I spent a good deal of my time as a game master for the Star Wars role-playing game in creating alien characters that fit the movies, the books I read in the Star Wars series, and the game materials. In this post, I will give you a mini-gallery of the aliens I drew for the game.
Chee Mobok was a space trader who had a problem with his own ego. He believed that he was a genius at language and could speak any language he had heard a handful of words from.
The Galactic Common speakers were always laughing at the things he said.
Huttese speakers like Jabba the Hutt were always trying to kill him for say precisely the wrong thing.
Hethiss was the Jedi Master when my son’s Jedi character was still a padawan learner.
He was wise, but unable to keep his student from doing things in violent ways when a diplomatic solution was called for.
Merv was a potential terrorist and a suspect in a series of murders on a water planet. He was, however, the good badguy character. You know, the villain who has a heart of gold and whose actions redeem him in the end… As opposed to a bad goodguy who seems to be a hero and ends up betraying everyone.
Fisonna was a street kid from the same planet and same race as Hethiss the Jedi master. He had the potential to become a padawan learner. But he also used his Force skills to pull pranks on serious adults.
Odo-Ki was a Gotal with the ultra-sensitive cones on his head. He had a limited ability to see behind walls and predict the near future.
Nadin Paal was an actual pirate and terrorist with no redeeming qualities at all. The best thing about him was, that when the time came, he blew up really nicely. A colorful fireball.
Kehlor was a Herglic, one of the whale people who required specially built extra-large space ships and accommodations. He was also a gifted pilot. You can see that he wears the uniform of the Trade Authority.
And finally, Klis Joo was a Duro and a Jedi, a gray alien with considerable Force powers.
There were many more drawings like this as well. But these are some of the best ones.
So the time came to make the planned return trip to the nudist park in Alvord, Texas. I was going to finally get to make my second visit to the place for the Labor Day holiday weekend. But once again it was not to be. My daughter caught a virus during her first week of school. She gave it to me and her brother. Of course, neither of them were planning to go along, and their mother would sooner find another husband than be naked in a place where other people would see. They all think I am nuts for wanting to go spend time with other naturists gadding about naked in the hot Texas sunshine. My wife wants me to get my head examined. She thinks all the stories about aliens from outer space may have gotten my head artificially replaced by the Men in Black.
And she may be totally correct in her assessment. She is a school teacher, after all. I, probably just like you, was carefully taught to never be seen naked in public because it is probably a sin, and it is definitely against the law, and it is very likely something only crazy people do on purpose. Never-the-less, I did it once as a writing assignment for a nudist website that told me the review was wonderful and they were definitely going to publish it, and as of this writing, over a year later, they still haven’t done so (though a rival website reblogged one of my nudist posts from this blog).
I have come to the idiotic conclusion, though, that nudism isn’t sinful if practiced around like-minded people who are also comfortably nude. I met and talked to nudists last year who were .very easy to get to know. They were likable and no prettier in the buff than I am myself (and with my psoriasis pink leopard spots I am pretty horrible to look at naked.) And the nudist park is not a place for sexual goings-on and sinful behavior. It is a family environment where some people bring their naked kids.
I remember enjoying being naked as a kid even though I had been taught that Jesus is ashamed by seeing my nudity even though he is always watching over me, even when I am in the bathtub. I remember one time when I was a pre-teen that I took my bicycle to the Bingham Park woods and rode it up and down the trails there completely naked. And even though I had been carefully taught how evil that was, the cool wind on my skin felt good, and it was glorious to listen to the birds sing in a green wood almost as if it were the Garden of Eden and I was Adam, the first man. (Hence the illustration of the bare bike boy.)
It seems to me, now that I am old, retired, and probably at least a little bit senile, that nakedness is really a form of innocence. I can tell you for a fact from being a parent and having, at one point, worked in a daycare center for ages five and below, that it is actually far easier to get a kid to go completely starkers than it is to get them to put on and comfortably wear clothes. Nakedness is natural. And if God had really wanted us to be naked all the time, then we wouldn’t have been born with a full suit of clothes on… er, wait… what? Nakedness is innocent. Anything bad that comes from it happens because of the things we have been taught about it as children. A more enlightened society would probably be naked more than we are, especially inside temperature-controlled sealed environments… like houses, cars, and even spaceships. Ah, yes, back to the Men in Black and possible head-switching again. Aliens in their saucers are apparently often naked. I wonder if Jesus is ashamed by their nudity too?
Anyway, I once again have failed to manage the planned nakedness I had been looking forward to. I have to settle for the indoor, sealed-environment form of nudity as I am too sick to get to the nudist park, and would promptly be arrested if I tried to walk around the neighborhood like that. But the failed evil plan did give me something to write about that at least makes me laugh. And it is an innocent laugh, not an evil one.
