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Alien Optimism, a Little Bigotry and Wonder

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Alien Optimism, a Little Bigotry and Wonder

by: Jonathan Antony Strickland

It was a sunny day as the young husband and wife strolled casually back home from their long though pleasant walk out. As they neared home the husband began to strike up a conversation, talking about the game he’d seen earlier that saw his home team beat their rivals in an incredibly close and exciting match. Unfortunately, his words were virtually unintelligible to the wife who cared nothing for the daft sport that her husband so devoutly followed. He may as well have been talking a different language to her, and in truth she was actually glad that she hadn’t a clue as of what he talked, as he went into one boring rule after another. She instead contented herself with proudly pushing a bright yellow pram containing their newly born bundle of joy that had cemented their love for one another. There was nothing unusual about the couple, perfectly ordinary like millions of others on the planet, but for the unseen alien eye in the sky watching and observing them, being ordinary was just what he/she/it was looking for!

The husband stopped mid sentence as a great round shadow began to ascend from the sky, smothering the sunlight that had so lovingly caressed and warmed their bodies. He looked to his wife Sue who had also stopped in her tracks. She gazed at him in terror as she clutched onto the pram, not knowing what was happening. He knew that she looked to him for protection as the flying silver disk descended down towards them.

Bob let out a sigh of relief as his wife Sue eased her vice like grip on the prams handles as the large silver spaceship hovered above their heads. Although this was their first encounter and had taken them both by surprise, it was not the first time the aliens had been encountered by their race. In fact, over the last seventy seven years, they had made many visits to the planet, always stopping someone who was out for a stroll in some desolate area to ask their strange (sometimes even baffling) questions. The first few times it had happened and had been reported to authorities, the majority didn’t believe the stories. Most said it was a trick by simple folk being paid good money by actual reporters so they could sell more of their lies to the gullible masses. But it was when the aliens made themselves known undoubtedly to the world that the real panic began to set in. They did this by hijacking the airwaves, sending their own radio messages saying that they came in peace and only wanted to learn more about the primitive society and the world that the people lived on. At this there had been mass global panic, news items stating an alien invasion was imminent and the end of the world was nigh! However, the aliens were true to their word. And even when twelve alien ships flew down in greeting to the president, only to be met by the nation’s armed forces bent on their destruction, they simply sat back and let the bullets, missiles and bombs directed at them be harmlessly stopped by the powerful force-fields that surrounded the silver circular ships and themselves.

Realising that violence was not an option that could be used to thwart the alien menace, eventually the President gave in to the demands of the aliens which came in the form of… “Err… Hello… Please could you stop firing at us! We really do come in peace you know… We only want to have a little chat!”

Under such terrible commands the President eventually capitulated and the aliens were granted an audience. It was only at this point that the President realised that the strange and somewhat vulgar looking aliens did indeed speak the truth, were indeed very friendly and more importantly that he had been a massive arse!

After a long talk (actually, about an hour or so) with the President, the aliens requested that they were allowed to visit the planet occasionally and speak with random members of the populace in the hope of gaining spontaneous untapped knowledge and perhaps have a bit of a chinwag (according to the aliens, travelling through space was extremely boring and when you were stuck with the same faces all day. It was always nice to encounter someone new, with fresh interesting conversation, when the chance presented it!)

The aliens also offered to abolish poverty and raise the living standards of all those in need on the planet. Apparently the President had balked at this request at first, but once news had spread of the aliens generous offer, the populace threatened to revolt and he was left with little choice!

And so it was that a worldwide law was passed that if an individual was ever stopped by the aliens, they must answer all the questions put to them as truthfully as possible. At first this caused some people to worry. A super intelligent race asking them unknown questions. However, the questions were always of the mundane type and relatively easy to answer: “What do you do on days off work?” “How do you eat with those limbs?” What god or Gods do you believe in?” “When you expel fluids do you examine the contents excreted… Like I do?”

Some who found themselves stopped by the aliens were even brave enough to ask their own questions, the main one being why they didn’t improve this worlds technology so that they too could travel to the stars. The aliens had apparently stated that a race should always reach this goal by themselves, as they themselves had over many hundreds of thousands of years. They claimed that misery and struggle was most necessary to attain a prize that bettered ones position. Claiming that if such shortcuts were ever taken, things could go very badly for the primitive mind! They believed that methods needed to grow and develop over time, learning from past mistakes if progress was to be made. Power is not something that should ever be dished out as some kind of mere present! The aliens would always finish their answer by stating that as long as the cultures of this world didn’t destroy themselves (as many before had, that they’d known of!) then eventually, after many millennium, they too would explore the universe!

