But there is one very young member of the mission the Earthlings don’t know about.
And this small Rythig has a very big problem.
A big problem which could cause an intergalactic incident…
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Genre/s: science fiction
Length: short story
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When I was a young sprig I nearly caused an intergalactic incident.
It was back when only a few people knew about Earth. My parental was chosen as part of the first diplomatic mission, and because I still needed pouch time it had to take me along. There was a bit of whispering about that but Par was one of the foremost experts on Earth people – they called themselves ‘humans’ – so it had to go.
Par made me promise to stay pouched and not to wander off when I was out. The humans we were to meet knew about us but most of their planet – even some of those in the biome where we were to meet them – did not. ‘They’re very much like we Rythig,’ Par said as it packed our nutrient tubes. ‘It takes an open mind to appreciate folks so different from ourselves.’
The trip was to take three revolutions, one rev to travel to the transmit, one rev inside as we were zipped to the other side of the galaxy, and one rev to make our way to Earth and the biome the humans had designated for our meeting. I remember asking on the trip why they couldn’t come to Rythig, and Par telling me they hadn’t discovered interstellar transmit yet. It also taught me some human words when I asked, because being a sprig I was bored with no other sprigs to link with.
Par had warned me to stay firmly pouched when we arrived but I couldn’t resist poking my opticals out and watching as Ambassador Sartog arranged everyone into a line and tapped at the airlock controls. The inner door irised open, then the outer door, and our moist shuttle air was replaced with a dry wind. A ramp rolled outward and solidified as it struck the ground. And there they were, the humans.
I can tell you that I had my lenticulars twisted so hard together with excitement and anxiety that I just about broke them off.
Because those humans were the oddest creatures I had ever seen, even now that I’m in my sedentary years and have done my fair share of transmitting around the galaxy.