we know that there are all kinds of means the people of Earth use to save them from the vices of other humans: everything from the PETA, to numerous branches of zoology, to those zoological parks called zoos where common citizens go to see animals they couldn't otherwise see."

She paused for effect, and then continued. "Finally, we believe that we have a good concept for making this planet a good and happy place for animals, while at the same time also making it a place for humans to enjoy animals without end and get up close and personal with them in miraculous new ways. And this concept comes from a theme park within Orlando known as 'Disney's Animal Kingdom.'"

The president was surprised. "Disney's Animal Kingdom? Are you sure you know what you're saying? Because the Animal Kingdom theme park was created for recreation and enjoyment, not serious, stoic conservation efforts."

"We certainly do know what we're saying," confirmed Offey. "Although he didn't live to see its conception and creation himself, Mr. Walt Disney was a lover of animals, and made many animal characters in his animated films. And I believe that Disney's Animal Kingdom was created in part to commemorate what Disney did with animals, and celebrate the way man and woman can have kinship with them. With the style of the Animal Kingdom theme park, and millions, perhaps billions of animals, to find a new kind of home they can call their own and still live alongside humans, I think that we can create a whole, new Animal Kingdom where the animals are treated as near-equals in their right to live and let live, and mankind has learned to respect and love them in their own proper way, whether it be through stewarding them, like Christians from your world tend to do, or abstaining from eating and/or harming them, like vegetarians and Buddhists do, or whatever else. Our mother ship, the Oasis, is a haven for thousands of galactic non-sentient and semi-sentient species, and perhaps sometime I can show you, or some other humans, what it is like on the inside and outside."

President Vogel thought for a moment. "It sounds like an intriguing idea to me. I can at least introduce you to the Animal Kingdom theme park, and perhaps take a look at the inside of your ship, and maybe then, if enough people on the planet are interested in helping out, not to mention willing to trust alien visitors, we can look into making a world where the Animal Kingdom is indefinitely saved from destruction. Mankind has done much over the millennia to harm and destroy animals, and we have a lot to make up for."

"That's exactly what we are here to help fix," said Offey.

"By the way," Vogel said, "This is one impressive shuttle you have here. It almost seems alive, like it's an organism."

"That's because it is," said Captain Veston. "Because of the Confederation's connection to the natural world of animals and plants, all of our technology is biotechnology, technology that comes from, or indeed is, something living. Ordinary technology does too much to harm the lives and ecosystems of animals. The land developers of this world should know that."

"Some of them do," admitted a man of Cape Canaveral, "But most of the time they choose to ignore it, because they think human needs are inherently superior to those of animals, or because they're greedy for money and power."

"Perhaps we can do something about that, too, my friends," said Offey, "It doesn't serve animals well to be forced to live near people who let greed run their lives."

"This wasn't originally on my daily schedule," said President Vogel, "But perhaps you folks would like to accompany me, and my wife, the First Lady, to see Disney's Animal Kingdom close up for yourselves. Then maybe, I'll consider either going up to your ship myself, or sending a reliable source up to check it for us. The President of the United States cannot afford to get into too many precarious situations, you see."

"I understand," Offey replied. "Political leaders have to be protected to the best of their ability. Well, shall we visit this theme park about now?"

"As soon as I can arrange some transportation for all of you, then yes, we will."

"Thank you very much, Mr. President," said Admiral Offey.