It was not to be.
“Good morning sir,” he said.
Oh no, formality. It would be especially taxing,
“Good morning. What you been up to?”
“I greet you with much new insight,” he said. Oh boy.
“And how did you gain such insight?”
“From walking to and fro upon the earth,”
When he “goes Biblical,” on me, it is going to be a long day.
“You seem to be such an intelligent species in some ways,” he said.
“Yes,” he said. “Your advancement from blue algae to a species capable of mechanically escaping the gravitational force of your home planet with manned craft in a little over four billion years is remarkable, truly remarkable.”
“I had no idea.”
He looked to see if I was kidding, Satisfied I wasn’t, he said, “It took us Falloonians almost seven billion,” he said.
“It’s good to know we can excel,” I said.
“Of course,” he said, “we weren’t doing it for domination.”
“Oh? Then why?”
He cocked his head in that funny way he does when his circuits become temporarily overloaded. “Why,” he said, “for the simple love of knowledge.”
I knew the other shoe was about to drop so we walked along in silence as the birds sang and vehicles sped above us on the Interstate. A hawk suddenly appeared and landed on a tree near us, a sight that would normally have delighted my alien friend. He scarcely noticed it. I braced myself.
Finally, he spoke. “Why then?” was all he said.
“Why then what?”
“Why do you elect mendacious ignorami to public office/”
“Hey,” I said. “You got your Galactic Universal Translator fixed.”
“My GUT is fine,” he said, “and I trust it completely.”
“Only I think,” I said, “we would simply say ignoramuses.”
“You are certainly proving all over again that you are one,” he said.
When he goes “snippy,” I usually back off. “Want to tell me,” I said, “what brought this all on?”
“You call it ‘Ebola’ but that isn’t the galactic name.”
“You’ve heard of it?”
“Everyone has heard of it,” he said. “It is planted on developing planets by Castasurneans.”
“They have appointed themselves as purifiers of the Galaxy, They plant a deadly, but controllable virus on developing planets.”
“To determine if the controlling species is worthy of existing. In their view, those that are will combine their intellectual resources in a communal effort to defeat the threat, while the galaxy is best cleansed of those who don’t.”
“Did they do that to Falloonia?”
“Some five billion of what you call years ago.”
“You seem pensive today,” I said. “Is that a bad sign?”
“We had reached the commercial corridor that we call the ‘River Market’. He stopped in front of a newspaper stand and pointed. “Look,” he said.
There was a front page article in which a congressman stated that our President was spreading the virus for political gain.”
“How did he get elected?”
“Yes, the ignoramus.”
“Someone thought they should invest in him, I suppose.”
We walked on. I was the one getting pensive now.
“So …” I began, “Can you predict our chances?”
“Look,” he said, pointing at a magazine in another stand. Its front page advertised an article stating, “Governor of Louisiana says the state won’t limit the teaching of science in state schools to fact-only curriculum.”
|Isn't it a little dangerous to allow grown|
men to make statements like this in front
of little children? - C.W.
I was getting worried. “Any conclusions?” I said.
“Look,” he said. There was a pickup truck waiting at an intersection. A bumper sticker read, “Got a problem? Get a gun.”
“Uh …, I said, “and?”
He stopped and turned to me, His eyes grow large and black and within them I could see a vast field of eternity in which a tiny spark growing was growing dimmer as the scene turned dark.
“You haven’t started any long novels, have you?” he said.
Click an ad. I have to purchase a ticket home. - C.W.
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