Unfortunate Realities about the Quetzal
by Rynem Thriem, March 22nd 2054, quetzal.blogs.nytimes.com
With my recent appearance on CNNs Martin Sanchez Show and my resulting clash with Doctor Irene Cramer, I feel that I should talk about a number of unfortunate realities about my species. Most might have been supported by several of the other survivors, but as Doctor Cramer reminded me in her strange way, it is time that people recognize that those things are wrong and would hurt both us and human more than they actually help us.
Quetzal are an endangered species
We are not an endangered species. We never actually were.
Quite the opposite in fact.
You see, the Quetzal species has evolved from a r-selected species of omnivores. That means that we have a rather high number of offspring each time we mate. With each mating cycle a Quetzal can lay up to 50 eggs, with a high genetic diversity from the high number of matings during the mating season.
Even if currently about four of these offspring survive the first two years, this is still a high number even for a small community of Quetzal, allowing it to grow rapidly.
And taking a look at the current consensus (December 2053) of Quetzal will show everyone that we have gone from about ten thousand to nearly three million.
That is a population growth of 30000 percent in just about thirty years.
We certainly are not an endangered species by any means.
All Quetzal hatchlings need to survive
Here, we have multiple problems that play into this misconception, as my discussion, or rather screaming match, with Doctor Cramer showed, who was very, VERY insistent that all Quetzal hatchlings need to survive and that they should even be forced to survive.
That is a very bad idea for multiple reasons.
I would, again, like to note that we are not an endangered species.
If we were to be have fifty offspring of each mating cycle survive, for about half the Quetzal population and even taking in the maturity cycle, the Quetzal would simply outbreed humanity in less than 150 years. Not to mention that wars would break out long before that as food and water becomes scarce, mainly for humans, because the growing Quetzal population would inevitably contaminate water and food sources with arsenic and mercury, as well as simply eat it.
The quetzal would survive, but humanity would not, and that is by mere math.
Additionally the Quetzal are not humans.
We are genetically and psychologically incapable of really caring much for our extremely young offspring, outside of making sure that they are fed. This is a protective mechanism of evolution that prevents a parent from slipping into depression over the repeated deaths of their offspring during the first two years of their life. Only after these two years a loving parent-offspring bond, not unlike that between a human parent with his or her child will develop.
These hatchlings are also able to survive on their own, should the need arise. They are already capable of hunting and feeding themselves. In fact homes with the hatchlings are pretty clean when it comes to pest animals, because the hatchlings will hunt them down and eat them.
That leaves the question, why do so many of our offspring die during the first two years after hatching? Even with modern technology?
Again there are multiple reasons.
One is that the medical technology never much cared about finding way of making sure that more survive, due to the inability to really care much about our hatchlings. Without the need to protect them, like humans have, there is no need to find ways to have more survive.
The hatchlings are also in some times hunting and eating each other, particularly when they come over those hatchlings of another parent. In most cases, no one ever knows, just that there is one of the hatchlings missing. They are not very bright at that age and will get into situations that are going to kill them.
In some cases genetic differences, which are not very rare, will lead to the death of a hatchling.
I will of course note that the number of surviving hatchlings has risen from one or two per mating to as much as eight during the times before the Final War.
In the end life on Cterin has been very Darwinian. And we Quetzal are a product of that world.
Of course we also developed a number of additional ways to cope, or rather rationalize the high mortality rate of our hatchlings in our various religions.
One thing they all have in common is that the hatchlings that die or vanish, have their souls incompletely formed and are unable to fully live in the world.
But in the end it all comes down to one thing.
The Quetzal are not human, even if our two species share many things.
The Quetzal are a peaceful species
Please allow me to laugh very loudly at this.
The Quetzal as a whole are about as peaceful as humanity as a whole. In fact I believe that there has not ever been a time on Cterin where there hadn’t been any form of armed conflict between two or more groups, tribes or nations.
And it only got worse.
For the most part it can be traced back to the hatchling mortality rate. As history progressed the mortality rate went down, the population pressure went up. More land was needed to feed the populations and armed conflicts have always been a great way of population control.
Which brings me to the fact that there were never any semblance of ‘civilians’ among ud Quetzal when it came to war. Even the most peaceful of the Quetzal is always armed with very powerful natural weapons and will know how to use them. I don’t know any instance where the population of a town or city has NOT fought back against any invading force.
Everyone of us is a combatant in case of an armed conflict. One way or another.
The use of chemical and in some cases biological weapons was never a tabu like it is on Earth. The only real tabu have always been nuclear weapons, even if only because they would not only destroy the enemy, but also usable land and resource stocks.
In most cases conflicts have been small and waged over one and the same plot of land over centuries, with this land switching owners multiple times even just within a century.
And international politics have always been vicious, even more so than human international politics. I should know, I have been a part of it.
What you see today of the Quetzal are largely survivors who want to rebuild and young Quetzal who have assimilated almost completely into their new cultures and taking their values as their own.
Quetzal are more intelligent than humans
While there are some, who believe that, whether they are humans or Quetzal, it is not true at all.
Yes, technology advanced faster on Cterin than it did on Earth, but for the most part that comes down to population pressure and more people looking for solutions to problems.
