Settling In

After the quarantaine on Diego Garcia was finally lifted in October 2021, the alien population spread over their selected new homes all over the planet.

The Turukal were both the first and the last to leave the island. In the month before the end of the quarantaine, they had used their aerospace craft to get machinery from their transports and prepared a team of engineers to go to Australia.

On October 3, the Turukal aerospace craft left for Australia, landing on the Coober Pedy Airport, where they were welcomed by nearly the entire population of the town and a group of government officials welcoming them to Australia. The welcoming ceremony, being rather short due to the heat of the day, was followed by a trek of heavy machinery, followed and watched by the very interested locals, through town to a large area north of it that had been bought by the Turukal.

A big, typically Australian party followed that night and it was discovered that the Turukal liked the taste of Australian beer, but became drunk on it pretty fast, which postponed the work on the Turukal burrow by two days until the engineers were both sober and without headaches. Some wandering Turukal also found what appeared to be an abandoned spacecraft in the desert surrounding them, only to laugh when finding out that it was just a prop for a science fiction movie.

Over the next nine months the engineers, with the help of the local miners as well as helping the locals in return with their own burrows, created a nearly one square kilometer large and ten stories high burrow with a large underground area for farming Turukal plants in a controlled and hermetically sealed environment. The only signs of the burrow were the big and fortified entrance, as well as equally fortified wind traps for air circulation as well as collecting what water was in the air.

Since Coober Pedy was big on opals, the Turukal were able to mine several hundred million Australian Dollars worth of high grade opals. Most of the money was put into work on expanding the infrastructure of Coober Pedy, allowing the Turukal to get on the good side of the locals, even though they had pretty much accidentally caused the price for opals to drop.

The most important expansion of the Coober Pedy infrastructure was the expansion of the Airport into a Space Port. The length of the runway was increased to five kilometers and equipped with underground tanks for liquid hydrogen as well as other fuels. The second most important part of the expanded infrastructure was a Turukal 1000 MW De/De fusion reactor, powering the burrow and the town.

During the work on the Turukal burrow the engineers made use of highly advanced seismic sensors to analyze the underground, allowing them to detect a large field containing tight oil in the Arckaringa Basin holding an estimated 150 billion barrels of oil.

Between the Arckaringa Oil Field and the Coober Pedy Space Port new jobs were created in the town and lead to the growth of the previously sleepy miner town, with a high number of millionaires, into a technology site.

After the burrow was finished the remaining Turukal were ferried from Diego Garcia to Coober Pedy, while the remaining freight of their transports were transported down from orbit.

Over the following ten years the town and the Turukal burrow grew into a coherent whole with a large part of the human population having moved into the slowly expanding burrow, as Coober Pedy had always been largely underground.

The population of the Turukal grew steadily, largely due to the extensive sperm and egg banks that had been saved and quite rapidly the young ones outnumbered the old ones. That the Turukal grew rapidly into adulthood within ten years, greatly helped to stabilize the population quickly.

By 2031 Coober Pedy was fully merged with the Turukal burrow and the population had grown to nearly fifteen thousand, made up of nine thousand Turukal and six thousand humans, mainly working in the emerged high tech industry and the oil field exploitation.

Problems between the Australians and the Turukal were largely limited to personal problems, rivalries between fan groups of sports teams, after the Turukal had discovered Rugby, and politics, making it the easiest integration of an alien population into their new home. This was largely to rather similar mentality of both Australians and Turukal and the working form of multiculturalism the Australian population was known for.

The Quetzal had some challenges in this regard.

One of the most peaceful settlements of the Quetzal was Diego Garcia with the largest starting population. This was largely due to the fact that the aerospace craft of the Quetzal remained on the island and needed to be maintained. It also meant that the island had the highest amount of Quetzal technology brought down from their transports and other spacecraft.

The island was also selected by the Quetzal for something along the line of a Quetzal assembly, after turning down the UN suggestion of using some office space in the UN Building in New York. The island allowed their leaders to meet in a single place and decide on what to do with their spacecraft, as well as other things that needed to be taken care of.

One of the main leading figures of the Quetzal eventually turned out to be Rynem, the former Sovereign of Thriem and resident of Diego Garcia, even though he did not actually want to be. But as long time head of state, it came mostly natural to him. Long experience with international diplomacy allowed him to get on the good side of many governments and therefore was chosen to lobby for them.

