Artist's impressions: Extraterrestrials
Humanoids | Alien Lifeforms | The avian | The spider-like creature | The insectoid | The worm-like creature |
The planet-creature | Alien Environments | Sulfuric Planet | Deep freeze Planet | Swamp Planet |
Communication with Alien Species
(Excerpt from „The Buzz Andrews Story“)
"The people were humanoid, but a fantastic variety, from closely human-looking to absolutely un-Earthly. They came in almost all colors of the rainbow, ranging in height from about four feet up to seven." (Oscar)
"Human-like figures in form-fitting uniforms were scurrying in both directions. They ranged from about four feet to seven feet in height, with widely-differing skin textures in a rainbow of colors. Some of their features resembled cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and insects - rather than the purely human characteristics that I was used to. Humanoid aliens, no doubt, possibly from various divergent environs and other lines of evolution. … They were mostly oxygen-breathing humanoids in varying shapes, sizes, races, colours and skin textures - a roost fantastic variety, showing diverse evolutionary paths." (Buzz Andrews)
"Human-like figures in formfit uniforms and from dwarf to giant size of widely differing skin textures were scurrying in both directions. Some of them even had features which resembled cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and insects. Most likely humanoid aliens from divergent lines of evolution." (Pavel Ivanovich)
"Although Federation populations are predominantly humans, there are large segments of alien races with many member worlds or associating worlds with native 'people' of aquatics, amphibians, crusteceans, reptilians, mammalians, avians, insecteans and many other types."
Our first alien partner was a seven-foot-tall creature who was somewhat of a bat/eagle/angel combination of a whitish-gray color. 'It' bad very strong muscles, taloned legs, arm-like appendages with intricate manipulative digits, sharp beak and large cranium. Many of his physical capabilities were bionically reinforced and augmented. I experienced bow to soar with the eagles, to drink the nitrogen rich air, to do both ritual flying (their mating and social games) and combat flying. Our avian friend was an architect and civic planner by profession, which allowed me to glimpse their nest-like residences in the myriad cavities of mountaineous structures, built far away from their ingenious manufacturing centres and space ports. The avian got a great kick out of experiencing, through me, the mixed industrial/residential hustle-bustle of New York City (so much thrashing around in such confined fashion!), the human sports of ice hockey, scuba diving, and horseback riding. Not to mention the human mating process! The alien's probing into our human intimacies made me cringe inside; but then, I just 'laughed' mentally along with the avian - after all, the probings were mutual.
Our second partner was a calf-sized, spider-like creature with a tough hide, many eyes and numerous other sensors. Upon becoming one with 'him' in mind momentarily, I marvelled at his kind's superb abilities of locomotion and manipulation. They certainly didn't need passenger elevators, for they could just run up the walls of any high-rise building. At assembling or repairing machines, their usage of many appendages, instead of two human hands, was dazzlingly impressive. They built many robots of far greater facility, and they prided themselves on building the most intricate and versatile spaceships in many galaxies (theirs was the ultimate design in the line of still-standard-usage servo-mechanical vessels). I didn't care much for their method of feeding off mostly 'small' insects (yet it felt perfectly alright while I was 'one in mind' with him). Of course, it's all relative really - he, in turn, thought that human cooking was plain idiotic. He was fascinated, however, by human skating, skiing, sailing, choral singing and romantic notions. His kind was most orderly, predominantly cerebral, great lovers of geometric designs and of aural harmonies.
Our third partner was a five-foot-long, shiny brown insectoid creature with multiple appendages and a large head - some kind of bug, halfway between a giant ant and a cockroach. We all stifled our respective revulsion at each other's sight - which, on a second thought, we all found most comical, considering the relativity of creature taste. Actually, our partner, a top government official and high-class socialite as well, was regarded as something of a beauty queen of her species. Well, so much for looks and tastes. This bug lady's social function and sex practices were somewhat similar to that of a queen bee's. Angela and I found this really wild, while our lady bug friend found it very hard to comprehend Angela's monogamous nature, the free-wheeling human-type romances, and the universal human ideal (even if not always practiced) of a democratic world view. Yet, in spite of the insectoid society's rigid and dictatorial ways, they were very efficient in engineering and in the organization of their multibillion-inhabitant underground population centres (try to imagine one thousand times the complexity of New York City as mostly below ground). Their production and transportation systems were equally superb. It reminded me of ant hills and ant mentality, yet I gathered that they were very contented with their ways and status quo. Well, to each his or her own.
Our fourth partner was a worm-like creature, some five to six feet long - either a centipede or caterpillar. It was strictly vegetarian and a most devout nature lover, with a strong mystic bent. The worm's society was mostly concerned with ecological and ethical issues, with high expertise in holistic medicine and the healing of all types of creatures. Least of their concerns was engineering, in spite of their aptitude for it and even though they already had some pre-atomic kind of technology (comparable to Earth's 1940's level). They were introduced to space travel in the past by alien visitors, and soon became sought-after medics and ecologists for multi-species space crews. The worm was appalled by Earth's violence-oriented ways, but fascinated by the spirit of human competition, adventuring and indigenous recreational pursuits. In contrast to humankind's ways, the worm's kind were noble entities of a loving and giving nature.