Bob and Sue waited excitedly as the spaceship got closer and closer until it eventually stopped, hovering highly above them. The spaceships that the aliens used always looked the same, huge metal disks without windows, doors, or indeed any discerning feature. Just a large silver disk that Sue guessed was about four times the size of their house. Looking up at the spaceship they watched as a small glowing circle of light began to appear within its centre. Then the light tunnelled down, shining onto the ground, making a concentrated beam that moved slowly around until it hit a spot only a little way from where the two stood. Then came a small buzzing noise as if by magic, out of thin air, a strange shape began to appear within the light as an alien from another world materialized before them… (though in truth the two knew all too well about the concept of teleportation. Many of their science-fiction writers had dreamt up such devices long before the aliens had appeared. So both knew that no magic was indeed involved).

“How’s it going my good fellow?”, said Bob to the bizarre creature in front of him.

The alien didn’t answer. Instead it pointed a long thin digit at the pram before saying: “The children you push. How did you make them? Tell me now how you made the children. Did you use tubes?”

“Eh!” said Sue and Bob simultaneously, giving first the alien then each other a confused look.

“Test-tubes… Did you use test-tubes? You do know of what I speak?” the alien said , knowing that even though it was a simple society it did have a basic knowledge of fundamental science. “Surely these idiots must have invented test-tubes!” he thought to himself.

“Yes we have test-tubes”, Sue replied. “But we didn’t make our babies in em!” “

“What an odd question”, she said in a whisper to Bob who shrugged his shoulders before making a secretive and derogative sign with his hand before pointing at the alien, as if to say that perhaps the creature was not quite so intelligent as what they’d been led to believe.

“You still use sex then?” the alien said (who was actually very intelligent and noticed all too well Bob’s rude gesture and the small snigger that Sue gave out. It was not the first time he had encountered this kind of behaviour though, in fact most of the other intelligent life he’d encountered on other planets showed signs such as this when dealing with something that they did not quite understand. He found that in was best to simply ignore it. Though he did whisper under his breath “Typical ignoramus!”)

“Of course… Don’t you have sex?” Sue said quite surprised.

“Well no! Not me. I mean don’t you have to… You know, stick bits of yourselves into each other?”

Sue went bright green with embarrassment as Bob gave an uncomfortable laugh before saying: “Er… no mate. We do it like everybody else does it!”

“But you do have sex though?” said the alien.

“Of course! Doesn’t everyone?”

“Hmmm… We used to have sex as well, though obviously our sexual intercourse was very different from your own. We do it now using gadgets you see… Machines… Test-tubes…. That sort of thing. With no mess and no mayhem. We found the activity of sex quite dangerous and the results could create lesser individuals with many flaws. Now though, we’re all created perfect!”

“Shame”, says Bob. “You don’t know what you’re missing!”

“This sex thing”, asks the alien. “Is this the thing you Zarmonians call love?”

“Yes”, says Sue.

“Well… I suppose it can be! Depends if the girl you’re seeing lays her eggs in a nice shaped clump” says a grinning Bob before Sue gives him a not-so loving tentacle in what the alien onlooker assumes to be are his ribs.

“Shut-up Bob. Our friend here does not want to hear about the clump of eggs I laid and how you went about fertilizing them.”

Sensing the conversation had taken an awkward turn the alien bids the young couple farewell, telling them that their conversation has been most informative (if a little illogical) then heads off back into his flying silver disk, which takes flight and vanishes into the cold green sky.

“Strange sort”, says Bob with a shake of his blue and black gills. “What did he say his name was again?”

“Dagomogaium Inonsjorg Frohkmow”, Sue replies (not sure if she had gotten the name right but also knowing that Bob wouldn’t have a clue either).

“Dagmondhfhjenb Ifdfdxfcffg Fefesfdsgdsh”, says Bob trying to pronounce the name, but failing miserably. “What kind of a stupid and backward thinking race comes up with a name like Dagondsdsfgum Inodmoeveonayin Fefesgtopematy?”

Sue gave a sigh, ignoring the blatant speciesism from her husband and instead simply settled for saying: “That’s humans for you!”


Alien Optimism, a Little Bigotry and Wonder

  • Author: Jonathan Antony Strickland
  • Published: 2017-05-11 16:20:14
  • Words: 1973
Alien Optimism, a Little Bigotry and Wonder Alien Optimism, a Little Bigotry and Wonder