August 11, 2015

Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

SF Trope: “All Planets Are Exactly Like Earth

Hamsa Mohmand squirmed in his wheelchair and muttered, “This isn’t exactly how I envisioned meeting an alien welcoming committee.”

“Be happy the *trill*Geh are willing to meet with us at all,” said Layan Joya. “There are indications their culture has no tolerance for handicaps.”

“We’re not handicapped!” Hamsa exclaimed.

“To them we are. Now be quiet.” The airlock from the lander to the outdoors irised open. A fresh breeze blew across their faces. Layan said, “Dill weed.”


“Alien,” she said, then sneezed. She glanced at Hamsa, eyes wide, “What if we’re allergic to them?”

“Allergens would have shown up in analysis. There’s never been a meeting so carefully coordinate and planned as this one.”

“Yeah, from fourteen hundred light years away!”

“Good thing we have the q-no.” The quantum nonlocality device allowed them to speak with anyone on Earth without delay. Their first encounter with the *trill*Geh was being broadcast back on Earth in every format and language.

“A lot of good that’s done us…”

“Quiet, they’re here.” A broad moving platform on multiple small wheels rode up to the foot of the ship’s gangplank. On it lay a living being that looked like a biological version of the vehicle – wide, flattened, and covered with what appeared to be gray leaves that lifted and fell in a rhythmic, faintly nauseating pattern. “Watching them never made me feel queasy from the ship,” she whispered.

“It’s the direct contact and the smells and the double gravity – all together. One of the braniacs on Earth said this might happen.” He sneezed.

The *trill*Geh moved off the vehicle with a sinuous, millipede-like stride. The forward portion of the creature lifted from the ground and four pairs of tentacles unrolled. The tips of the uppermost two and lowermost two twisted together, the central four stretched out at forty degrees from each other. The effect was of a six-pointed star. At the top was a crown of blue cilia that never stopped moving. Abruptly, every one of the leaves stuck out and the *trill*Geh dropped to the ground. It was instantly back on all of its feet again.

“What was that?”

“I have a funny, unfunny feeling about this…”

Names: Afghanistan;   Afghanistan

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