You probably know that I sometimes go all goofy and become that tinfoil-hat guy that believes we are being visited by little gray men from outer space. I am also convinced that Oswald did not kill Kennedy, the 9/11 attack was done for profit, and William Shakespeare was a pseudonym, not the theater-owning actor from Stratford on Avon who only left his second-best bed in his will to his wife.
For this inherently Quixotic tendency to go scholastically against the accepted grain, the only reward is that you don’t get bothered very much by anal-retentive and mostly narcissistic talk-a-lots who apparently know everything already and are not happy about listening to anything that might suggest the accepted wisdom in their brain is not the gospel they can only be happy about if they personally deliver it to your hopelessly-incorrect brain.
The things I believe are true and research constantly for new information are not believed in as a matter of religious belief. It is more like a jigsaw puzzle which can be correctly put together in hundreds or thousands of different ways. But only one configuration… or possibly two or three… make a coherent picture. The alien visitors thing is on my mind again because of the recent 60-Minutes interview with Luis Elizondo and various American military pilots who had documented encounters. Something about this whole thing is true. And many things are false, some of which are provably falsified by our own government.
Listen to him for yourself. He is real. He really worked for the Pentagon. Senator Marco Rubio believes he is real and Rubio is taking action in Senate Committee in response to the information from Elizondo’s former office. Of course, you still need to prove to me that Marco Rubio is real. If there really are lizards masquerading as human government leaders, then Senator Rubio is a leading candidate. Prove me wrong.
The real takeaway from this intriguing puzzle… a puzzle that has a way of morphing into a behemoth of absolutely monstrous size… is that I or any similar conspiracy-minded puzzler will probably never know anything for certain in our lifetimes. But the fascination remains. And in spite of skeptics who are attending to their own religious agendas, it is worth learning about, For the reasons given to us by Lizard-Senator Rubio as well as the reason of engaging our own personal sense of wonder.
Here is a fascinating bit of stuff I have recently learned about the couple who first reported the alien-abduction phenomenon, Betty and Barney Hill.
You may have heard of it before. Betty and Barney Hill, both educated adults (She was a social worker and a supervisor for the New Hampshire Welfare Department. He was on the Governor of New Hampshire’s Civil Rights Commission) were driving home one night when they spotted a UFO. (Winklebean the Unusual, pictured somewhere above and to the right, is my random choice to explain who was in the UFO.) Later, because of nightmares and Barney’s ulcer, they sought help from a psychiatrist who used hypnotic regression therapy to help them remember what “really happened.” They independently recounted the kidnapping and ensuing medical exams while under hypnosis, and most of the details matched. Betty Hill apparently asked Winklebean where he came from. He showed her a 3-D star map which she later drew in pencil on paper.
The most fascinating part of this story, I think, is the part where Marjorie Fish, an Ohio schoolteacher, amateur astronomer and member of Mensa, became involved. She wondered if the objects shown on the map that Betty Hill allegedly observed inside the UFO might represent some actual pattern of celestial objects. To get more information about the map she decided to visit Betty Hill in the summer of 1969. ( Barney Hill died in early 1969.) After visiting with Betty, Miss Fish took the information and built a 3-D model of the stars in space using beads suspended on strings and then began investigating astronomical maps being made at the time of nearby star systems. And she found a match.
The article I found about this map is particularly fascinating as it recounts how the map was eventually verified to the extent possible and Winklebean’s home-world was revealed to be the Zeta Reticuli binary star system. It is a story full of astronomers, professors, physicists and others who drew conclusions about all of this, some of which sullied reputations and even caused some firings. Astronomers fired for doing astronomy? Wild!
Of course, I am not a totally un-skeptical believer in the story of how Betty and Barney Hill (pictured above) met Winklebean. I am an exploiter of the story, sure. But I am interested primarily as a science fiction writer who wants any and all manner of input useable for stories. And this one, as it is with all stories of alien visitors, as well as the other conspiracies I am mad to know more about, has a lot of good junk in it that may not be true… but, Dang! What if it is?
Gedeliah (Ged) Aero – Possibly the hero of our story, Ged is a moral man, a hunter, a spacer, and soon to be a teacher because of his immense ability with Psion shape-changer skills. He can transform the cells of his body into anything he desires (at least if he’s tasted the flesh of it). He has now become the White Spider of the Web of Space.
Hamfast (Ham) Aero – Pilot and owner of the safari ship, the Leaping Shadowcat. He’s also Ged’s brother and maker of the plan to get Ged into unknown space. He has foolishly joined the Corsair Rebellion against the Thousand Planets of the Imperium and was captured by Admiral Tang.
