Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

It was refreshing in a way, this whole ‘not having to talk’ thing.

The blue Radocephamoeba across from me ‘listened’ patiently to the string of questions embedded in the constant flow of my pheromones and body odor. There were subtleties in our smell that we had no idea were there.

The Radocephamoebas were huge semi-transparent shape-changing tentacled scentograph andromorphs. They were here doing research. They had no outward sensory apparatus of any kind that we could see. They ate by osmosis. When they were hungry, ovals would appear on their bodies like liver spots that oozed numbing digestive juices. Food was pressed to one of these ovals, the food absorbed, and the spots would disappear.

I could still see this one’s lunch floating in the thickness of his torso.

Other than that, their bodies, as far as we could tell, were basically giant noses from tip to stern. Every slippery pore was a nostril. The connected cells of their bodies did the rest. Every cell was a small brain. Together, they computed.

When referring to ‘my’ assigned Rad, I always called him Big Blue because of his brilliant mouthwash colouring and his size. The Rads differed in colour from one to another wildly. They were called Jelly Babies or Jelly Beans in popular slang.

Using several tendrils to rapidly tap answers out on a laptop for me, he answered questions that I didn’t fully realize that I was asking. I had no control over my pheromones and they really held nothing back. I was unintentionally candid and honest in a way that I had never been in real life when Big Blue took deep, silent sniffs of my long, rambling pheromones.

The First Team had thought it was telepathy for three full hours after first contact until a communication apparatus was successfully set up. Oh, how they all laughed. It was famous footage.

One thing the Rads could do was go ‘silent’ and stop smelling. Scientists were fascinated by this and research was underway.

There was only a certain temperament of Rad that volunteered to research the humans. Earth was incredibly ‘noisy’ by way of stink. Every person on the planet was shouting out their true thoughts, unfiltered intentions, hopes and dreams for all the Rads to hear.

Apparently, Big Blue was a talker and loved to listen. His replies to me on the laptop were verbose at any rate.

Now, I call him Big Blue when I’m writing my reports down but he says that I named him something else from the complicated smell reaction I had when I first saw him. He took my name for him from that reaction. It goes something like:

“Holy (alarm) that thing is huge I don’t know if I’m up for this it scares me I wonder how my mom (parent twosex breed half) is doing I think I’ll have a late meal (food type) am I just standing here staring be professional they think in smell they think in smell they think in smell-“

Each time he types it out it’s a little different but he always colours a bit darker up top with what we now know is mirth.

They’re equally fascinated by our ability to have not only one but five senses to their two senses of touch and smell. They marvel at our ability to deal with the input.

The Rads told us about a far-off race that has over twenty-six senses.

The two-way research traffic has so far been very rewarding. First contacts don’t always go this smoothly.


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