Alaree by Robert Silverberg

"Alaree"

by Robert Silverberg

Form: Short story

Year: 1958

ID: 18

Publication history:

Comments:

An ship from Earth lands on Spica IV for repairs. As they work, a small green humanoid approaches their ship. By means of thought-converter helmets, they communicate with him, and learn that he considers himself as we. The crew's commander incautiously teaches him the meaning of individuality during their short dialogue, and then goes back to his business. The little alien grows fond of the crew and comes to visit them every day, and then, as take-off day arrives, he bids them to let him join them on board, because he claims that the other Alaree are about to kill him, since he knows now what individuality is. The crew hesitate, but eventually let him come. During the voyage, Alaree begins to feel the loneliness of being only one and not we anymore. He begins to eat a lot, an action that will lead to the end of his suffering.

Other resources:

[None on record]