“A thousand years ago, my people lived on these lands.” From the downtown street corner, the shirtless drifter shouts at passers-by. Humans and aliens alike ignore him; walking, slinking, and slithering past him toward the great marketplace across from the spaceport. There they trade in cultural trinkets, speak inscrutable tongues, and give no thought to the native inhabitants of this land.
“Today, no remnant but a name on a street sign, corralled by the towering skyscrapers. An ignoble tribute to a proud people.” He sighs wearily and plops down onto the curb. A medusoid creature shuffles around him into the crosswalk, in defiance of the “Don’t Walk” sign flashing in five galactic languages. Hovercars honk their displeasure at the jellyfish alien. I toss him some spare credits before entering the market.
Throughout the market square stand the Statues of the Fallen: a gallery of peoples subjugated and defeated. Khmer and Celt, Inca, Aborigine. Even the vagrant’s own Navajo nation. In the center, amidst the merchant tables of the trading post, stands an empty concrete pedestal: waiting patiently for the next to fall. Climbing upon it, I look around at the sea of faces, terrestrial and otherwise, and wonder which will be the next to stand here.