When we came back, our world was not as we left it. We knew the stories- every child in our culture grows up hearing about it. Our first world was a green place, rich, full of life. There were too many of us, we thought, we could not hope for just that world to sustain us. So we left.
But then, recently, the arguments started. A small faction within the Powers that Be wanted us to return, to see what had happened to the first world, what had become of those we left behind. It was agreed to send a delegation. I, being one of the brightest of our scientists (I say this not to brag, but to explain), was sent to explore. It was a breathtaking opportunity, once-in-a-lifetime, which for our kind is saying something. It was a long journey. We were glad to land- our anticipation undimmed.
But at first, we couldn’t believe it was the same place. This land was mostly grey, not green. The water was murky. It took several sweeps before I was convinced that the air was safe to breathe.
We landed in a settlement, in an avenue lined with…
Well. They look like trees, anyway. But boy, did people get angry when I tried to repot one to take home.