Is there a problem with our universal translator? Nah. Couldn't be.

Pherdnut

Diabloii.Net Member
Is there a problem with our universal translator? Nah. Couldn't be.

Since the humans appear to be approaching the ability to send out manned spacecraft throughout their solar system, the council has approved our making first contact. Our first encounter was very puzzling, however.

Let the record show that we did everything precisely in accordance with the Manual of First Contact.

As always we went directly to those members of the species given the honor of food production. In our experience, those who control the food are the most trusted of the species since this is the primary requisite for life.

We chose to land near a small house next to one of their agricultural fields which was clearly marked by previous scout vessels.

Upon exiting my pod I came face to face with our first humans. There were three of them. Two males and one female. This is where the strangeness began. I immediately unhinged my jaw and flipped my claws back to let them know that I meant no harm. This excited them greatly. The first, exclaimed [sacred] [queen] of [defecate]!

This confused me so I spun my head 360 degrees to indicate my inability to understand as is galactic custom in such affairs but this only seemed to aggravate them further.

"[Procreate!]" they screamed. "[Procreate! Procreate! Procreate!]" This made some sense to me I suppose. Humans, I am told, rarely have more than ten hatchlings in their lifetimes compared to our thousands and their apparent slave class that lives a monotonous existence on the outskirts of their commerce/cultural centers average around a mere 2.5. It only stands to reason that the humans spend a great deal of time thinking about procreation, but this still seemed like an awkward time for it. It certainly couldn't be me they were hoping to procreate with. After all, they haven't got enough sockets.

These thoughts, however were getting me nowhere fast, so I chose to present them with the gift. A nearly hatched 8-legged Lyconian Liquivore. Known throughout the galaxy to imprint itself to any species, this would make a faithful pet to any humanoid and is also a capable slayer of small to medium sized vermin. I presented the egg to the human closest to me and emitted a destasifying beam at it to set the Razor Beast birthing process in motion. This is typically considered a magical sight by most and judging by the receiving human's song, it was by him too.

As the little beast began to expand to full size and started tearing through the egg's tough outer casing with its pupling claws, the eyes of the human I presented it to went wide with admiration and it began singing a new form of song that only appears to have become popular in the last twenty to thirty of their cycles or so. Although typically accompanied by one percussion and two stringed instruments, this human seemed quite capable of singing solo and demonstrated so by holding his voice at a high yet ragged pitch for an extended period of time.

The other two humans ran away waving their arms shouting [He's Procreated!] {Jeb} (the translator indicates an honorific or proper noun) [is procreated!] Once again with the procreation. What is it with these humans? At this point I was uncertain introducing them to the FTL faring community at large was such a good idea. Could we be unleashing the most hormonal species yet known to Sentience upon the galaxy?

In any case, things went decidedly coreward when the hatchling attempted to leap into the arms of its of it's new parent while emitting a shrill screech that was no doubt meant to mimic the human's own singing. The human stopped singing at this point and ran.

The hatchling of course, knowing no other family, friend, or egg host, followed. At about this point, the female human was opening the portal to their house and a medium sized four-legged creature came tearing out of the house dead on for the Lyconian Liquivore. "[Small particle of plasma infused matter] {y} [No!]," the human screamed. Well I hadn't the foggiest what that meant. No doubt some kind of crude exclamatory slang, but it did nothing to prevent the small creature from lunging at the Lyconian Liquivore with its teeth bared.

The liquivore, of course, only did what was natural and jumped straight into the creature's maw while hosing down its interior with powerful digestive juices and taking in the newly formed liquid nutrients. One of the reason such pets are so prized is because they leave little mess. Merely a neatly desicated husk that can easily be rolled up into a ball and thrown into a waste recycling receptacle.

[Deficate!] the human female screamed. Judging by the pool of liquid forming at {Jeb}'s feet, he apparently took direct orders from her even if it meant making involuntary functions voluntary. This was a fascinating cultural phenomenon I was witnessing and it should be noted for our second attempt.

This attempt, however appears to have gone awry. The humans eventually pulled out a primitive weapon and shot the liquivore with it. It, of course wrapped itself around {Jeb} in an attempt at protecting itself but they only continued firing at it taking out poor {Jeb} in the process. Needless to say, I was quite horrified by their careless treatment of such a magnificent organism (it was clearly superior to their own pet) and beat a hasty retreat into my pod. As per the Manual of First Contact, I immediately vaporized the entire area to leave no sign of the ordeal in order to avoid coloring future human contact scenarios.

