#63 Encounter

By M.K. Villalba

The machine causes a buzzing in its head; overwhelming the normal processing of its neurons. It grabs the knobs on either side of its processor in an ineffectual effort to deaden the noise and lets out its own sound from a hole beneath its globes turned towards the machine.

The supporting spindles jerk to stabilize and propel it towards an opening in the box. Its hole is still open, but silent. We watch the long spindles decelerate and the short side spindles flutter to a halt. Mesmerized by the machine, which in itself could signify some limited form of intelligence, the processor stops.

With our first breath of air our exchange units adjust for the mixture of oxygen and other gases. Sweeter than many of the worlds we visit, but with a touch of dustiness that makes us nostalgic for our own world. It stands motionless as we approach; small and sickly looking. It vibrates violently as we come close to it and it dies.

In the vegetation moves another processor, but entirely different; a smaller, fuzzy, four spindled specimen emits a constant low frequency hum and approaches us without aggravation or fear. It moves along the ground on four spindles, rather than upright on two spindles.

It is a perfect specimen of obvious intelligence demonstrated by its ability to send a sophisticated tonal communication signal to us. Success! We will return home triumphant to study this processor and return when we understand the language of this world.


Sam Knight said...

I enjoyed the point of view from the outside looking in. Subdued and impersonal observation added to the feel of it all.

Guy Anthony De Marco said...

I liked the perspective, particularly with the word "spindle". Well done.