Walking amongst them I immediately felt a little less than human. Everyone I could see was smiling and laughing at unheard comedic anecdotes, or watching their children play grinning like idiots. This was not sensible but nonetheless shot down my self esteem. I didn't know anyone there nor did they acknowledge me. I relented and sat off to the side atop a cliffside kicking the pebbles down off of a lower ledge and into the crashing waves slapping below.
I pondered what such a fall felt like and how gravity pulls everything down to its eventual resting place. A younger girl wandered over to where I sat and had the faintest remnants of an upturned mouth that faded when her eyes rested on me. "Come over with us and play!" she begged energetically taking my hand and pulling my arm upwards toward her. My legs shuffled as I stood finally granting me the ability to walk alongside this blond haired girl of sixteen years old. She's wearing a white dress accented with small reddish flowers along the bottom hem. Her stockings are white and shoes are black with clasps of gold.
Her hair barely reached the tops of her shoulders and swung gently as we grew closer to the smiling crew of persons. The euphoric feeling they all had been bathed in fell away leaving all of them with expressionless faces. Their eyes looked tired and wrinkles became more obvious; even their postures slouched as each stood. One of them remained unmoved by my arrival and retained the whole 'Cheshire cat' likeness. A blondish brown haired woman who danced under the shade of a tree roughly twenty paces straight ahead. An invisible partner led her through a slow moving two step dance which had her arms wrapped around where "his" back would be.
The girl waiting beside me pulled me forwards to this woman. I wondered why but in the same instance was very curious about this land and its inhabitants. My arrival in her proximity shook her out of the momentary stupor she had fallen under, but that youthful glee kept its composure within her. She outstretched a hand introducing herself, "I am Raven. The ruler of this fair city and the reason why everyone here is so ecstatic about living. Have you ever been influenced by some outer source to feel horrible about a mistake you have made, or maybe during your childhood you were unfairly treated and had that knot at the pit of your stomach?"
"I don't understand what you are getting at. Is this supposed to be some narcotic permeating through the atmosphere in order to keep your population giddy and sated with life's unfortunate twists and turns?" I replied truly not able to fathom the implications this woman might be suggesting. She continued, "All that I am offering is a fluid and easily attainable flow of love to every person who wants it. I just as easily could use these powers for evil means but I believed that many who want love cannot possess it like the rest of us. It may well be an unreachable ideal of the parameters of a greater degree, that they need an aggressive and interactive type of affection. This love is intravenous and does tend to overwhelm the first time users but it grows on you. I will not force you to do anything you don't want, but you don't know until you try it", Raven glowed with a radiance absent from the average earthly human, smiling at me keeping her eyes locked on mine. "I am purely a visitor here and was intrigued to find a society of humans being so far from Earth. How did these people arrive here?" I questioned holding onto my slightly sullen composure, well, sullen compared to them.
Raven responded, "We traveled here as you did. Aboard a ship that held its voyagers in stasis until it reached the destination. These are a majority of what you might know as 'alien abductees' and other disappeared individuals from your planet. A very many of them have suffered years of abuse, neglect, and other unfair circumstances that should never have occurred. I found it overwhelming how earthlings treat each other, and how wars are fought over territory that didn't belong to them in the first place. You elect presidents and political leaders into office that don't speak for you, but for their own pocketbooks. You mine and plunder your homelands for resources until they have been tapped beyond usefulness, and then wonder why the climate has changed irreparably. Many of these people I saved were on the brink of ground breaking research that easily would save the inhabitants of Earth from extinction, but no one listened. Not even religion saved a tenth of your population from repenting of their sins, and for that I regrettably had to end a great number of lives in the name of letting the many good people live peaceful existences". Raven breathed deeply and began to cry, but shook it off and waited on me for an answer.
"I wondered where all of the friends I once knew went away to. You drove them from me in order to save them? Why not take me with you instead of stealing the reasons I wanted to continue living and then justify it all in the name of a greater good?" I began to turn from her, walking down the path to the clearing my ship rested in. Got inside and flicked all of the switches in preparation to leave when a form became solid in a mist of smoke beside me. Raven whispered, "I am sorry about doing that. I can offer no consolation except the option to live here and be happier than you were back home. I do wish I could take it all back and let the horrible people extinguish the few good worthy of saving but I had to save what I could. I am so sorry. Go if you must". Raven disappeared in the same mist. I couldn't figure out what to do.
Raven was standing outside of my ship watching me come out to meet her. "I decided to stay here but there is one exception to my decision. I am declining the euphoric treatment. Just allow me to adjust to this place for a little while". She took my hand, leading me towards the group of smiling faces. Everyone I could see was reaching out their hands to me, welcoming me back with cheers and applause in tribute to me. I immediately began to feel a little more human surrounded by all of those I had lost.