11/11/19 – Asking For Help

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, November 11, 2019.




Yup. I’m back in the office. Phew! So much to do! 🙂


  1. Rikard

    The kid is either going to stow away on the real-estate-destroyer the ET:s travel in, or go make a fortune working as a translator.

    -“So tell our listeners, how is it you can translate any language What is the secret?”
    -“Well, what can I say? It all came to me in a flash…”

  2. ronald

    (I figured this would be preferable to posting a separate post for each point)

    point #1: I’d ask why they feel the need for a planet when they could just assimilate into Galactic Society at large, whether individually in in various-sized groups, but then, I didn’t get why the Maquis insisted on staying on their colony worlds even after those worlds were annexed to the Cardassians (as part of a very important PEACE TREATY, it’s not like it was something frivolous), why they thought a bunch of colonized rocks were more important than something as cool as being citizens of the United Federation of Planets, either. Must just be me, then.


    point #2: For those who, like myself, had forgotten the full scope of the plan of the aliens (“Gentlekindness” is a planet they acquired after the fact and thus I presume their species’ name would not be “Gentlekindnessians”), here’s a list of their full catalog of human recruitees prior to this recruitment of a straight couple:


    So, presuming that a “polyamorous moresome” consists of at least three people, and not counting whatever kids anyone has (including the one seen today), that’s

    1 + 1 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 2 = at least 11 people.

    That’s a larger human crew than we’ve ever seen before. I’m curious about eventually learning more about the interpersonal social dynamics of a random polyamorous moresome; it’s not a family-type one (well, me, anyway) often sees in news or popular culture (I’m way behind on TV serieses of the past few years, though). Sure, there’s Anita Blake (Anyone have any idea just how many people live in Anita’s house full-time? Oddly enough, no one on Laurell K. Hamilton’s Facebook page has volunteered an answer to that question even those I’ve asked TWICE), but who else?


    point #3: (going back to Emily talking to Ruddick about her pack) I don’t remember ever seeing their cat Mr. Jefferson. Did we ever? See him? Where does one even get a cat in Galactic Society? If you zapped a cat with a translator device, would he still qualify as a pet? And who refers to their pet cat as a “hanger-on,” anyway? We’ve been denied so much context. At least, unlike Data’s cat Spot, his gender is set right from the get-go. 🙂


  3. @Ronald:
    1. Some feel strongly about having a homeland. It helps with a sense of identity.
    2. That was a list of who they had gotten so far, and is not exhaustive.
    3. Mr. Jefferson (named after the president, and not the TV show, as Pierrot at one point specifies) was mentioned all during the first series and then appeared at the end of the first series. I forget if he appeared in the second series. And I have not specified if the cat has a translator chip. 🙂

  4. TB

    Note how the exposition for the gun was carefully planted in human language in the first panel to explain why someone would swipe it and shoot themselves with an alien gun. Or the cat.

  5. Pete Rogan

    Oh, kid. What have you done?

    Now that it becomes clears the Puppies have ulterior motives they’re not willing to share, and the ability to bend human sympathy?

    If it wasn’t you self-shooting, when what hapless lifeform has the chip now? And will they help us?

    My teeth go on edge envisioning the various ways schemes not yet fully revealed to us are about to go astray and grow new tentacles I refuse to imagine. No, no, no, no, no!

  6. Muzhik

    @Ronald, re: point #1, Larry Niven wrote a short story where the language used by one race had a different word to indicate possession as opposed to something being a part of you. IOW, in English, we use the same word for possession, “my”, for everything: My house, My car, My cat; as well as My arm, My leg, My head. With such a language, it’s easy to refuse to relinquish “My home”, because that would be the same as relinquishing “My arm”. This race was able to avoid a war because they did not view giving up a planet to be the same as giving up an arm.

    @TB, are you suggesting that the gun was in fact, a “Chekhov’s Gun”? Sneaky!

    @Seymour Joseph, I can tell you that my ex-wife had puppy-dog eyes that she used to her own advantage.

    1. Gregg Eshelman

      H. Beam Piper’s story “Omnilingual” hit on something that every technical society would have to have, a table of the elements. The beginnings of the table we use were in 1869 so think of that level of technology at least for an alien civilization to have one.

      While the arrangement could be different than what we humans use, nobody can change the atomic makeup of elements. Such a table would give us their numbering system and words for all the elements they know about. Even better would be to find it in a poster or a book with descriptive text about the table.

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