FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
Orientation Brief 137
Subject: The Silicaan Race
Clearance: Level 5
To begin, allow me to say that I'm very grateful to have been given this opportunity to brief you upon the existence and characteristics of the Silicaan race. I imagine it has come as quite a shock to find out that non-organic intelligences live and thrive in your world. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if you were rather put off by the revelation. You may even be suspicious of such so-called "living machines". I hope, though, that you'll agree that it's important to learn more about the Silicaans before arriving at solid conclusions about them. And, of course, the best way to understand a race of intelligent beings is to hear from a member of that race.
Planetary Observation Report Transcript 101-07
Universe: MMM â€“ GH998-98756-234586-376453-9875768-2
Range: 78/04/30*45/15/12*20/59/13*166/06/00 PRT â€“ 10
Subject Age:Â 4.5*108
Present:Â Mission Captain, Agent Facilitator, Agent Alpha, Agent Beta
Captain:Â The transcription has commenced.Â Please proceed, Facilitator.
Facilitator: Very well, Captain.Â Alpha, I think we should begin with you.Â Please start by reminding the Captain what your specific objective was.
Alpha:Â Yes, Facilitator.Â Captain, I was charged with Observation Protocol 1.Â All of my data pertains to evaluating intelligent life on the planet.Â Iâ€™ll tick through the top priority items in order if you donâ€™t mind.
Writing this article is the single most difficult thing Iâ€™ve ever done.Â If the editor of the op-ed site that I send it to is a man, publishing this article will be the most difficult thing HEâ€™S ever done.Â I just want to establish these two facts up front so that anyone actually seeing this will appreciate the immense amount of courage that was required for it to make it to the Web.Â Maybe credit can be given for bravery and the anger my words will generate can be abated.
I guess it will be helpful to start at the beginning.
Janet Rodriguez, the first female President of the United States, during her first term of office in 2032, proposed legislation that would allow any woman in the nation at any time and for any reason to kick any man in the crotch as she saw fit without any legal recourse being granted to the man.Â The female-dominated US Legislature added a provision for a woman to call on the assistance of other women in the execution of any particular crotch-kicking (affectionately called the â€œYou Hold Him While I Rack Himâ€ provision) and the President enthusiastically signed the bill into law within her first 100 days.
I just called it the beach.Â I knew it was completely unoriginal, but what did it really matter? It was the only beach I ever visited.Â I suppose true beach aficionados would think me a Philistine for believing that when youâ€™ve seen one beach youâ€™ve seen them all, butâ€¦ thatâ€™s how I feel about it and my opinion counts for every bit as much as another guyâ€™s.Â And on that beach, of course, my opinion counted for more than anyone elseâ€™s.
It was comfortably warm and breezy, the sun only an hour up off the eastern horizon.Â I didnâ€™t walk too near the waves gliding across the white sand.Â I wasnâ€™t there to play, obviously.Â I was only having the meeting there because I thought it would help me stay calm during the whole ordeal.
Not so long ago in a land not so far away, there was a village wherein resided no professional tailors.Â Instead, each family was responsible for making its own clothing and it was forbidden for any person to create clothing for anyone other than direct relation.Â Each family was required to use cloth with a pattern unique to them so as to make themselves easily recognizable to other families.Â Were a person to show himself in public with a pattern in his clothing that did not match that of his family he would immediately be exposed as a fraud and a thief.
Now in this village lived a woman named Claire who was greater at crafts than any other villager.Â In particular, her clothing was of a quality that far surpassed all others.Â So amazing were her skills, in fact, that her neighbors insisted on taking instruction from her.Â And taught them she did with an enormous sense of pride.