|By Terry Bisson, who says:
Imagine, if you will, the leader of the fifth
LEADER OF THE 5TH INVADER FORCE: "They're made out of meat."
L: "Meat. They're made out of meat."
L: "There's no doubt about it. We picked several from
different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels,
probed them all the through. They're completely meat."
L: "They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals
don't come from them. The signals come from machines."
L: "They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to
tell you. Meat made the machines."
L: "I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These
creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made
out of meat."
L: "Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We
studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take too
long. Do you have any idea the life span of meat?"
L: "Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat
heads like the Weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat
all the way through."
L: "Oh, there is a brain all right. It's just that the
brain is made out of meat!"
L: "You're not understanding, are you? The brain does
the thinking. The meat."
L: "Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat.
Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you getting the
L: "Finally. Yes, they are indeed made out meat. And
they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of
L: "First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it
wants to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and
information. The usual."
L: "That's the idea. That's the message they're sending
out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there? Anyone home?' That sort of
L: "Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."
L: "They do, but what do you think is on the radio?
Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat it makes a noise?
They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by
squirting air through their meat."
L: "Officially or unofficially?"
L: "Officially, we are required to contact, welcome,
and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in the quadrant,
without prejudice, fear, or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we
erase the records and forget the whole thing."
L: "It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really
want to make contact with meat?"
L: "Just one. They can travel to other planets in
special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat,
they only travel through C-space. which limits them to the speed of
light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty
slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."
L: "That's it."
L: "They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went
into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a
dream to them."
L: "And we can marked this sector unoccupied."
L: "Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster
intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two
galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."
L: "And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the universe would be if one were all alone."
Last Edited: 08/27/2010