Trav (Goofy) Dalgoda – The goofy one is capable of practically anything, and living proof that dumb luck is real. He likes to blow things up and kill stuff. His shoulder advisors are called Avarice and Greed. He is the murderer of Count Nefaria and the enemy of Maggie (the Knife) Blastarr. He also loves to wear Donald Duck hats and ties with comedy messages on them.
The Madonna – A Nebulon Princess and rescued slave girl, she falls in love with Ham Aero. She becomes his wife and the mother of his blue children. She is also the mother of Junior Aero, born in her captivity, so she is not closely attached to her own firstborn son.
Hamfast (Junior) Aero Jr. – Unwanted blue-skinned Nebulon Boy. He becomes attached emotionally to Ged Aero and also possesses Psion skill. He is the beloved childhood companion of Sara Smith.
Sinbadh – A Stardog Corsair Lupin (half-man, half-dog) who is marooned at Don’t Go Here for the crime of being a vegetarian. He has become a trusted crewman and cook aboard the Leaping Shadowcat.
Tron Blastarr – The space-pirate leader of the Pinwheel Corsairs. He has a scarred eye. He is also a very capable pirate leader tired of the depredations of the Galtorr Imperium. He becomes one of the primary rebel leaders. As a former Imperial Space Navy pilot, he became an Ace in the Pan Galactican War against the Faceless Horde.
Maggie (the Knife) Blastarr – The wife of Tron, mother of Artran, and hater of Goofy Dalgoda. She is also fond of using knives and cutting people like Goofy Dalgoda. She is the one person Trav Dalgoda most needs to avoid, though he doesn’t see it that way himself. After all, Goofy Dalgoda is kinda stupid.
Artran Blastarr – Son of Tron and Maggie, a space child who enjoys the adventure of being the son of a famous space pirate. Goofy Dalgoda made him laugh. The Star Nomads made him an Explorer and turned him into an instant adult through time-travel.
Hassan the Elf – A Peri, artificially genetically-engineered to be a living creativity generator. The space elf helps Happy Jack to create his robot child. He also becomes a favorite sidekick of Captain Tron Blastarr.
Happy Jack (AB-101 Astron 99) – A teacher robot created to teach Artran Blastarr, but fired from his purpose in life by the Blastarrs. He is the mommy-bot to Tiki Astro.
Tiki Astro – The silver, sentient, child-robot with a working penis that Happy Jack and Hassan created so that Happy Jack can be a mommy. He is the beloved companion of Artran Blastarr, at least in the last novel. In this novel, he bounces around between the Star Nomads and the White Spider Disciples.
Scheherazade – The beautiful black-skinned corsair pilot and warrior. She is loved by all, but has her eye on the King of Killers whom she married shortly before her heroic death in space combat. Of course, death does not disqualify characters from being in this novel or any others of the series.
The King of Killers – Tron Blastarr’s right-hand man, King is second in command of the Pinwheel Corsairs. He also is in love with the beautiful Scheherazade who sacrifices herself to save him. He is somehow supposed to be an important character in this so-called history. Maybe he earned that right by fighting beside Tron Blastarr and Arkin Cloudstalker in the wars against the Faceless Horde.
Wicked Wanda Pierce – The holo-epic star of such entertainments as All Spaceways Lead to Galtorr, Naked Slave-Women of the Vampire Starport, and the comedy masterpiece You Probably Won’t Believe This.
Elvis the Cruel – The guitar-playing pilot for the Pinwheel Corsairs who is probably the most feared member of Tron Blastarr’s pirate band. He definitely has scored the most kills in combat going all the way back to the wars against the Faceless Horde.
Dana Cole – An agent of Count Nefaria and also the woman who falls hopelessly in love with Trav Dalgoda, a mistake that gets her boss killed and makes of her a traitor. She is probably either really dumb or hopelessly evil, either way making her a dangerous character. Being in love with Trav Dalgoda seriously complicates the problems.
Sorcerer 3, 4, & 6… and maybe 12 – The evil, vicious Syn Corporation robotic assassin who won’t stay dead, coming back again and again to irritate Trav and the Aero Brothers.
Arkin Cloudstalker – The pirate leader of the Lady Knights Corsairs. Arkin is a heroic, rebel-leader sort of character. He aspires to do great deeds and save the known galaxy. He has since he and Tron were rookie teenage pilots together in Pan Galactica, the reason for the white cowboy hat.
Tabitha Blue-Arrow – The best of Cloudstalker’s Lady Knights, Tabitha has recently retired to own and operate an inn at Aerobase Frieda, the Starport orbiting Don’t Go Here, the planet of the Flintstone Cavemen.
