It's a little long, so I'm not sure if it counts... I tried to keep it short.
What Is a Friend?
It is here I will record my last few hours... here I shall etch into the rock with what remains of me that which I will never be able to tell.
Few can know the emptiness that comes with knowing the exact moment of their destruction, years before it comes to pass. And yet I can... down to the year, the day, and even the minute. It started years ago; I knew it then, and it is just now drawing to a close... Yet, I can only sit and watch.
And what is my name? I would write it here, but I have never needed one - I have ever only simply been
. I sense your feelings... I sense your happiness, your sadness... your hope. I sensed you from afar as you were speeding from the gate; I stretched out to touch your minds, and you responded - you turned in my direction. You landed your strange craft, you set foot upon the surface... I felt hope in your minds then... hope that you could make what was mine your own. You "people" want me for your own. You saw me as a resource, though I saw you as a kindred spirit. I have only ever been alone, for far longer than you believe yourselves to have existed. You were fleeing a dying star, I gathered from your thoughts. You had no home, and as such I tried to give you mine. I welcomed you with open arms. You are all so different - some of you are harder to touch than others, but I learned of your languages, your cultures, your beliefs... you made me happy for the first time that I've known. I tried to make you happy to be near me... and some of you were, but such violent entities you are! The happiest among you, those that wanted to stay, mutinied and turned against those that wanted to go home. A number of you died, and I could no longer sense their presence. It saddened me, just as it did you. I learned from my mistake and decided to never attempt the same again, but you had learned as well. You detected my presence; you never went outside again without protective suits, thinking you had blocked my interference with your minds. And you had... but I could still feel you.
You continued to try to colonize my world, and I still attempted to aid you however I could. I only wanted peace. When you next came to land upon my surface, I removed all traces of myself as quickly as I could. For a time, you believed I'd only been a "plague" - yes, a plague, you called me. The planet's reaction to invaders, but I saw you not then as invaders... I thought of you as neighbors.
And there was peace...
But then you stared into the planet's depths; you probed the waters, rich with life, curious as only you could be, and you found me. You found me. I always wanted to be found. I never wanted to be alone.
But you never forgive. "Neighbors", I say. "Forgiveness", I say - words I learned from you, but you - you "humans" - by what right did you come up with these terms, these ideas, with how violent you are?
I heard many new words and phrases in your minds then. "Terraforming", you called it. "Telepathic bacteria," "neural network". You discovered I am made up of trillions of minute cells, spread across the planet, working together telepathically to produce a sentience, and in fear, you left - all of you. You sent lifeless, mindless probes down to my surface... They belched clouds of noxious gas that kill my cells, that damage my mind... I can feel it with every moment, millions of tiny sparks screaming out in anguish. You are trying to kill me. I could try to take "revenge", a word only your kind could be violent enough to come up with... but I will have none of it. Even were you still here upon my surface as my mind dies, I would not harm a soul.
Perhaps one of you humans will one day read my story, and learn from my mistakes.
You can have my world... but there was no need to kill me. I only wanted a... a friend