Our fifth and last partner was something really 'far out'. It was a fat, man-sized blob of amorphous and jelly-like matter, purplish-blue in color. It had no head or appendages. We learned that it was a chunk off a living entity which covered the surface of an entire planet and 'ate' mostly rocks for their mineral content. In its historical past, it had even devoured whole spaceships that happened to land on the living surface. Then, a space-going race discovered that the planet creature was intelligent, even though not capable of civilization building. It was very adept at telepathically communicating with any species, even mentally manipulating them against their own will. This ability was found very useful by many space-going races, end from then on, chunks of the planet creature were 'contracted' as highly-specialized telepathic communicators and facilitators on cosmic trips of scientific exploration into unknown regions, payment was done with rocks and rare minerals, or sometimes with whole planetoids for settling. Each blob was still part of the all-encompassing planetary mind regardless of distance, yet thought and functioned independently. They were very curious, wanting to know everything - a perfect empath who lived through the minds of others and slowly became readout terminals of the parent creature central repository of vast cosmic knowledge. The planet-creature was enthusiastically doing all this for its own sake of vicarious living, but also willing to serve for a super colossal cosmic library and for who knows what else.
I learned that the duration of one Federation Standard Day equalled twenty Earth hours; so I fell into their nocturnal cycle quite easily and had a deep and restful sleep after my very eventful first day aboard the SLA.
The next day we set out on a sightseeing tour of three different module sections with widely-contrasting environments. We entered each module world through its transfer chamber. I sat with Angela in a special-purpose air car, appropriately climatized and gravitroned for us. The inside of the transparent bubble was shared by the mini saucer which was clamped to the canopy section behind us. Probably its circuits would have malfunctioned in a non-Earth-type environ. Besides, it was doing its duty with the 'tour-guide' act - mostly for my benefit, since Angela must have been quite familiar with alien worlds.
The first module was the representation of a sulfuric planet. We drove through vast regions of yellow and crimson fumes, belching geysers and an active volcano. This 2.7 G world was 'peopled' by crab-looking crustacean types, darting in and out of crevices in the rocky terrain. The only kind of vegetation we saw were some purplish sponge formations. At one place, the crustaceans were busy with what appeared to be strip mining with odd-looking machines. Some 'crabbies' waved at us as we slowly drove by, and one gave a friendly tap with a claw on our hover car. I shivered all over. It was a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't care to live there. Our mini saucer kept chattering all the time, throwing all kinds of data at us, as we passed through display buildings on 'crabbie' life style and culture.
The second module we entered was the world of a 'deep freeze' planet. The sky was ice blue, with amazing rainbow light patterns in some darker sections - somewhat like a daytime 'Aurora Borealis'. It was a frigid artic world of mostly ice and snow, but it also had plenty of bare rock surfaces which were strewn with crystal boulders of various colors, and underground labyrinths amply covered by fungoid growths. The gigantic, fuzzy, polar-bear-looking 'people' were engaged in harvesting, transporting and processing the scattered crystals. Everything was large sized with these 'fuzzies', including the manipulative digits on their paw-like hands - yet I saw them working with very intricate mechanisms at crystal grinding and fitting tiny pieces into instruments. I was told this was their main technological export; but, personally, I'd rather buy a Swiss-made wrist watch. Still, I sort of liked these fungus-eating 'fuzzies', with their methane or ammonia atmosphere world of 1.9 G.
The third and last module we visited was the world of a dirty-bluish swamp planet with orange-colored growths in the semblence of tall trees and purplish-colored thickets. There was also a backdrop of barren mountains. 'Life' consisted of reptilians commuting by their own 'wing power' from the craggy mountains, and frog-like amphibian 'mud-lovers'. These two sentient species co-existed very peacefully in their chlorine-breathing world. Matter of fact, they even collaborated in a complimentary fashion at producing various types of chemicals, both in gaseous and liquid form - mostly for export. Their jointly-built chemical plants were marvels of engineering. I was amazed by the number of technical and cultural feats they managed to pull off together during their intertwined history of symbiosis. Quite a marvel with the conflicting nature of reptilian 'airiness' versus amphibian 'sluggishness'. They shared a great passion, though, for engineering technology. Curiously, it was more by the stronger desire of the 'froggies' that they eventually developed space travel.
Of the many thousand intelligent alien species the Federation had made physical contact with, communication is completely impossible with three-quarters of them. They are that much different. With the other one-quarter, communication has been woefully inadequate. Thus, for humans, it's very hard to guess what a totally-alien intelligence would think or do. Evidently, this is a serious impediment to the formation of interspecies trade or exchange. The Federation's relating to others is based strictly on human logic and experience. For a while there was no other type of philosophical framework to use. But with this 'interspecies shuttle' SLA system, it became possible to learn more about each other's life and ways. And with the special 'one-to-one' mind-linking facilities on board, it is now possible to learn practically every salient factor about any given alien way of life. The newly-gained information can then be translated for our computer data interfacing, and finally linked to universal cross referencing. This makes the Federation yet a little wiser in its dealings with alien life forms. All this is happening for one good reason: cosmic cooperation and peaceful co-existence. In the long run, everyone profits.”