Friday, September 10, 2010
We are in fact so very different from you that when your people came to our planet at first they did not recognize us as a higher evolved life form. Your people have two legs, two arms, two eyes… You are polarized creatures divided into male and female. We are not. In fact when your representatives two eyes saw us for the first time he believed we were all one organism; he equated our network with a multi-cellular plant life that he was more familiar with. He did not realize that what he had thought was a forest was really more like a civilization of his own kind. What he thought was a natural trunk was really a constructed interface for the billions of individuals working on it. It was constructed of information cells which were manufactured from within our very bodies with a silica based liquid which hardened when in contact with the nitrogen in our atmosphere.
In other words, we sat hard at work on a storehouse of information, and this was just one repository in a veritable forest of millions of such, and not even a major one at that. I was hard at work cataloging the number and frequency of light flashes observed from a pulsar in a nearby galaxy so that mathematicians could come behind me and figure out the pattern and thereby decode the history of the people or peoples who lived on its orbiting planets (though it would have to be admitted that this was a inexact science and sometimes we actually decoded mythology and not historical documents in this method).
I was a minor observer, a celestial recorder. This was not a position of either great power or of great recognition amongst my own people, in fact my name was not recorded on any of the lists of accomplishments. I was not known to the elders, and It was unlikely that my genotype would be chosen to produce more offspring. However I was to become famous amongst my people very quickly for I was the first to greet the human and to bridge the gap between us in communication.
It was kind of a accident, I had finished the data branch And had dropped to the ground to talk to my supervisor when the human picked me up in their bare hand. I immediately secreted a string of dialogue displaying my fear and confusion. I asked the creature who or what they were. I demanded that they stop holding me up by my single limb.
Unfortunately the creature did not communicate by chemical data secretions like we do, and so it continued to carry me back to its base camp where it put me through a string of tests in its laboratory. A sample was sectioned off of my body which he looked at under a microscope. I did not mind the procedure since he then placed the section back in the Petri dish with me and I was able to reconstitute it back into my structure.
This action caused much excitement, and more of the creatures were brought in to observe the behavior, which I was pleased to demonstrate though it was getting boring. I was all the while listening to their vibrations and was beginning to realize how I would have to communicate with the beasts. Their verbal conversation was mathematical and I could see the patterns. I do not have ears, but fine cilia hairs on my limb allow me to judge and therefore analyze data from wind currents and vibrations. In time I got used to the main vocal patterns and could understand their speech. Unfortunately understanding was not the only requirement in dialog. I could not produce vibrations the way they could, and so I could not communicate back.
After much analysis I determined what type of organ would be able to give a output they needed, I programmed into my genetic data a chemical diagram for the organ and I soon had a viable vibration or sound based communicator. It was not unlike a drum I was later to be told, with a simple membrane and a flexible cilia with a round knob on the end. I could flex the cilia whip-like and hit the small bladder-like membrane to make a slight pop sound.
I then devised a simple code, with a very basic tertiary rhythm much like our own chemical alphabet.
There was much vocal response which I could not decipher yet during this process, but I just recorded said verbal response, and saved understanding for another time. Right now I had to determine that these creatures COULD understand me, that they had some type of communication skills however rudimentary.
Eventually after I tapped out counting by two until I reached thirty and did some other basic math that would have to be a universal truth to any legitimately sentient species capable of space travel.
I then paused and waited. Finally after much loud babbling there was a response, the researcher tapped the desk 3 times and them tapped it 6 times. Then it tapped it 9 times. Obviously he was responding by counting by threes. I tapped along with him to communicate 12 together in unison. Finally contact.
After much confusion over the next day we communicated back and forth with our basic tap-tap math while I worked on translations of the their verbal communications I had so far recorded, and eventually managed to decipher some simple words. By the end of the week I had managed to get them to acknowledge a basic alphabet and I had sampled enough of their language that I had a understanding of their vocabulary. We began to communicate in short sentences. I finally managed to explain that I was just one technician on the data tree and if they wanted to communicate with the entire data network I would be happy to translate but I would have to be returned to my tree to do so.
A group of five of the humans took me back to the data tree, and I attached to the node, and began to chemically report the past weeks activities, as well as restoring my nutrients and purging my effluents. The network took 2.34 nanoseconds to reach a decision about what to do with the new human element in our equation and then I was given a response to make to my new acquaintances. The response was “leave… no pun intended.”