Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer

They put me in a mansuit again. I objected until the Hnth decreed and I had to comply. Then to my surprise, they acted upon the other half of my request. The Krntch dropped me on a beach. I stood there, watching men of both genders flee in terror, their scanty environmental suits adapting badly to the sudden change of behaviour.

Their negotiating men would take a short while to arrive. In that time, I had to change the environment on which they based their diplomacy. All I needed was a man with a projectile weapon. As if to order, a man in the uniform of a lawgiver charged through the retreating men and pointed his weapon at me.

“Don’t move!”

I raised my upper limbs quickly. It was enough. His training made him shoot me and his fear ensured he shot me several times. I felt the projectiles pass through the suit and let myself fall, gravity flattening the suit and propelling me out through the holes. I reformed in the air above the suit and he fled.

“You’re beautiful.”

My perception shifted and I saw a man with pronounced suckling attributes standing barely a drift away. I modulated my waft and squeezed words into being.

“This is our natural form. We only want to visit your planet to ride the meteorological gases. They are like no other planet we have encountered.”

It nodded and I felt resonance with my desire. An understanding at last!

“You want to surf the wind. I can dig that.”

I ran through the available language I had to find the words: “We only want this. Your elders present us as a threat to further their own aims. I need to speak to the people. To tell them the truth.”

Again, I saw understanding and belief.

“The media! There should be a news chopper here soon.”

That word for hazard I knew: “No! The wind of a chopper will injure me.”

“Oh, yeah. I should’ve guessed, you being a swirl of glowing gold gas. Sorry.”

“Is there any alternative?”

It reached behind itself and pulled a communication device out.

“I can call them. Can you move or do you just drift?”

Obviously some local meaning to the word ‘drift’. I drifted to be beside it. It looked almost reverent as I did so.

“Oh, wow. You have rainbows inside when you move.”

‘Rainbow’? Another new word. They have so many here.

“I presume this is what you mean by ‘move’?”

“Yeah. Follow me.”

“We are interrupting this program with breaking news. This is Kirsty Walters, live from Surfrider Beach, Malibu. The incredible glowing cloud behind me is a real, live Srssn’n. This is what they look like outside of the suits that their leaders make them wear to the diplomatic sessions. Next to it is Suzy Masters, a PA on vacation whose quick thinking allowed this historic event to occur. We’ll talk to Sh’rr, the Srssn’n, in a moment. But its message needs to be stated now. The Srssn’n are not invaders. They want to be tourists, to surf the winds of this planet, and are prepared to trade technology to be allowed to do so. We are being lied to.”

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