Razor Conn – Leader of the Blackhawk Corsairs of the water-planet, Dancer.
Shad Blackstone – The oriental-looking second in command of the Blackhawk Corsairs.
Carleton Keyser, the Thin White Duke – A sector duke of the Galtorr Imperium who also happens to be the ruler of all pirates and smugglers.
Fez Amin – Tattooed leader of the dreaded Monopoly Brigade. He is ruthless and violent, and also probably evil.
Grand Admiral Brona Tang – The leader of the entire Space Navy of the Galtorr Imperium. He always appears in bright red body armor and no one in living memory has seen the actual face underneath.
Emperor Slythinus – The Galtorrian-Human fusion who currently rules the Imperium, at least until everyone learns that he died while in exile on the jungle-planet Stanley.
Ace Campfield – The malevolent Mechanoid bounty hunter hired by Count Nefaria to kill Arkin Cloudstalker and Tron Blastarr. He is relentless, but also witless, and is now relegated to a mere head and torso imprisoned by Arkin Cloudstalker and kept around to laugh at and gloat over.
Frieda – The intelligence released from the Crown of All Stars by Trav Dalgoda. She helped them take possession of the entire planet of Don’t Go Here. She turned herself into a sentient starport as well as a beautiful humanoid robot entirely colored gun-metal gray.
Tara Salongi – Cave girl and gifted telepath who falls in love with Ged Aero. Current whereabouts are a matter of considerable concern. She may be imprisoned by Mong the Miserly of the planet Mingo. But she may also be in the custody of Raylond King, one of the ruling triumvirate of the Mingoan Worlds.
Banzai Joe – The owner of a deep-space station called the Arthur Rimbaud Memorial Outstation and Weapons Storehouse. He is a rogue and a con man well-known to Tron and Trav and many other pirates and corsairs.
Xavier Tkriashav – A Psion Master marooned on Don’t Go Here, planet of the cavemen, and awaiting the foretold coming of the White Spider. But once liberated he pursues his empire-building passion to create the New Star League. He is possibly elected or possibly self-appointed as the first Senator Prime of the New Star League.
Dr. Naylund Smith – The immortal who waited for the White Spider to appear on the planet Gaijin. He pledges himself to the White Spider in order to help him teach the Psion children he will lead to fulfillment of prophecy. His own daughter is destined to become a White Spider Disciple.
Sara Smith – The daughter of Naylund. She’s a gifted Psion healer. She is among the first of the White Spider’s students.
Shu Kwai – The gifted Psion Telekinetic who becomes leader among the White Spider’s students.
Friashqazatla “Freddy” – The Black Wolf, Psion Shape-changer who is among the first of the White Spider’s students.
Rocket Rogers – The gifted Psion Pyro who is a space-cowboy refugee from the doomed Bradalanth Colony. He is also a student and then a Disciple of the White Spider.
Jadalaqstbr “Jackie” – The gifted Psion Teleporter from the planet Zarane. Well, actually from a gas giant moon in that planet’s star system. She is a dusky-colored beauty from the former Psion Space Empire. She is also a student and then Disciple of the White Spider.
Billy Iowa – The gifted Psion Clairvoyant and refugee from the Pan Galactican Wars against the Faceless Horde. He is the best friend and protector of Gyro Sinjarac.
Gyro Sinjarac – The gifted Psion Transmuter who loves to invent things, especially with his psionic ability to change one atom into another with his mind alone. He is a Nebulon and son of the Sinjarac Ambassador who saved the life of Billy Iowa.
Mai Ling – The gifted Psion Telekinetic from the planet Gaijin. She is a dead shot with any slug-throwing or thrown weapon. She can throw a pebble faster than a gun can shoot a bullet.
Bres, the Face-Dancer – The Psionic Black Spider who proves to be nearly Ged Aero’s equal as a Shape-Changer and teacher of Psions. Ged defeated and banished him from Gaijin.
Phoenix – The Psionic Pyro trained by the Black Spiders on Gaijin. He is the one that surrenders his team to Ged Aero and helps them all join the White Spider’s Dojo.
Taffy King – The Psionic Telekinetic who is, like Phoenix, a racially mixed fusion-race Galtorrian/Human. She is also trained by the Black Spiders on Gaijin and also defects to the White Spider’s cause.
Alec Songh – The Psionic Un-Healer or Hurter, he is Gaijinese and trained by the Black Spiders to use his healing power to hurt others and break them down in battle. He defected to the White Spider, but is consistently the one who is most likely to be tempted back to the black ones.
The Crew of the Megadeth – Captain Tommy Lee, Pamela, Pilot Vince Niell, Nikki Sixx, Cold Death, Slash, and sometimes the evil robot T-bop. They are a motley crew.
