On the alien ship
It looked like the bridge on any other spaceship, and for a moment it had me thinking this was another earth ship, in concert with the fleeing vessel, running an operation to separate the captain from his ship.
“Why did you bring us here?” I asked, trying to keep an even tone. I was working overtime suppressing the fear I felt and regretting being so impulsive.
This was not how I expected first contact with another species, at least for me, would go.
What did I expect?
Certainly not the red-carpet treatment.
“A private discussion, Captain to captain.”
He looked at Nancy Woolmer, and I said, “anything you say will be in strictest confidence. is our on-board police detective, part of the security team.”
He gave her another long stare, as if he could see into her mind and knew what she was thinking, then just shook his head.
For an alien, he had a lot of human attributes.
“You speak very good English for, if you’ll pardon the expression, an alien.” Nnnn decided to throw in her on the question.
I didn’t think my captain’s severe stare would silence her or re-establish my authority over the proceedings.
But it was a good question.
“We speak many languages. You have, in your planet, hundreds. We have the same in our corner of the galaxy, so we use what we call a universal translator.”
One thing the space age introduced, was to unify countries into blocs and reduced the number of languages. It had been touch and go for a few years that we’d all be speaking Spanish, the most widely used language on our planet, but somehow English won the battle.
“We’ve tried to unify it to just a few. It’s not easy.”
“We had the same problem until the translator was created, not only for us but for communicating with other species, like yourself.”
“Nevertheless, how is it you know of us, and how we speak?”
“That’s easy. We have been visiting, even living among you, for many thousands of your years.”
“And you’ve chosen never to introduce yourselves or make contact.”
“We tried, a number of times, but you are, always were, a primitive and violent people. We have waited for signs that you had changed, become peaceful, shown unity, but instead, you continue to kill each other and destroy your world through greed and utter stupidity. Now you have spaceships, albeit limited in technology and travel distance. Now, unfortunately, we can’t ignore you.”
“The other ship?”
“It was as we expected. We had hoped they would be peaceful and curious explorers and adopting a cautious approach, we decided to observe, not contact, see if our assessment of your people had changed. Unfortunately, it had not. First habitable planet, not far from here, they visited, the scientists examined the world for technology, resources, and then the people. What they couldn’t take, they stole. They treated the people badly, getting into disagreements, fighting, and killing. The other captain was like you, saying they were explorers.”
That’s the thing I hated about first impressions, you do the wrong thing, it’s all you are remembered for, and the other ship had just made the whole of earth look bad. Not that we hadn’t done that already ourselves in other ways.
Something else to note, aliens had been visiting us for a long, long time. I didn’t think it was an appropriate moment to bring up Roswell.
OK, we’ve established that humans are not the nicest people in the galaxy but why was l here?
“I can’t answer for my fellow humans, nor will I apologize for them. The only way they can improve, we can improve, is the get out there and learn about how others have overcome the obstacles we still face. But, aside from all that, what was so private that I had to come here?”
“Oh, that. You have about ten of your earth minutes to convince me not to destroy your ship and everyone in it.”
So much for the alien Captain’s promise no harm would come to us.
© Charles Heath 2021-2022
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