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    Escapist
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Short escapes - 1. All together now

“Just look at the electricity flows! I tell you, that’s the core of their beings! The rest is just extraneous matter that accumulates to them over time!”

Sub-3 shimmered with annoyance as spiky bursts of gamma rays, convinced that his hypothesis was correct.

“Look, Sub-3, I’ve told you countless times we have to be sure of that before we try to call one of them here!”

Mid-5 was getting tired of this topic. They’d been watching this planet for the past several cycles from the observatory and transport hub. It was the third out from the star, a small rocky world with an unusually wet environment. Their watch assistant, Sub-3, was an outstanding new member of the staff, but seemed prone to jumping to conclusions and then hanging on to them tenaciously.

“Come on, Mid-5, all intelligent life we’ve encountered so far is electromagnetic. I know these beings on the wet planet have an unusual amount of matter accumulating to them, but their existence can’t be different to that in the rest of the known universe! Every life form able to influence their surroundings using technology has been electromagnetic!”

“Sub-3, we’ve been over this seven times in this watch alone. Just because we’ve never seen anything other than electromagnetic life forms doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It is now the end of your watch. You may return to your charging cell. I suggest you stabilise your emotional bandwidth before you come back.”

Sub-3 emitted a short pulse of disgust in the infrared. Why were the Mid-class individuals all so damn resistant? Just because they ran at a higher voltage, they thought they were better than everyone else.

They were like bloody topological insulators, thought Sub-3. New ideas slipped over their surfaces as easily as electrons, but nothing got through to their bulk.

I’ll show them, Sub-3 thought. Just you wait.

 * * * * * *

A chance came two cycles later. Sub-3’s Mid-grade partner had just left when a solar flare disrupted the incoming watch leader. Mid-5 needed to return to their charging cell to stabilise. Sub-3 would have at least half a cycle alone in the hub.

The long-range monitoring system was a silicon based computational support matrix, not unlike the computer technology of the beings on the wet planet. This was another reason that Sub-3 was sure they were right. If this new species produced similar technology, surely they must be a similar form of life.

As the monitoring system was already focused on the planet, Sub-3 powered up the transport module. The monitoring system could be programmed with specific characteristics to look for, and the transport module would then lock on and transport them to the reception area. It was they first time Sub-3 was using the system, but they’d read all the manuals. Well, as much as was needed anyway.

Sub-3 could see that Mid-5’s transport was approaching. There were only a few millicycles left. The characteristics were already programmed, so they quickly set environmental controls to create an appropriate atmosphere for the target. A brief check of the transport settings and Sub-3 sent an initiation pulse at the module. The system locked on to a target just as Mid-5 entered the command area.

“What in the Gaussian hell are you doing?!” shrieked Mid-5 in hard X-rays. His panicked expression field was fluctuating to the upper extremes of the electromagnetic spectrum.

“I’ll show you I’m right!” gloated Sub-3, certainty showing through in the solid microwave background to their emotional matrix.

As the pair watched, the target individual from what the local inhabitants called Earth appeared in the climate-controlled reception area, or rather, their nervous system did. It quickly collapsed with a moist splat on the welcoming platform, the brain surrounded by a halo of thin nerve fibres looking not unlike a strange jellyfish. The platform was a marvel of technology grown from a single massive crystal of silicon, a point lost on the mass of rapidly denaturing nerve cells.

Sub-3 observed the immobile blob of jelly on the platform with slight consternation. A tremor appeared in phase-locked facade of his certainty, ironically in the electromagnetic range that would have been visible to their slowly congealing guest, had their whole eyes been transported instead of just their retinas.

Mid-5 was positively sparking with fury and consternation, but their anger faded along with the electrical activity in the mass of jelly. They focused their attention on Sub-3, ultraviolet dismay showing prominently as their expression field.

A wordless Sub-3 returned the attention, their own expression field coming to mirror Mid-5’s in the ultraviolet as they slowly came to terms with the enormity of what they had done.

“Oh, Sub-3, why did you have to be so rash? Not everything is so straightforward. Just because we’ve never seen an intelligent life form like this before, doesn’t mean it cannot exist.” Mid-5 shuddered, emitting a sad sigh of radar waves.

As the two electromagnetic beings contemplated each other, and the slightly steaming mess on the floor of the chamber, the transport module pinged a microwave alert. Mid-5 and Sub-3 switched their sensory fields to the device.

“Test sample transportation completed successfully. Expanding reception zone. Completing mass transport of remaining 7 billion samples matching monitoring criteria.”

Mid-5 and Sub-3’s sensory fields flashed back to each other at the speed of light, their panicked expressions creating a new blip on the cosmic background radiation as seven million tons of nervous tissue squelched into the confines of the newly expanded reception zone.

You could say that, for a brief moment, humanity was one.

Copyright © 2021 Escapist; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Not entirely sure this works, but it was fun to write. I hope you enjoyed it! This is my first story so any suggestions on how to improve are welcome!

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