Outward Bound Ideas

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

31. Made Out Of Meat - Terry Bission

I like science fiction because it shows a different point of view.
PS: I realize this is going to strain your attention span because its all of two pages but I think it's worth it.
(Edited)

“They’re made out of meat.”
“Meat?”
“Meat. They’re made out of meat.”
“Meat?”
“There’s no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.”
“That’s impossible. What about the radio signals? The message to the stars?”
“They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don’t come from them. The signals come from machines.”
“So who made the machines? That’s who we want to contact.”
“They made the machines. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Meat made the machines.”
“That’s ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You’re asking me to believe in sentient meat.”
“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they are made out of meat.”
“Maybe they’re like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage.”
“Nope, they are born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn’t take too long. Do you have any idea of the life span of meat?”
“Spare me. Maybe they’re only part meat. You know, like the weddilei, a meat head with an electron plasma brain inside.”
“Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They’re meat all the way through.”
“No brain?”
“Oh, there’s a brain all right. It’s just that the brain is made out of meat!”
“So...what does the thinking?”
“You’re not understanding, are you? The brain does the thinking. The meat.”
“Thinking meat! You’re asking me to believe in thinking meat!”
“Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat! Dreaming meat! The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture?”
“Omigod. You’re serious then. They’re made out of meat.”
“Finally. Yes, they are indeed made out of meat and they have been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years.”
“So what does this meat have in mind?”
“First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and information. The usual.
“Were supposed to talk to meat?”
“That’s the idea. That’s the message they’re sending out by radio. ‘Hello. Anyone out there? Anybody home?’ That sort of thing.”
“They actually do talk then. They use words, ideas, concepts?”
“Oh yes, except they do it with meat.”
“I thought you just told me that they use the radio.”
“They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds, you know how when you slap of flap meat it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat.”
“Omigod, singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?”
“Officially or unofficially?”
“Both”
‘Officially, we are required to contact, welcome, and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant, without prejudice, fear, or favor. Unofficially I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing.”
“I was hoping you would say that”
“It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?”
“I agree one hundred percent. What’s there to say? ‘Hello meat, how’s it going?
But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?”
“Just one, they can travel to other planets in special meat containers but they can’t stay live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space which pretty much limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim, infinitesimal in fact.”
“So we just pretend there’s no one home in the universe.”
“That’s it”
“Cruel, but you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed, you’re sure they wont remember?”
“They’ll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we’re just a dream to them and we marked the sector Unoccupied.”
“A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate that the real universe should be meat’s dream”
“Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed.”

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