Professor Googol Marou – That’s me! The genius astronomer/inventor/physicist/pie-baker who lived through all of this and decided to tell the story. Believe me, I am the smartest guy you could ever meet. Well, human guy, anyway.
The Star Nomads – Some of the original explorers from the Galtorr/Human Fusion Empire evolved beyond bodies. Men like the famed Martin Faulkner, Dakota Jim, and Stemperus Achs of Galtorr Prime would evolve into bodiless beings inhabiting suits of lead armor to prevent irradiating everyone they meet. They became Star Nomads with names like the Geomancer, the Magnificent Wanderer, the Black Knight, and the Dark Traveler.
**Yes, I know this is too long for an ordinary post, but it does cover five books.
… Bouguereau spells his name funny. But he always painted from live models who posed in direct sunlight. He had a skylight and large windows in his studio.
… We probably only have less than twelve years to reverse the effects of climate change. If we don’t manage it somehow, we could cause the oceans to turn acidic and the heat to reach temperatures that would kill off life on the entire planet.
… I most likely will not live to see that happen, but my children probably will.
… Nudity is good for you. But you will never pose in a Bouguereau painting. He died in 1905.
… Grown men who collect dolls, and sometimes still play with them, are not necessarily insane, or suffering from dementia, but I only know this based on a sample of one.
… John F Kennedy was assassinated in a plot that was probably orchestrated by LBJ who benefitted the most from his death. LBJ was facing serious legal consequences from the Billy Saul Estes investigation that simply went away after JFK’s death. Even though he was president the day JFK died, he would’ve had to have had the help of former CIA Director Alan Dulles. And when J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI found out through his informant, Lee Harvey Oswald, before the assassination, he was rendered helpless to do anything because LBJ and Dulles knew about his adventures as a gay man. Oswald was framed for the murder and silenced by Jack Ruby for having informed on the plot.
… This is only hearsay knowledge, gathered from books by Jim Marrs, a movie by Oliver Stone, testimony by Louisiana District Attorney Jim Garrison, and the deathbed confession video of CIA Agent E. Howard Hunt.
… The knowledge we store in our organic and malleable brains is never one-hundred percent correct. But it is much closer when backed up by sources, unless they are provably crazy sources… as all of the sources I mentioned for the JFK assassination theory have been accused of being at one time or another.
… I have personally seen three UFOs in my lifetime. None of them, however, are likely to be aliens from outer space. The one in South Texas seen at night and the one here in Dallas seen just before sunset, black triangles with rows of lights in a V shape, were probably military tests (there is a proving ground for pilots and experimental aircraft south of San Antonio, and there was a familiar-looking military jet following the one in Dallas. The other one in Dallas was probably a weather event, like a sun-dog.
… I choose to believe aliens from other worlds are visiting this planet, but the evidence I base that on comes in part from sources more wacky and discredited than the JFK ones. But there is actually less credible evidence on the side of the debunkers, and a reasonable skeptic finds holes in both arguments.
… Climate change will probably render both the JFK thing and the aliens thing irrelevant before too much longer. Maybe the Bouguereau/nude modeling thing too for that matter.
… These are things that I know to the best of my knowledge, but still wonder about anyway. And I could be completely wrong about all of it, (Except the Bouguereau being dead thing. I’m not wrong about that.)
Safely back at the newly-constructed Gaijinese Starport, Naylund, Sara, and Junior walked down the exit ramp from the space ship with Ged Aero, the White Spider. They were all four relatively quiet and somberly thoughtful.
“Are you sure you have no lasting effects from dividing yourself in two?” Naylund asked.
“Naylund, old friend, don’t worry about me. I could feel his thoughts when we first separated, but each of us came to terms with our new, separated identities rather quickly. By the time we were ready to leave, not only was the planet well under control, but we were each feeling like two separate people.”
“What did it feel like to split yourself in half like that?” Junior asked.
“It hurt a lot at first. He got the right half of my brain, and I got the left. But we each grew out a fairly perfect copy of the other half, me as Ged Aero, White Spider, and him as the new Grainmaster Aero. So, we are now both very different beings, me a human descended from Earthers, and him a Cornucopean Ear of Corn, controlling all the plant life on the planet.”
“It wasn’t really a fascist thing from the start, was it, Ged-dono.”
“No, Naylund. It was more of a hive-mind as if the entire planet could think as one plant-creature. And all of it flowed through the Grainmaster’s brain.”
They found themselves confronted on the Tarmac by three Blackhawk Corsairs, Razor Conn, the leader, Shad Blackstone, his second in command, and newly uniformed Dana Cole. They looked rather grim. And Ged knew immediately without telepathy or clairvoyance that they came bearing really bad news.
