The Chinkos in Battlefield Earth

Human Aliens: The Chinkos in Battlefield Earth

In L. Ron Hubbard’s sweeping sci-fi epic Battlefield Earth, he introduces the Chinkos, an extraterrestrial race akin to humanity, often called “human aliens,” that were the guardians of knowledge before they were wiped out by the ruthless Psychlos. Despite their extinction the Chinko legacy persisted, guiding the protagonist, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, and the remaining humans on Earth to triumph over their oppressors.

In this article, we will explore Chinko history, culture, identity, similarities to humans, and the tragic event that led to their demise.

Who Are the Chinkos: From Existence to Extinction

The Chinkos, hailing from “Galaxy Two,” were remarkable—nine feet tall, thread-thin, and delicate. They were amazing artists and painters, highly educated, keeping massive amounts of books and filing cabinets full of notes. Their politeness and brightness knew no boundaries.

They were an old race, and in truth, what the Psychlos knew of cultural arts, they learned from the Chinkos, although they did not want to admit that.

Despite their advanced cultural and artistic achievements, they fell under the subjugation of the Psychlos, who exploited their talents while deeming them expendable. The Chinkos, adept artists and scholars, were forced into slavery, their brilliance overshadowed by their oppressors.

Intergalactic Psychlo wiped them out a few hundred years earlier than the year 3000 when they initiated a strike.

Before their extinction, the Chinkos who had been re-located to Earth in the Department of Culture and Ethnology recorded man-language discs with language learning and all possible Earth and intergalactic technology and cultural data accumulated. A Learning Machine replayed these discs to students, who would assimilate the data through lighting flashes.

The Role of the Chinkos and the Learning Machine in the Storyline

Despite their extinction, the Chinkos continued to influence the course of events in Battlefield Earth through their recorded knowledge. Terl, the head of Earth Psychlo Security, utilized the Learning Machine to serve his own means, enabling Jonnie Goodboy Tyler to learn from the Chinkos. Initially, Jonnie is shocked by the machine:

Jonnie tried to look under the machine and back of it. The thing wasn’t alive, surely. It didn’t have ears or a nose or a mouth. Yes, it did have a mouth. A circle low down in front of it. But the mouth didn’t move. Sound just came out of it. And it was talking Jonnie’s language!

And soon, a Chinko appears through the machine:

“Excuse me,” the machine said, “but I am your instructor if you will forgive such arrogance. I do not have the honor to be a Psychlo. I am but a lowly Chinko.” The face in the bottom window bowed twice and put a hand over its eyes.

“I am Joga Stenko, Junior Assistant Language Slave in the Language Division of the Department of Culture and Ethnology, Planet Earth.” Squiggles were running rapidly in the upper window.

“Forgive my presumption, but this is a course of study in reading and speaking the man-languages of English and Swedish.

“On the left-hand track of the record, I hope you will have no trouble in finding English. On the right-hand track you will find the same text in Swedish. On the center track the same text is in Psychlo, the Noble Language of Conquerors.

“The written equivalent in each case appears in the upper window and suitable pictures appear in the lower window.

“You will pardon my humble pretensions of learnedness. All wisdom abides in the Governors of Psychlo and one of their major companies, the great and mighty Intergalactic Mining Company, on which let there be profit!”

Jonnie carried on with a piercing beam of “sunlight” teaching him everything, including the whole civilization of the Psychlos. He crammed years of education into weeks and months with one goal: vengeance for the destruction of his race.

An Alternative Ending: The Resilience of the Chinko Race

In writing the Epilogue to Battlefield Earth,  Mr. Hubbard made numerous notes to tie loose ends. In one set of notes, a handful of Chinkos survived in the remote hills of their planet, struggling as scholars and artists. Rejected by many, they sought aid from Jonnie, who treated them with unexpected kindness. Jonnie’s support transformed their lives, catapulting Chinko art into intergalactic acclaim. The Chinkos repaid their loans punctually, emphasizing their success and determination.

Following are the notes and the transcript.

Chinkos—an old
Chinko showed up
on the platform one
day after several
cross transfers.
There were several
hundred Chinkos
left in the hills
of their planet.

As they were just scholars
and artists they could not
get much in the way
of loans.

And this one or that
told them they
[were] unfit to see Jonnie.
He was astonished to
be treated like a
VIP by Jonnie, the
old rags changed
to silk and sent home
with loan guarantees
that made McAdam
flushed. But Chinko
art became the rage of
the galaxies. The loans were
all repaid on schedule.

L. Ron Hubbard note on the Chinkos

The notes highlighted the resilience of these human aliens, making them celebrated artists and scientists across galaxies.

Conclusion and Reflections: The Legacy of the Chinkos Lives On

Although this expanded ending remained unpublished, it emphasized the significance of imaginative artists and skilled scientists in preserving cultures and shaping history. The Chinko enduring legacy serves as a testament to the power of creativity and knowledge, echoing L. Ron Hubbard’s belief in the pivotal role of artists and men of science in the survival of cultures and civilizations:

A culture is as rich and as capable of surviving as it has imaginative artists, skilled men of science, a high ethic level, workable government, land and natural resources, in about that order of importance.

—L. Ron Hubbard

Other articles you may be interested in:

Message of Peace in Science Fiction

Will Aliens Look Like Us?

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