After discussing the matter with my superiors, we've come to the conclusion that the food producing humans are either crazy, ingrates, or simply at some stage of their mating cycle where their hormones have gotten the better of them to the point where they can't think clearly.

We've selected a new target area, a very large five sided structure that seems to show an appreciation for geometry and is no doubt a religious center of some sort due the fanciful costumes and dogmatic rituals exhibited by the humans who frequent it.
 

0xDEADCAFE

Diabloii.Net Member
I liked this. Very funny, but at the same time it sort of made sense. I could almost imagine this being a serious first contact report with the author, obviously, not having a clue about what was really happening.

I thought the universal translator [words] generally worked quite well, in fact those were the funniest parts, IMHO. I did not quite get the "[Small particle of plasma infused matter] {y} [No!]," joke. I assume it was meant to be their dog's name, something like "fluffy", but I couldn't quite figure it out.

This was a blast. Really good job. :thumbsup:
 

Snowglare

Fan Fiction Forum Moderator
Thanks, I needed a laugh.

Since the humans appear to be approaching the ability to send out manned spacecraft throughout their solar system, the council has approved our making first contact.
I take it this is set in the 40's or 50's, then. Throughout the story we see examples like the abovequoted, where things are made plain without being spelled out. There are only a few spots where things are confusing at all, and I'm not sure any of it is due to poor writing. So we have two of the keys to suspension of disbelief: believability - although we know this to be a work of fiction we can, as Deadcafe said, imagine it happening - and faith - we trust that the author knows what he or she is doing.

Our first encounter was very puzzling, however.
You say, "the council has approved making first contact," then start right into a past tense report of said contact. Need to fix that.

I immediately unhinged my jaw and flipped my claws back to let them know that I meant no harm.
This keeps making me chuckle. By the time I finished reading it the first time, I was hooked for the remainder of the story.

This confused me so I spun my head 360 degrees to indicate my inability to understand as is galactic custom in such affairs but this only seemed to aggravate them further.
This wants for pauses. I recommend treating "as is galactic custom in such affairs" as an aside and placing commas on either side of it. You should also place a comma after "me", since what follows "so" is an independent clause. Look for similar cases elsewhere in your work. With commas less is more, but only up to a point.

These thoughts, however were getting me nowhere fast, so I chose to present them with the gift.
There are numerous ways to modify this and your other uses of the word "however". I think the best course of action would be to phase out the word entirely, and rewrite where necessary to cover its absence. I imagine the story would be just fine without it. If you do leave it in, you need to place a comma before and after it. E.G. "These thoughts, however, were getting me nowhere fast".

A nearly hatched 8-legged Lyconian Liquivore.
This sentence fragment (all subject, no predicate) should be connected to the previous sentence by a colon.

I presented the egg to the human closest to me and emitted a destasifying beam at it to set the Razor Beast birthing process in motion.
Razor Beast? Okay, now I have to wonder. Is this alien extremely naive, or just faking it? Razor Beast?! Hold on while I grab some more rubberbands for my disbelief.

This is typically considered a magical sight by most and judging by the receiving human's song, it was by him too.

... the eyes of the human I presented it to went wide with admiration and it began singing a new form of song that only appears to have become popular in the last twenty to thirty of their cycles or so. Although typically accompanied by one percussion and two stringed instruments, this human seemed quite capable of singing solo and demonstrated so by holding his voice at a high yet ragged pitch for an extended period of time.
There, that's better. Nicely suspended in "who cares? It's funny" land.

At this point I was uncertain introducing them to the FTL faring community at large was such a good idea.
I think there should be a hyphen connecting "FTL" and "faring", since the latter is acting as a suffix of the former rather than a noun or verb (as with spacefaring).

Could we be unleashing the most hormonal species yet known to Sentience upon the galaxy?
I like the "hormonal" judgment is based entirely (or mainly) on the actions of the male of the species. Heh.

In any case, things went decidedly coreward when the hatchling attempted to leap into the arms of its of it's new parent while emitting a shrill screech that was no doubt meant to mimic the human's own singing.
Two words too many; "of it's" does not belong.

The liquivore, of course, only did what was natural
"Of course" and "only" are redundant here; either can be dropped without changing the intended message. I recommend "The liquivore did only what was natural".

One of the reason such pets are so prized is because they leave little mess.
reasons

Merely a neatly desicated husk that can easily be rolled up into a ball and thrown into a waste recycling receptacle.
desiccated

[Deficate!] the human female screamed.
[Defecate!] *giggle*

We've selected a new target area, a very large five sided structure that seems to show an appreciation for geometry and is no doubt a religious center of some sort due the fanciful costumes and dogmatic rituals exhibited by the humans who frequent it.
Should be "due to the". Ends as well as it started. :)
 

Pherdnut

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks for the comments and criticism. I didn't really do a hard core edit on it though. Thought I'd edited razor beast to Lyconian Liquivore.

