Amusing and satirical, this tale is about humans finally meeting aliens who make them feel inadequate. I can say no more without giving away the story, but I hope you like it.
The origins of this one started with the title, which I found in a headline about something completely different. It, of course, reminded me of the saying ‘little green men’ which was a reference to aliens from Mars before we went to the red planet ourselves and found it empty. One day, sometime in the future, humankind will meet other lifeforms, who could well be different from us in surprising ways. I think astronauts and colonists should read all the SF they can in order to prepare themselves.
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The aliens, when we eventually found the first of many, turned out to be not too dissimilar to ourselves, if you looked at them in low light and from a distance. They were more like octopuses or spiders, with a large head, two eyes, no nose and a wide mouth low on the face. They had two arms in about the same place as humans, a long torso like us, but had five legs. Their skin was light to mid-blue, with greenish shading and slightly bumpy. They stood no more than five feet tall when fully upright, although they slouched when they walked. They were inevitably nick-named ‘Little Blue Men’. At this point, no one knew for sure what gender they were, if indeed they had one, or two, or more.
We first encountered them when the two species happened to land on the same moon some distance away from Earth. Both races were searching for resources and for planets to inhabit. Luckily, it turned out they needed different conditions to live, so there would be little competition. They spoke a language consisting of a series of low vibrations, much like the continuous flow of a radio signal. Both species began to study the other, learning at least some of their language and setting up a mutual meeting point on the moon.
Dr Corman was assigned to the project and spend most of her time interacting with the aliens, aided by her support team of linguists, psychologists, and those people who’d managed to convince others they were experts on aliens despite never having met any. For their part, the aliens did the same, although it was hard to tell them apart or to guess their professions as they didn’t wear clothes or use tools of any kind. They did bring white boxes with them, which they placed facing the humans and stood behind like lecterns. According to our technicians, the boxes emitted certain electromagnetic frequencies, but nothing harmful.
As our knowledge of each other’s language grew, so did the depth and width of the topics of conversation. We started simply, with things like what we ate, how we grew it, what we liked to do as a race, what Earth was like, and they reciprocated. We then moved on to such subjects as cosmology, philosophy, biology, and anatomy. At this point, Dr Corman volunteered to strip naked in front of the aliens so they could see what we looked like. She was joined by one of the linguists, a man named Aaron, to show our gender dimorphism.
The little blue men were immediately fascinated by the linguist, and seemed, as far as they could tell, amused. Dr Corman got dressed and spent some time talking to the aliens and clarifying what they were saying. A few days later she came to see me, the mission director, in my office.
“Chris, I’ve discovered something about the aliens, and I think we need to keep it classified,” Dr Corman said, getting straight to the point.
“Really? Ok, what have you found?”
“Well, it’s something that could affect all future negotiations, in their favour, if I know anything about humans.”
“You know how we thought they had five legs?”
“It appears they only have four.”
“How is that possible? We can see five.”
“No, four legs, and… a penis.”
“What? That’s not possible, they’re huge!”
“I’m as certain as I can be. But there’s more.”
“That doesn’t sound good.”
“No, their society is found on a system of dominance. Those with the largest penises rule. They took one look at a typical human penis and now they see humans as inferior.”
“What about their females?”
“Don’t have them, they’re a sort of hermaphrodite. Those with larger penises screw those with smaller.”
“More like humans than we thought. So, what now, we go to war or get subjugated?”
“We could get some porn stars shipped in, but I don’t think even they’re going to cut it.”
“It’s worth a try. Otherwise, it’s yet another war caused by dicks.”