One example is the use of oceanic habitats. We have developed the means and technology for building large ships and eventually floating cities in the Cterin equivalent of Roman times, simply to reduce population pressure and increase the availability of food sources.
By the time of the Final War, we had advanced to free floating cities with populations of several million.
The same can be seen in space flight. We advanced there even faster than humanity, simply because early on space was seen as a perfect way to reduce population pressure with settlements on other planets, moons and asteroids. With FTL we also had access to other solar systems and endless space to grow.
Of course there was always the population numbers to throw at problems. I won’t go into how many lives had been lost with the push into space.
This is everything that I have to say for the moment about the unfortunate reality that several people in the human academica have to face. Something they cannot change at all, whether loud they scream and cry about it.
And there are those misanthropic people who put us on a pedestal. I have recently stumbled over works of fiction, where we are made out to be, the human word would be ‘Mary Sues’, who came to Earth with the best of intentions and aim to convert humans into perfect little Quetzal.
Just reading the summary of these works made me feel sick.
EDIT (March 25th, 2054):
It appears that I have been killed off as traitor to the Quetzal in one of the earlier mentioned pieces of fiction. A very interesting development.
The need to survive and population control
by Rynem Thriem, March 29nd 2054, quetzal.blogs.nytimes.com
After reading the comments on my post ‘Unfortunate Realities about the Quetzal’ from a few days ago, I have decided to talk about a few things.
In my previous post I have already noted that population control has always been a problem for the Quetzal.
One of the classic methods was to go to war and draft large numbers of the population as warriors and send them against the enemy, which also had the side effect that cities of the enemy were depopulated and used to house the own excess population.
In the really old days eggs would be destroyed rather than be allowed to hatch, when the population pressure was high enough and there was no enemy to wage war against handy. Or expeditions were sent out to far away lands to colonize them in force.
Another was the use of herbs that suppressed the hormonal cascade that preceded the mating season, as well as the permanent chirurgical removal of glands that induced the hormonal cascade. With the raise of modern medicine a number of pharmaceutical companies made a killing by selling drugs that had the same effect as the herbs, but weren’t limited in numbers.
Of course there were also other drugs, like those that would ensure that all eggs of a clutch would not hatch.
Now as the number of Quetzal on Earth has grown to over three million already, the old problem of population pressure and population control raises its ugly head yet again.
Right as I write this down, a number of companies, such a Bayer and Pfizer, are working on producing several drugs to allow us Quetzal the choice of whether we want to have a clutch of offspring or not.
And those drugs will not be the only thing to use to control our own population.
There is more than enough space for a large number of Quetzal in space. Currently there are talks with several asteroid mining companies to support us with the construction of asteroid habitats, as well as settlements on the Moon, Mars and Callisto. Another potential target for Quetzal populations are Alden in Proxima Centauri, a water world with a breathable atmosphere where we can work on our experience with building floating cities to live on. A second planet that might be suited for colonization is Wunderland orbiting Beta Centauri, which is a warm mars like world.
Of course Eridu is the best real estate we can use.
However, not everyone can be moved to potential settlements in space and the population pressure remains.
I can already hear the comments regarding that it’s impossible to force everyone to take the drugs, or remove their glands, to ensure that they don’t get offspring. There might even be comments about the failed One Child policy of the People’s Republic of China.
Those comments are all based around the misconception that Quetzal are funny shaped humans.
And I cannot stress it enough, Quetzal are not human. We have many things in common, but we are still different. No amount of comments, wishful thinking or even ‘scientific papers’ (Yes, those exist) can disprove that fact.
And here I want to shock several the people who write those comments or ‘papers’.
As a whole we Quetzal will be perfectly fine with voluntarily taking those drugs or remove those glands, if it means that our species survives in the long run. It is not even a psychological thing, but a remnant of our primitive ancestors instincts.
You see, we Quetzal as a species and as individuals are survivors. We will survive many things. But there are ‘levels of survival’.
The first level of course is the personal survival, which goes without saying.
The second level is the survival of the family, of the lineage, of the genetics of a Quetzal. Any Quetzal will gladly give their health or even their very lives to make sure that the family survives in the long term. You won’t even find any Quetzal think much about it, they will just do it.
On the third level we have the survival of larger social structures, be it a clan, a tribe, a city or a nation. All members of a family will lay down their lives to ensure the survival of those large social structures. It is part of the reason why there is no such thing as a civilian among Quetzal. We all will fight to protect our city or our nation.
On the final level is the survival of the species. When it concerns the survival of the Quetzal as a species, any individual Quetzal will do what is necessary to allow the species to survive. Again, it’s not even thought that enters into the equation, as its mostly instinct that drives us there.
Of course survival does not always mean that we are going to fight. At times fleeing is just as good as fighting.
In the end the Final Battle was something of a distraction so that a few fleets of ships could flee, with the Enemy not following them, to ensure the survival of our species.
Now, here on Earth, our long term survival is, to a degree, in jeopardy again, by population pressure and the potential of a war for this planet’s resources. If we don not control our own population.
So every Quetzal who is asked will take drugs or have a gland removed.
No question about it.