The Dog's name was "Sparky" btw. :D
 

RevenantsKnight

Diabloii.Net Member
Heh...short but sweet, I see. This was a rather funny read, as well as quite smooth and original. Like 0xDEADCAFE, I did much like the literal translations, and the deadpan tone really worked well, in my opinion. My only overall criticism is that you might have relied a bit too heavily on the literal-translation-of-obscenities gag; while it works, to be sure, it gets a little old after a while. In general, people can be pretty stupid, but we can learn more than one trick. Anyway, here’re some specific comments, excluding errors that Snowglare already caught:

Pherdnut said:
In our experience, those who control the food are the most trusted of the species since this is the primary requisite for life.
Minor nitpick: “this is...†should be “food (or it) is...â€

Pherdnut said:
We chose to land near a small house next to one of their agricultural fields which was clearly marked by previous scout vessels.
Heh...marked, indeed. I think that should be “had been clearly marked,†though...not sure on this one, because it seems like either wording is valid. I just think it makes more logical sense for it to be in the past relative to the story, which is itself told in the past tense.

Pherdnut said:
There were three of them. Two males and one female.
I’d punctuate this with a comma, not a period. Also, this seems like a good time to throw in some alien perspective on what people look like...there’s so much you could play on, from facial expressions to clothing to anatomical design.

Pherdnut said:
I immediately unhinged my jaw and flipped my claws back to let them know that I meant no harm.

This confused me so I spun my head 360 degrees to indicate my inability to understand as is galactic custom in such affairs but this only seemed to aggravate them further.
Ahh...that was excellent. And I second Snowglare’s suggestions here.

Pherdnut said:
The first, exclaimed [sacred] [queen] of [defecate]!
That should be “The first exclaimed, ‘[sacred]...’â€

Pherdnut said:
This made some sense to me I suppose.
There should be a comma after “me.†Rather unusual reasoning on the alien’s part...but amusing regardless.

Pherdnut said:
Humans, I am told, rarely have more than ten hatchlings in their lifetimes compared to our thousands and their apparent slave class that lives a monotonous existence on the outskirts of their commerce/cultural centers average around a mere 2.5.
The authorial commentary here might have been a bit too heavy-handed; the “apparent slave class†and “monotonous existence†parts didn’t sound as naively objective as the rest of this. For that reason, it caught me up here for a second.

Pherdnut said:
It only stands to reason that the humans spend a great deal of time thinking about procreation, but this still seemed like an awkward time for it.
Hrm...I can see where this logic is coming from, but somehow I think that it would make more sense if humans had more offspring than the aliens; that way, we invest relatively larger amounts of energy in reproduction.

Pherdnut said:
At this point I was uncertain introducing them to the FTL faring community at large was such a good idea.
In addition to Snowglare’s suggestion, I’d word this as “...I felt uncertain whether introducing...â€

Pherdnut said:
Could we be unleashing the most hormonal species yet known to Sentience upon the galaxy?
Probably, yes.

Pherdnut said:
"[Small particle of plasma infused matter] {y} [No!]," the human screamed.
I wouldn’t have got this either without the explanation. Might be a tad too roundabout...

Pherdnut said:
It, of course wrapped itself around {Jeb} in an attempt at protecting itself but they only continued firing at it taking out poor {Jeb} in the process.
There should be commas after “of course†and “at it.â€

Thanks for posting!
 

Snowglare

Fan Fiction Forum Moderator
RevenantsKnight said:
Pherdnut said:
This made some sense to me I suppose. Humans, I am told, rarely have more than ten hatchlings in their lifetimes compared to our thousands and their apparent slave class that lives a monotonous existence on the outskirts of their commerce/cultural centers average around a mere 2.5. It only stands to reason that the humans spend a great deal of time thinking about procreation, but this still seemed like an awkward time for it.
Hrm...I can see where this logic is coming from, but somehow I think that it would make more sense if humans had more offspring than the aliens; that way, we invest relatively larger amounts of energy in reproduction.
I believe the implication is that the aliens take after certain insects when it comes to reproduction, giving birth to many young at once. I imagine they're also more efficient at it, and more potent. If I could go from 0 to 100 kids in nine months (or less; the alien gestation period could be much shorter), I would hardly spend any time at all thinking about procreation.
 
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