“So, what’s happened now?” Ged dared to ask.
The trio of Blackhawks explained about the death of the White Duke, the preparations for rebellion against the Galtorr Imperium, as well as the battle of Coventry and the war crimes of Trav Dalgoda.
“That’s almost hard to believe,” said Naylund.
“Except it was Trav. I’m afraid I have no trouble believing that,” Ged added.
“Trav died for his sins,” reminded Dana, “And the new creature he has become… well, I’ll personally work on reforming him.”
“And what about the Tesserah thing that Trav used to destroy half of a planet?” Ged asked.
“That’s what the new White Spider of the Space Lanes will be needed for,” said Razor Conn.
“We believe the thing is counting down to the destruction of the entire universe. We don’t want that to happen.”
“Yes, I agree that it does not sound like a very good thing to allow to happen,” Ged said.
“We need you and your students to take it away and destroy it,” said Shad Blackstone.
“You are the only one we believe can actually do it,” added Razor Conn.
“Me? I have no idea what to do.”
“It’s from the prophecy, Ged,” said Naylund. “It suggests that the new White Spider will destroy the Ancient Most-Evil by burying it in the heart of the black hole.”
“What black hole?”
“The one with an Ancient construct orbiting it, Little Swirl.”
“My holy God! That’s all the way Coreward on the other side of the Imperium.”
“It will be your greatest test, Ged. It will be the quest that establishes the reign of the new White Spider of Prophecy.”
“We are going to take a good long look at what this prophecy-thing actually says. And if there is any other way to accomplish it, we are going to consider that instead.”
“We will help you plan the mission, Ged,” said Razor. “But this whole prophecy thing has foretold everything without missing a single detail. I know it’s sorta spooky stuff, but it’s also real. And time is running out for the whole universe.”
“That sounds like a good plot for a whole book,” said Sara, smiling.
“Yeah… but we better take a lot of care about which dumb nut we let write the danged thing,” said Ged.
I, Googol Marou, the author of this book, swear to you, he actually said those words. And I only resent the “dumb nut” part of the comment a little bit.
When rationally considered, the number of stars and star systems out there statistically guarantees that there is other intelligent life out there in the galaxy besides us. And since many star systems are far older than ours, there statistically should also be civilizations far older and far more advanced than ours.
Enrico Fermi’s Paradox, simply stated is, “Since they should already be out there, where are they?”
Why don’t we see them through telescopes? Why haven’t they landed on the White House lawn and introduced themselves? Why haven’t they made themselves known to us and said flat out, “Hello, Earth people, so nice to EAT you.” Why aren’t they already here? Why aren’t we all on platters covered in ketchup?
Remember please, that this is a humor blog. The answers in my head are all fundamentally totally unserious.
But I am going to share them anyway. You know, just for laughs.
I think it is possible that they are no better at finding answers to Fermi’s Paradox than we are. I mean, isn’t it possible that they are no more inherently wise and capable of knowing the answers than we are?
I also mean, heck, I don’t know how to make my own television from parts I whipped up in the garage! I can barely handle learning new apps by watching YouTube videos about how to do them and then risking blowing the sparks out of my old laptop trying to trial-and-error the things I see those young whipper-snappers doing on videos until I accidentally stumble upon the right sequence of lucky guesses. The average Nebulon from the Great Nebula is probably only equally adept at doing the technologickalicky things her blue-skinned people do with space whales and brain-enhancing hairpieces. Our matching abilities to find each other in the vast oceans of stars and star systems in outer space probably are equally sucky.
Technology, after all, is only possible because we have learned things from the recorded results of other folks’ trial-and-error lucky guesses so that we don’t have to re-discover those things ourselves every single time we try something new.
So, we don’t connect with other so-called “intelligent” lifeforms in space, and they don’t connect with us, because when we do focus our fancy telescopes or radiation-recombining sindalblatt star viewers on each other, we don’t see that life over there as adequately intelligent… or intelligent at all… to be worth calling it intelligent life.
Of course the alternative explanation could be that they are already here and building underground and deep-sea bases, and our government is just not willing to tell us about it. Of course, says the horse, the government would never lie to us or cover something like that up just for the potential riches and power they could individually gain by keeping us in the dark about such things. And Bob Lazar is a fake human being, and the Roswell saucer was a weather balloon, and Barney and Betty Hill were just imagining getting probed by gray aliens, and Travis Walton’s missing days weren’t spent on a spacecraft, and the fact that he and other witnesses all passed lie detector tests about it only means that you don’t have to believe lie detector equipment when it gives you what you know in your little black heart is the wrong answer.
