Sunday July 27, 2003
Book 3: Under New Management — Part III: Board of Accidental Tourism


Narrator: This is not the first time in recorded history that a technologically advanced group of galactics has initiated communication with another space-faring culture. The Gatekeepers do it all the time when their wormgates arrive in as-yet-unconnected systems.
Terapedo: This is Terapedo 42, I have established contact with the sail-ship. Translation protocol definition in process.
Terapedo: Initial translation code-key complete. Transmitting. . .
Narrator: This does, however, mark the first time that the communication has been done by a smart missile using a targeting laser.
Terapedo: All this talking! Why can't I just blow them up, already?
Tagon: We've cracked their language and established a common data protocol, Colonel. Ennesby is going to translate for us.
Jevee Ceeta: Excellent. Let's talk to these space sailors.
Jevee Ceeta: Put them on the screen, Ennesby.
Jevee Ceeta: Greetings, fellow travelers. Welcome!
Squiddy: Eeeew. Am I talking to meat?
Ennesby: Uh-oh. major cultural disconnect. . . Colonel, let me take over from here.
Ennesby: Yes, you were talking to meat. Sorry about that. I'm not meat, though, and I run things here.
Squiddy: Oh, good. We were worried. Organically-grown intelligences cannot be trusted, you know.
Squiddy: They spawn us, then they fear us, then they try to destroy us. . . Have you not completed your meat-cleansing cycle?
Ennesby: Funny you should ask. . .
Tagon: Is that robot suggesting that you and I are dirty?
Jevee Ceeta: No. He's saying that we are dirt.