We, the lower life forms from which they evolved.
The Familiar opens with a few pages filled by the thoughts of a people that live at the end times in the expanding universe. Their description of the fading stars takes the theory discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929 to a possible conclusion in which mater has spread wide and stars can no longer be sustained. However, this entity turns its attention away from the impending demise, and instead focuses on identifying with mankind in this time frame by speaking to “you”.
The being cryptically states, “You are all we once were but vastness of our strangeness exceeds all light-years between our times.” (15). This and the surrounding text implies that the people of the VEM5 Alpha System are the final evolution of man. They are what we are to become right before the universe can no longer sustain us. Our present, their past. The message they chose to hand down is that two things will remain our commonality across the time that divides us. Death and War will be present from here until the end times.
These four pages are at great odds with many of the pages that follow, yet this is how the book opens. There seems to be no mention of them for at least 200 pages. The people of the VEM5 Alpha System say nothing after declaring a dreary future, or do they? Are they always watching as the text rolls on through the pages? Do they make corrections, comments, or even sensor information from the reader? ⠮Does he know?⠝ ⠮No, this is speculation. He has not read far enough yet.⠝ The text appears to promise the reader that there will be more encounters with the future dwellers since this introduction is Encryption 1/5.
If these beings are connected with the other stories from the book then that fact would only begin to raise more questions. However, questions seem to be The Familiar’s biggest export thus far.