And maybe, just maybe, if they actually were incredibly smart enough to travel vast interstellar distances to the planet of the monkey people, who actually stumbled over the secret to blowing everything up with nuclear boom-a-booms, they will also be incredibly smart enough to not risk inciting the savagely stupid things the monkey people of Earth could do to each other, as well as to the smart aliens stuck with the awful assignment of living here and watching over us so that we don’t go all off-world and start wrecking the interstellar neighborhood.
Anyway, it’s a paradox, something there is no way to resolve with reasonable answers to reasonable questions. And physicists hate paradoxes. And this is a paradox created by a physicist. Gads! What a riddle within an enigma within a… grandmother’s cookie tin? No, that last one is a non sequitur. Stuff for another day.
The White Spider Disciples gathered around Ged to make a final stand in defense. They set up a circle around him, ready to go down fighting to defend him.
“Explain to me what just happened?” Ged implored the telepaths.
“In the future there will be two Ged Aeros. During a combat, you will be sliced into two pieces. One piece will regenerate as you, the other, without a brain of its own, will regrow into Bres,” explained Hassan.
“He is opposed to you because he didn’t get your memories and experience. He hates you as the lucky half that got all the good things from being you,” added Sara.
“But he knows you won’t be killed here. He is merely hoping to strip you of some of us, especially Hassan. He thinks he has no chance of defeating you in the future if we all survive this battle.” Billy Iowa wiped sweat from his brow as his report took more energy out of him than the other telepaths expended. Apparently clairvoyance is harder than just telepathy.
“But is there a way to save you all?”
“There is if you can find it within yourself, Ged-sensei,” said Billy.
Within himself? What did Ged Aero have within himself? Well, he had the remains of the Grainmaster in his stomach. And, holy crud! He had gained ninja powers by eating a ninja, hadn’t he? So, the Grainmaster’s powers were…
“I’ve got the answer!” Ged morphed into the shape, body, and brain of the deceased Grainmaster. He became an ear of corn with arms and legs and two black, corn-kernel eyes.
“All right, minions! I am the new Grainmaster now. The Grainmaster reborn. I will guide you all and restore this planet to the way it is supposed to be.
He reached out and reanimated the many wilted flower people with what his mind could only perceive now as “Green Power,” and pumped it into the Throckpods as well.
The difference was, now, instead of Bres’s willpower guiding the Throckpods, it was Ged’s empowering mind. The Throckpods were now kindly helping the flower people recover and regrow themselves.
The problem seemed solved. And yet…
“Ged Aero-sensei? How will you control this flower planet and be our White Spider too?” asked Gyro.
“He has a point, Ged-sensei,” said Hassan.
“You are needed here now to control the plant-people of Cornucopea,” added Sara. “They rely on you to gather and redistribute all the photosynthesis and plant energy on the planet.”
“But we need you too,” reminded Junior Aero.
“How is it that part of me becomes Bres?” Ged asked.
“You have a portion of your torso and right leg cut off in battle, during which the headless piece falls into a chasm below you. That part turns into Bres.” Billy nodded as he said it, apparently sure of his future-facts.
“Okay, then, I can do this without creating my own enemy. At least not today.” Ged, in the corncob body of the corn-creature, split himself exactly down the middle. One Ged, the Grainmaster Aero, morphed back into a complete corn-based ruler of the planet. The other half of Ged returned to his White Spider form.
“I realize how dangerous it is to make two of myself. I have no idea what the consequences will be,” said Grainmaster Aero.
“But since I killed and ate the rightful ruler of this planet, I must not only return to my duties as the White Spider of Prophecy, but I must provide a new Grainmaster too,” said Ged the White Spider.
“Cornucopea will now become a member of the New Star League as well as an independent, non-fascist world,” said Grainmaster Aero.
“I hope you are doing the right thing, Sensei,” said Sara Smith.
Thousands of thistle-like Throckpods came thundering over the hill with thorns brandished and wild looks in their very human-looking eyes.
From the other side, a large group of vegetable people with seed-like eyes came up behind Ged and his disciples, presumably to support them in the upcoming battle.
“What do we do, Sensei?” asked Junior.”
“I need the telepaths to all try to locate the Grainmaster. He’s the key somehow. If they have a hive mind going on here, he’s the connecting point.”
The Throckpods connected first with a phalanx of violet flower-people. Violet petals were torn from the faces of the flower-men who barely made a scratch against their weedy attackers. The poor flowers were overwhelmed.
“Sensei, I detect the Grainmaster over there amongst the Throckpods!” Hassan shouted. “You can’t actually see him from here. He’s surrounded by at least a dozen of those nine-foot-tall purple-headed thistles.”
Ged could see the thistle-Throckpods he was talking about. Somehow they had to get to the Grainmaster himself.