Over the years Diego Garcia became more and more important and as the population grew so did the minimal small economy. Several smaller factories were set up to build replacement parts for the aerospace craft, powered by a fusion reactor. A plant to extract heavy water from the ocean was also set up, to produce deuterium.

The Quetzal also welcomed the former inhabitants of Diego Garcia, the Chagossians, back into their old home, to get on the good side of the international community. While at first, mainly caused by historic maltreatment, the Chagossians were very wary of the new inhabitants on their island, the background eventually made them good neighbours, especially in the light of the good education system that was set up by the Quetzal and the new economic potential of the island.

Other settlements were less peaceful, compared to Diego Garcia.

Riaria in California for instance had some problems with religious bigots and xenophobes, as well as a group trying to get the Quetzal to be ‘politically correct’ with their mating habits. The Monterey Police Department on the other hand worked well with the aliens and a former Quetzal law enforcement officer became a member if the Monterey PD in 2026, leading to some comparisons with a police procedural involving an alien officer of the 1980s.

The settlement in Erstein, near Strasbourg and the German border of France, had problems with a group of national socialists, a huge number of followers of esoteric teachings and locals, who simply did not like the new serpentine faces in their little sleepy town.

One group settled down on Krete, near Heraklion, and became a new tourist attraction on the island, which was not quite to the aliens liking, leading to complains about not being an exhibit in a zoo. But for Greece the aliens were much more important as their know how and technology was literally heaven sent to help the Greek economy to expand into the high tech industry and as such the Quetzal helped to set up a factory for high temperature superconductors on Krete.

In Alcantara, Brazil, the Quetzal were met with some suspicion, especially as the Brazilian government had gotten them to settle down near the spaceport and one of the major production facilities of Embraer. But once it became clear that the Quetzal drew in a large number of tourists from all over Brazil, the locals warmed up to their new neighbours and even went as far as using the aliens in promoting their town.

The rather close relation of Quetzal religions to Hinduism and Buddhism lead to a number settling down near Sullurupeta, India, rather close to the Satish Dhawan Space Center. Relations started out well enough and lead to visits of Quetzal to the Chengalamma Temple, but it quickly became clear that the Quetzal were opposed to the idea of the Indian caste system and the poverty and other social problems it brought to the lowest castes.

As the Quetzal were quite visible in the media and later on in various blogs of Indians and Quetzal alike and there were many individuals making use of this. Much like Mother Teresa did decades earlier, a good number of Quetzal openly supported the lowest caste, especially the untouchables, as well as groups that had been forgotten by the rapidly advancing nation, such as the elderly and, perhaps even more importantly the children.

Doing so gave raise to a limited opposition by higher castes, as well as traditionalists, though the government officially supported the Quetzal to a degree. This support increased rapidly after the government was exposed as being ineffective while carrying out their own beginning reforms of the social system and triggered an increased call for more social reforms within the population, mostly by the lower castes, although they had some support of the higher castes as well.

Japan was an interesting case for the settlement of the Quetzal. Having settled down in Minamitane on Tanegashima near the Tanegashima Launch Center kept them largely away from the public eye, but also provided much in the way of added tourism to the island.

The aliens also quickly became part of the Japanese pop culture as the Toho Studios made a new Gojira movie in 2023, with a number of Quetzal appearing as friendly aliens warning about an alien invasion that is ultimately crushed by the King of Monsters. This movie was quickly followed by the Kamen Rider Super S TV serial, where two Quetzal appeared as supporting characters for the main hero. Hikaru Nakamura, a mangaka best known for his series Saint Young Men, finally wrote the well researched slice-of-life manga Foreign Lands, about a group of Quetzal trying to master life in Tokyo.

On a somewhat humorous note, a good number of hentai works featuring Quetzal also appeared shortly after the 2023 Gojira movie, featuring a number of misconceptions about Quetzal biology. It also lead to a number of women and men to move to Minamitane, trying to begin a relationship with one or more Quetzal, taking the hentai works for face value.

In the Soviet Union, the Quetzal were settled down in the newly expanded Star City, were the Politburo was very forthcoming with setting them up with everything they wished for, to get them to freely share their technological secrets. But the Politburo had hard to times to come to terms with the political theories behind the Quetzal form of ‘communism’, or ‘post communism’ as some political scientist called it. And while the Politburo tried to keep a lid on the Quetzal and how much they actually helped the Soviets, information about and from the Quetzal still got past the KGBs filters.

