Stay in your lane. Don't make waves. Don't try so hard that you excel, but hard enough you're not in the bottom. I was told this my whole life. Be average, think average, the middle is the place to be. You might not get noticed, but that is not a bad thing. Average is good enough. But it wasn't. Not for me. I knew I was special, better than those around me. I don't say this to be rude, but I knew it to be a fact. I was.
However, when I tried to go above and beyond, I was criticized by my family until I learned my place. I bottled it up and hid it from the world. I had so much potential but never used it because of my family. They were all I had in the world. I didn't want to give them up, so I obliged. I skated through my own life. Merely existing, not living. I didn't know any other way to be, I feared any other way to be. Until they came.
The aliens. They came from a not so distant galaxy and lay waste to the population. They'd been watching us for centuries; kill ourselves, kill other species, and kill the planet. They were tired of it and came to stop us. The initial attack came as a shock, of course. We'd been looking at the stars for as long as we could remember, searching for signs of intelligent life. It was out there all along, they hadn't wanted to be found and we did not possess the know-how to find them. They were hidden in plain sight, watching, waiting, and making their own plans about us. When they decided to make their move, millions were lost. Not on purpose, mostly it was because we feared them and attacked first. Their own technology was so advanced our own measly intelligence faltered under it. It backfired against us and that's what caused so much loss. My own family among them.
I hate to say it was a relief, but it was. I now had the chance to be what I wanted. To do what I'd wanted my whole life. All the untapped potential could be unleashed. Yet, I didn't know what to expect under the new regime so I continued as I always had while the aliens organized themselves around us. Turns out it saved my life. Away went all the people they deemed below average and unremarkable. The smart ones they kept and put them to use as they saw fit. Helped them in whatever capacity they needed or wanted. I was spared both those fates thanks to my family's wishes, so in a way, I am grateful for what they did. I can't hate them for it. They did what they thought was best.
I try not to think about them; I don't like to dwell on the past. Others here have stories of people they've lost, that they miss dearly. I focus on them. Help them deal with their grief. Those of us left after the culling were sent to designated cities around the world. We are kept there, in a bubble, unallowed to leave, but allowed to go about our daily lives much as before. Most adapted quickly. Some could not and they were reaped like the others. The rest of us are kept in the gilded cages of our cities. We could see the aliens tear apart everything outside in the hope our planet will heal itself. 12 cities in North America, 5 in South America, 8 in Africa, 7 in Europe, 15 in Asia, and 3 in Australia. That is all of the world's population that is left. All 3 billion of us. We are squished into those 50 cities and try to make a life even amongst the overcrowding. Every day people go missing and I know why. The aliens like to eat us.
I don't know if it happened by accident or one of them deliberately had one of us for dinner but I guarantee that is what's happened to those who have gone missing. And it was true, I came to find out. That is until they started experimenting on us to see if they can perfect us. Change our fundamental DNA to rid us of violence and the need to destroy everything and everyone around us. That's where I come in. I actually made it possible. You can hate me for that. I don't mind. It was my idea. You see I was captured one day not so long ago.
I'd been living in fear in my new location. Still afraid to crack open that bottle of possibility, even though all of me ached to. I was captured at a party. When taken to 1 of their space hubs, as fodder for the aliens, I objected. I didn't want to die. I violently made it known too. Turns out bottling up my talents changed me. I had evolved, become more than the average human and when they tried to grab me, I injured several of them with my mind. Telekinesis at its best. Just goes to show you what can happen when you don't allow yourself to express what needs to be expressed. They had found a few other hundred or so people that had developed abilities and sequestered us on the mother-ship, unsure what to do with us. We were exceptional, but couldn't be used as most of the human race could. I suggested they study us. Find out how we had evolved. The royal family approved. Turns out, the alien race was much like us gifted humans and that is why they hadn't killed us outright. They wanted to know if we had alien DNA. We did not. It was 100% human. With the help of Prince Caspian, I created The Program to experiment on those with gifts for our visitors gain and possibly for our own.