Monday, 24 November 2014

Meeting An Alien

To reinforce my earlier point about the oddness of doing regular business with non-human intelligences, David Falkayn enters the office of Beljagor, the Polesotechnic League factor on the planet Vanessa, and, for the first time in his life, sees a being from Jaleel. Beljagor is "...somewhat anthropoid" (The Van Rijn Method, p. 274) but:

he is just above a meter in height;
his (visible) feet each have three thick toes;
his hands have three mutually opposed fingers;
his only garment is a kilt;
he has gray scales and a yellow abdomen;
his nose resembles a tapir's snout;
his ears resemble bat wings;
"carroty" (carrot-colored or carrot-like?) cilia grow from his head;
a chemosensor tendril of flesh grows from above each of his small, ultraviolet-detecting eyes.

Despite all this unfamiliar alienness, Falkayn thinks that Beljagor is not so bad when the factor offers him a beer and he responds, "'Thank you, sir.'" (ibid.) They then discuss immediate practical business as straightforwardly as if they were members of a single species. The only distinction that concerns Falkayn is the Beljagor is a Master whereas he himself is a mere journeyman.

Also in the office is a shape that Falkayn does recognize and finds "...not an unpleasing sight..." (p. 268), a Vanessan, Beljagor's liaison officer, a slim, brown-furred, tail-squatting tyrannosaur with a large shimmering dorsal fin (!) who, Falkayn can see, is neither male nor transmitter but female. Personally, I would take one look in that office and run like heck.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, Paul!

I don't pretend to know how I would react to meeting non humans as casually as we see David Falkayn doing, but I hope I would be fascinated!