China on the other end of the communist spectrum was relatively open when it came to dealing with the Quetzal that had settled down in Xichang, near the Xichang Launch Center. The Quetzal lived in the city itself, though under increased protection by the police. With the capitalistic form of communism in China it was relatively easy for the Quetzal to set up a few small shops and even a small company specializing in technical assistance to the nearby Space Center.

The closeness of the Quetzal to the Chinese public in Xichang also lead to less ideal dealings with the traditional medicine in China. Unhatched Quetzal eggs, generally seen as a delicacy by the Quetzal themselves, was discovered as a source of raw material, while the external sexual organs of the Quetzal, discarded after their mating season, quickly became sought after as source for fertility powders and tonics.

The only African settlement of the Quetzal was built up near Durban in South Africa. The relations were relatively good, though in some cases colored by superstition of some local groups, which were thankfully worked around relatively painless.

However the situation changed, when a group of Quetzal, who had converted to the Islam, realized the social and economic problems of Africa as a whole. It was relatively easy to overlook the situation from their settlement near the rich city of Durban, but once even a little outside, the problems became apparent. They tried their best to follow the Five Pillars of Islam and felt bound by Sadaqah to return the help they got from humanity as a whole to those in need.

Calling themselves Ivesi Fakuxi Shiry, which in their native language meant Faithful Helpers, seven Quetzal set out in February 2023 to teach the people to read and write, as well as more advanced agricultural methods.

Expecting to be safe, they selected Nigeria as the first place to help, even entering areas where the Sharia was in effect and enforced by Boko Haram. That organization didn’t like to see the Quetzal this close to their territory and even educating people or claiming to be muslims. On August 14, 2023 the camp of the seven Ivesi Fakuxi Shiry in Zaria was attacked by the islamists and five of the Quetzal were gruesomely killed, and the other two heavily injured and mutilated. As no one was able to really help the aliens, the Nigerian government transferred the two survivors to Durban as quickly as possible.

The incident got a good amount of public interest and as the two survivors were able to communicate again, they confirmed that they would not be stopped in their mission or returning the help they got from the humans. This statement eventually lead to attacks of Boko Haram on the Quetzal settlement in Durban and the ‘War on Terror’ against Boko Haram and similar groups all over Africa and even parts of Arabia.

In the aftermath of the first Boko Haram attack, which caused quite some damage and over 172 fatalities, the Quetzal increased their own security. The second attack, which came only two days later, was easily deflected.

The ideas of the Ivesi Fakuxi Shiry spread through the Durban settlement, especially the younger and Earth born generations, leading to a surge of converts to the Ivesi way of Islam.

The second Ivesi Fakuxi Shiry expedition in 2031 to Mali was better prepared and included some personal security. Only the two survivors of the first expedition, who were on the forefront of the second expedition as well, did not request any protection.

The group of Quetzal had initially settled down in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, not far from the tomb of the ‘Quetzalcoatl’, faced the biggest and most difficult problems, after the Durban settlement. Local legends had it that the ‘Quetzalcoatl’ had made his final journey to the sea from the place and had promised to return. The Quetzal in town were seen by some as the fulfilment of that promise by a number of locals and while some tried to fit them into the local interpretation of the catholic faith, it also lead to a resurgence of the Aztec faith. The ‘Neo Aztecs’ reinterpreted the old Aztec faith in a more modern sense, combining it with a sort of macho warrior culture and a wired form of nationalism, with the Quetzal being worshipped as their gods.

Additionally the ‘Neo Aztecs’ clashed with other groups in the streets of Coatzacoalcos, such as a number of christians who had been stirred up by a preacher against the Quetzal following the growth of the ‘Neo Aztecs’. The organized crime in the area took advantage of the situation and nearly turned it into an outright revolution against the local and national government as the ‘Neo Aztecs’ stormed into the local city hall, killing Tastur-Llal, a Quetzal who had tried to get a license for a department store.

The death of Tastur-Llal lead to all Quetzal condemning the ‘Neo Aztecs’ and proclaiming that they never wanted anything to do with them at all. What made the entire situation even more of a problem was that Tastur-Llal was one of the few Quetzal christians.

At first the ‘Neo Aztecs’ tried to lay low, but eventually clashed with other groups again, making the Mexican government sending the army into the town to suppress the riots and in some cases even outright warfare.

As soon as the army moved into town, the Quetzal left Coatzacoalcos moving to Mexico City, where chances were much higher to be taken as normal intelligent being, rather than gods or demons. Yet the move did not stop the ‘Neo Aztec’ faith from slowly expanding through the more rural areas of Mexico and the native population.

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