xenogenesis Author:octavia e butler We had done our best to destroy ourselves, but in the aftermath of Earth's final war, the Oankali arrived. They rescued as many people as they could, then set about to make the devastated planet habitable again. The price of their aid: the irreversible transformation of humanity into something else. For the Oankali were genetic engineers - a rac... more »e that had survived by interbreeding with other species . . . gene traders who by constantly evolving, avoided the specialization that meant extinction or stagnation for other beings.
Lilith Lyapo had no idea how long she had been a captive, nor who her captors were. She'd awakened many times before - to silence; or to a disembodied voice asking endless questions, though it answered none; most often to maddening isolation.
This time was different. The voice that spoke to her did not come from the featureless ceiling, but from a shadowy figure of a man, thin and seemingly long haired, sitting in a dim corner of her room. His name was Jdahya, and he had come to take her outside to a new life - When she was ready, and had come to grips with the fact that Earth's saviors were extraterrestrials.
Lilith was immediately revolted and terrified by the sight of Jdahya. The Oankali's body was covered with grey sensory organs, not hair - writhing, wormlike tentacles. And yet the sheer alienness of his physical appearance was but the first of many shocks. What he revealed over the course of the following days, About his people and their plans, was far more difficult to accept.
Oankali ooloi - a thrd sex, neither male nor female - would control the interfreeding of the two disparate species. Within one generation, ooloi would genetically modify what they calle the Human Contradiction - the dangerous hierarchical tendencies that had led an otherwise intelligent race to destroy itself. Children born to women like lilith and to Oankali females would be hybrids - the start of a new species. Through some essence would survive, the human race would cease to exist.
Who was to say that survival was worth such a price?« less