An attempt on the life of the minister causes chaos at an assembly of alien dignitaries. - - - There is a potentially dangerous storm brewing deep within the ranks of the Gua forces. Though my concerns grow more dire each day, I, Joshua, must admit to feeling a certain degree of relief – to finally know that I am not alone in my conclusions, that others both here and at home are similarly doubting the validity of our mission here on Earth. Decades ago, during the earliest days of the infiltration, we were a unified force, certain that patience and careful planning were all that would be required to defeat the human race. I used to believe that. But now I find myself riddled with doubt. Now I know enough to question not only the tactics but the very objectives of our leadership. Yet even as I write here, the most powerful and respected of our leaders continue to maintain that Earth and its inhabitants are well within our control, utterly unprepared to defend themselves against a full-scale attack. In order to halt growing ambivalence among the Gua forces, our leaders are apparently preparing to launch the second wave invasion. The Gua minister, our second-in-command, recently arrived here on Earth, presumably to survey our findings, reassess our methods, and determine our next phase of action. Soon after his arrival, his true mission was revealed: The Minister has come in order to conduct what the humans have historically referred to as a "witch hunt." His objective is to further his own agenda by making an example of any alleged human sympathizers. To illustrate his position, he has already ordered the execution of numerous Gua agents, both warriors and researchers, stationed here at the compound. Soon after his arrival, I was placed in charge of the minister's security. Following a failed attempt on his life, I found myself placed at the center of his hunt for suspected traitors. My guess is that he is testing my own loyalty to the cause. Like so many of my fellow Gua, the minister still sees the humans as inferior beings ruled by greed, lust, and self-aggrandizement. As our studies have shown, he's not entirely incorrect in his assessment. We've seen, again and again, that these qualities exist in humans subjects – across all social, economic and geographical boundaries – and that they greatly influence human behavior. But I have learned that there is more here than meets the eye. Unfortunately, The Minister remains blind to the more spiritual (and therefore immeasurable) aspects of our supposed enemies. In recent months, I have come to wonder if our mission was compromised from the moment we first occupied human form. In transplanting our consciousness, we have experienced new sensations, new stimuli. How could we have expected that the human experience would have so profound an effect on our beliefs and, by extension, on our sense of duty? Has the process of combining our DNA ultimately worked against us? In our determination to defeat an alien species, have we unwittingly created a new species, neither fully human nor fully Gua? To move forward, I must believe that a peaceful resolution is possible. Unfortunately, my search for comrades within the Gua forces places me in great jeopardy. Thankfully, I have been able to join forces with Trent, an old friend and top Gua researcher who has been studying the humans for years. Our mutual disdain for the minister's actions – his random executions and, in particular, his recent approval of breeding experiments to be conducted on human children – has brought us together. Trent and I agree that moral propriety must override our sworn duty, that we must be willing to risk everything in order to stop any force we perceive as evil --- even if we have pledged our allegiance to that same force. As the lines that once divided us from the humans continue to blur, the questions I ask myself become increasingly urgent. Can we hope to positively influence the current Gua leadership? Can we stop the impending launch of the second wave invasion? And will we survive long enough to learn the outcome?moreless
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