Micro-snippet of alien ‘invasion’ story in progress.

“Did you get some response?” The NASA director asked his Space Force peer.

“Yes, we passed by fairly close, a hundred and fifty kilometers away. We wanted to make sure it was obvious it wasn’t a direct line approach like a weapon strike. We had time to repeat a long string of math at them several times. The package our people put together started with prime numbers as a universal common point and got progressively more complex. The hope was after establishing that as a common ground, we could in the future build language from the operations such as addition and subtraction leading to plus and minus, more and less, greater than and less than.”

“Did they respond with strings of numbers that showed they understood?” Durkin asked.

“Not exactly,” Gott said. “Here, I’ll let you listen to their brief response.”

The voice was odd but perfectly understandable English.

“Yes, yes, we count too. Please be patient. Your call is important to us.”

“They put us on hold?”

“Hey,” Durkin said, trying to put a positive spin on it, “at least we didn’t have to work down a message tree to get that.”

10 Responses to Micro-snippet of alien ‘invasion’ story in progress.

  1. Jim June 12, 2021 at 5:50 pm #

    This is going to be an interesting book, waiting patiently here.

  2. Sarah June 13, 2021 at 1:20 am #

    Not what I was expecting, in the best way! You made me snort-laugh. Not the cute movie snort either, it was the ugly “is she alright?” kind of laugh. I like it already!

  3. Cheryl June 14, 2021 at 11:09 am #

    Fascinating snippet, can’t wait

  4. Beethoven's smarter brother June 14, 2021 at 5:26 pm #

    This is our last attempt to call you about the extended warranty for your two-man trader spaceship.

    The manufactures warranty will expire in a few bfipts.

    You’ve made a valuable investment, but repair expenses can wipe out a lifetime of investment. Please press 1 to begin the purchase process or wait on the line and a representative will be with you shortly.

    • Mac June 14, 2021 at 8:28 pm #

      Good one too.

  5. HamsterDesTodes June 15, 2021 at 10:35 am #

    Now that’s some evil aliens indeed. Invading is one thing but putting people on hold? That’s a step too far!

  6. Jim Davis June 15, 2021 at 9:52 pm #

    Perhaps the aliens want to sell us improved call center software. (Just a different selection of “on hold” music would be appreciated!)

  7. Margaret June 16, 2021 at 7:20 pm #

    Que the elevator music. Love the snippet.

  8. Big Ben June 16, 2021 at 8:06 pm #

    It does bring up something that always makes me wonder about first contact situations, especially if it happens here in our own system before we develop FTL … (Hey, I’m hopeful!)
    Any aliens who have the capabilities to come for a visit will almost certainly have studied us – we’ve been spewing radio noise out into the galaxy for well over a century, after all. Anyone who decided to come to our star system would have ample time to study us unobserved.
    Just as Lee and Gordon studied the Bunnies before making contact, why wouldn’t anyone do the same to us?
    It always amuses me that in most first-contact books or movies (except this one, evidently) the aliens show up and no one can talk to each other. This really hit me when I first saw E.T. all those years ago – how the heck could such a smart little alien travel all this way and not bother to learn even the basics of any terrestrial language, or carry a translation device?
    I know first-contact situations in sci-fi are always dramatically difficult (like the Little Fleet meeting the Caterpillars), but in the back of my mind I’m thinking that a species that has such a robust and advanced tech base as the Caterpillars must surely have something akin to A.I. that could crack a language in hours, at most.
    Two futuristic A.I. level supercomputers who “spoke” entirely different languages and met for the first time should be kibitzing with each other in a matter of seconds or minutes. Trillions of operations per second, a few zettabytes of memory, math, math, math, YouTube, cat videos, Seinfeld reruns … done!
    Maybe Lee needs to hire a few more university folks to develop such a thing.
    Meanwhile I’ll be sitting here on alien hold, waiting for the next Chandler story.

  9. Mark September 4, 2021 at 3:28 pm #

    Would love to see Earth Govs being robomarketed by the aliens

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