Flash Fiction: Hyper-intelligence only goes so far

This week’s flash fiction challenge made me think of the recent paper that ended by supposing that we would be better off not meeting super-intelligent dinosaurs. I tend to agree with this idea, but perhaps you should read the article that explains this baffling ending to a serious paper. You can find it here. This inspired the following.

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“I say, I do wish to reiterate our opposition and indeed disgust of these comments,” said Rararaphnalmasia Adoluphina, otherwise known as Rex. He adjusted his monocle as he stared down at the monitor featuring the puny primate president.

“Indeed!” said Karlasasataaanait Vaaroulophinn, who was usually called by his nickname “Steg.” We resent the idea that your humanity would be better off not meeting us. Why, think of the potential cultural exchanges alone! The learning could be terrific.” Steg’s top-hat slid down to cover his eyes just then, and he adjusted it back onto one of his kite-shaped armour plates.

“But instead, we have to deal with these paranoid suggestions. And we would also like to protest this idea that we are well-advanced versions of your dinosaurs. We did evolve millions of years ago, its true, but in an entirely different star system, which circles two white dwarfs and a blue hyper-giant, wholly different than your Earth. We share nothing in common with your dinosaurs, or their avian descendants!” Rex pounded his fist onto the console. All these baseless accusations made him so mad. He was barely able to contain himself.

The primate president started to open his mouth, but Steg cut him off. “And furthermore, we would like to protest the prolific, problematic characterization on your internet of us as red-wine swilling, for health or otherwise. Like all civilized creatures, we enjoy a wide variety of alcohols in moderation. I enjoy a nice brandy from time to time.”

“I prefer a good white wine to red, myself.” Rex had just finished pouring himself a glass of scotch. “We do not appreciate the characterization of us as potential alcoholics. We are very responsible when it comes to consuming alcohol and piloting our vast space craft. Drinking and driving is a very serious crime.”

“Indeed, I can personally vouch that Rex did not have a single drink before he piloted our vessel into orbit.” Steg told the president.

“Well, what do you have to say for yourself? After these grievous insults?” Rex demanded, and they both started into the monitor.

The president inhaled visibly. There was moisture on his forehead. “I fear that we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot, and given you the wrong impression of us. We meant you no insult through these comments. In fact, they were published as something of a joke, as we had no idea that your kind actually existed. Still, I would like to convey my deepest apology for any insult that you’ve suffered. Certainly, the person who published these comments does not speak for the government of the United States, or for the world. Nor do the people who have made further comments on the internet.

Furthermore, I know that our peoples could learn from each other. You mentioned the possibility of cultural exchange. That would be something we would be very interested in, and I wish to convey the hope for peace and prosperity between our planets.”

“Well.” said Rex, as the haze of anger lifted. “Your heartfelt words are appreciated.”

“I think we can accept your apology. We thank you. I hope you will excuse us. We should return home, or else we will miss happy hour and the appetizers.” Steg turned off the monitor before the president could reply. “I think that went well.”

Rex punched the coordinates for home into the computer. The ship rumbled as the engines powered up and began to break up the Earth to extract the fuel they needed to return home. “Yes, I think they will think twice before insulting other races again. As well they should.”

“Well done, old chap.” Steg patted him on the back.”We’ve struck another blow for decency. But perhaps you should let me drive.” He pointed at the drink in Rex’s hand.”

“Oh, of course. How thoughtless of me. Yes, please do.” Rex slid into the co-pilot’s chair and sipped his scotch. Their ship was now leaving this solar-system, and he enjoyed a well-deserved glow from both the alcohol and the feeling of a job well done.