“Shu? This may be a suicidal attack, but if I turn myself into the armored ape form, can you and Taffy throw me by telekinesis into the center of the Grainmaster’s party?”
“Sensei, what will we do if they tear you to pieces or thorn you to death?”
“I may well be harder to kill than they think. But if I am gone, Shu-kun, you will be in charge. You will flee back to Gaijin and prepare defenses there.”
Shu and Taffy looked at each other, nodded yes to each other, and then picked Ged up with their combined mind powers. As he rose through the air, Ged transformed himself into the green armored ape he had used to eat Throckpods before and save Sara from having her sap sucked out.
The two young telepaths did an excellent job of transporting Ged safely to the very spot he needed to reach. Then, when directly over the Grainmaster’s “head,” they dropped him straight down.
Ged had a moment to assess his enemy as he was dropping down through the air. The Grainmaster was shaped like a giant ear of corn with arms and legs and two black kernels of corn for eyes. He carried a giant wheat stalk as a scepter.
Ged landed on the corn-thing directly. Two Throckpods tried to stop him from attacking the Grainmaster, so he ripped them apart first before he began eating the Grainmaster whole. A rain of poisoned thorns bounced harmlessly off of Ged’s metallic hide. The corn-thing was terrified as he was munched up by metal gorilla jaws.
A shudder went through all the surrounding plants. Ged could see all the flower-warriors wilting to the ground. All the flower forces were apparently rendered completely powerless by the demise of the Grainmaster. Ged knew instantly that he had erred in the most serious manner possible, even before he realized that it was far worse because, even though the Throckpods were affected by the Grainmaster’s death too, they were not nearly so devastated as the rest of the plant people.
Ged’s students all easily used their Psion powers to part the sea of wilting Throckpods. They came to Ged’s aid.
As Ged returned to his normal face and form, he suddenly became aware of someone else he knew from before.
“I should’ve realized it was you behind everything,” Ged said.
“Of course. I came back in time specifically for this moment,” said Bres the Black Spider formerly of Gaijin.
“You are the reason these weeds have human-like eyes.”
“Yes, they are made from my DNA as well as the Grainmaster’s. I control them with my own willpower. The Grainmaster was my prisoner. Now that you have killed the him, all the regular plant people will die, leaving my Throckpods in charge of the entire world.”
“Why don’t you tell him who you really are,” challenged Hassan Parker. “He needs to know that you are not who you pretend to be.”
“My word, White Spider. You have an exceptionally powerful telepath there. I can’t seem to force him out of my mind.”
“You might as well tell him yourself. If you don’t, I will.” Hassan was livid with anger.
“Oh, no! It can’t be true!” sobbed Sara as she, too, managed to read the Black Spider’s mind.
“Yes, Ged. What they are going to tell you anyway is entirely true. I am you from the future. That’s how I know exactly how this turns out.”
“He’s not telling you the whole truth,” warned Hassan.
“Yes, he’s not the only future you there is. And he doesn’t know how it turns out for him, only that he tried to defeat you here. What happens to him next he doesn’t know,” said Billy Iowa. “But my clairvoyance tells me he is not going to get any of the things he wants because…”
But before Billy could finish, Bres changed into a bird-form and leaped into the air, flapping madly to get away from the scene.
The Throckpods were returning to full and mobile life.
Pursuing the muse that makes you a slave to the difficulties of a creative life leads you to places and experiences you never intended to visit.
Such is the tale of following Cissy Moonskipper down the White Rabbit’s hole.
A few days ago I told you how I found an old pen and ink drawing, scanned it, colored it, and then scanned it again. It became the day’s blog post, a short, ironic short story about a character stranded alone on a space ship in deep uncharted space.
The punch line was that she found a copy of Dafoe’s Robinson Crusoe in the bridge storage bin.
The picture got photoshopped into a potential cover for a book. And I began obsessing about how to write a story that parallels that really old book about a shipwrecked lonely man.
I couldn’t resist following that White Rabbit of Sudden Inspiration down into the maze of writing a new science fiction… novella? It needs to be short and sweet. But it has the feeling already of something that I have never ever done before in story-telling.
This, of course, is Friday. She’s a Lupin girl left aboard the spaceship by the invading pirate who killed Cissy’s older half-brother before getting himself disintegrated. She is the second character needed to carry out the parody of the Robinson Crusoe story.
And while I was creating this character, I decided to create an illustration of the starship too. The story is set aboard the free-trader named Dark Moon’s Dreaded Luck.
So, I am now in uncharted territory. Which bottle do I drink from? Which cookie do I chew? I already know how the story ends, but getting there will be a magical adventure. And it seems like other things are totally on hold because of it. I am trapped in that rabbit hole. And God only knows how long it will take.