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I_Arman t1_ja8l7nv wrote

The humans stared in surprise. "I'm sorry, perhaps we misunderstood - I thought that each sentient species got a single senator?"

The gelatinous alien wobbled. "Yesyes, quite right quite right. One senator one senator. Everyone gets one, everyone gets one."

The feathered, multi-eyed creature standing next to it nodded slowly. "As my colleague explained, you are correct. One senator per sentient/sapient species, regardless of planets settled or ruled over."

One of the humans - the one named George - whispered, "Do... do they mean whales and dolphins? Chimpanzees? Did we miss something?"

The leathery humanoid, Lange - incidentally the only creature with a human-pronounceable name - chuckled. "No, no. While you have an impressive number of creatures on your planet, none but the Humans are worthy of a seat on the council."

Ambassador Humphries cleared his throat. "May I ask... why are we being given this singular honor? Humanity is only a single species, and yet we get four senators?"

Lange burbled another chuckle, joined by the other two aliens. "You humans are so inclusive! It really warms my hearts. No, as I'm sure you understand, even though you see yourselves as a single species, you are of course four. Unless... well, there was some debate about Hot/Dry Humans and Hot/Wet Humans?"

Humphries blinked in surprise. "I'm... sorry? Are you calling humans different species based on... climate?"

Lange seemed confused by the question. "Well... yes? I suppose we should have clarified, but - here, look."

She pulled out a holographic projector, and pulled up an image of a young woman in a thick winter coat. "This is one species, the Cold Human. This one is from 'Michigan'. Er, we use the term Cold Human, your inclusivity must have eradicated the different terms generations ago. And this one" - the image changed to that of a middle-aged man in shorts and a t-shirt - "is a Hot/Dry human, from 'Marbella, Spain'. And this one... and this one. Cold, Hot/Dry, Hot/Wet, and Temperate. Ah! Maybe you call them Arctic, Desert, Tropical, and Plains? Though some of the plains undergo rapid temperature shifts..."

Lange trailed off. Humphries cleared his throat, twice, then eventually found his words. "That's... those are all just humans, though. We wear thick clothing in cold temperatures, thin clothing in hot weather, and while, yes, most of us prefer one climate or another, we do move around a bit. I was born in England, but moved to Florida, in the United States - temperate to hot, er, wet. We adapt to almost any temperature, but we're still all the same species - surely the blood tests and DNA matching would have shown that?"

The aliens gathered into a huddle, squawking and gesturing wildly. The blobby alien turned a sickly-looking shade of yellow-green, while the feathered one shed more than a few feathers. Lange, clearly the most level-headed of the group, still looked quite shaken. Finally, they turned back to the humans.

Lange cleared her throat with a delicate squeak. "We... you are correct, of course, about the blood tests and so forth. But there is quite a bit of... shall we say, climate hard-liners? Our planets, much like your own television shows, largely a single climate, or only populated in a single climate band. My planet is temperate." She made a short engine sound, followed by a loud cowbell noise, gesturing to the goo-creature - " comes from a planet that is mostly water, dotted with tropical islands. And" - a horrible static noise, this time gesturing at the bird-person - "is from a dry, dusty planet of intense heat. He wears a thermal regulator to visit your temperate facilities, here. But... you live all across this wild planet, with its intense heat and cold?"

Humphries nodded. "We do, yes; as I said, we humans are adaptable. While we thrive in temperatures from -40 degrees Celsius to over +40 degrees Celsius, we can survive much more extreme - I'm sorry, is your friend all right?"

The blobby creature had gone fully green, and was shaking so hard its rolls of goo were making tiny clapping sounds. Lange glanced in its direction, then shook her head. "No, it will be fine. We are just... shaken. Are you telling us that you refuse four senators, and choose only one? And that your choice of senator will come from... any climate?"

Humphries nodded, somewhat mystified at the odd reaction. "Of course. We may have our differences, but outside of preference, we don't argue over climate. Much, anyway. As far as I know, we've never gone to war over climate! Ha ha!"

His joke fell flat. Lange, her face unreadable, replied only, "We have."

The coming months were eye-opening, to both the varied aliens and to the humans that visited them. Icy worlds were met with, "Gee, it's a bit chilly! Almost as bad as winters in Alaska, but you've got a lot more daylight," and desert planets were greeted with, "Oh, no worries, it's a dry heat, just stay hydrated. And you don't have any scorpions!" The alien worlds were unprepared for the constant downplaying of the climate - no world humans visited was as hot, as cold, or as inhospitable as the climates of Earth. The hardliners scoffed that their world was much more extreme, but soon found that the more harsh they claimed their world was, the more humans flocked to it. "You call this cold? At least the atmosphere is breathable, at the top of Mount Everest you have to were oxygen tanks!" or "This is hot, yes, but one summer my family visited Death Valley and cooked hamburgers without lighting a fire, this is nothing!"

Lange smiled to herself as she read through the morning's reports. The climate extremists - hot and cold, for the first time in history on the same side - were calling for a ban on human travelers, though their reason why was mostly angry grumbling about "showoffs." The vote to remove a number of extreme temperature planets from Parliament was called off, because humans had somehow managed to take up permanent residence on almost all of them, calling them "not that hot" or "only kinda cold." There was even the beginnings of a tourist trade among the somewhat less extreme planets; a Khorthian, known galaxy-wide as a hater of "warms", became the first of his kind to visit Noomoobooloo, one of the colder planets, albeit on the middle of a heatwave. And the human clothing! It had taken the galaxy by storm; parkas and Hawaiian shirts sold like coldcakes. Even their food was extreme! Ice cream and hot coffee! Eaten together, at times! They even had "frozen hot chocolate", an oxymoron that nonetheless was becoming popular with many cultures.

Lange unlocked the bottom drawer of her desk, and pulled out a report: "Earth: X7 rating. Death planet. Extreme climates, dangerous lifeforms, long-term toxic to most life forms. Natives invented atomic energy and immediately used it as a weapon on themselves. Avoid at all costs."

She flipped the page to the other report, the one she had submitted to Parliament. "Earth: M5 rating. Four distinct climates, each with its own lifeforms. No sign of inter-species war. Some extremist views."

A scrap fell out from between the pages; written on it was a quote from a famous Earth author, Mark Twain: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

Lange carefully tucked the scrap back into the folder, and locked it away again. Travel, indeed.


SpaceFairyKween t1_ja9oo2v wrote

Love it, reminds me for a tumblr post where humans were being interviewed by aliens about how we explored the Antartic continent, and the humans went "Well, the first explorers we sent died due extreme cold" "so what did you do to change that? Did you created super heaters?" "No, we just sent some more but with fluffier clothing" "What?"


Cyno_Mahamatra t1_jaacmca wrote

Wait until the first sea-based aliens appear. Humans can’t dive that deep, can they?


Commercial_Roll5208 t1_jaak94f wrote

Scuba gear and probably tech advanced enough that you can breath underwater without needing a oxygen tank like artificial gills on a suit or something


Sefera17 t1_jaap9cf wrote

And the suits that can keep out the pressure at the bottom of the ocean can also be used to survive in hard vacuum, so the space whales won’t be able to one-up us either. Though we’re going to need a second seat on the council for our AI, once we create them; or maybe we’ll just put an AI in our seat.


Sexual_tomato t1_jadummx wrote

One cool concept I liked in the new avatar movie was the idea of essentially a set of wearable gills that made a held breath last far longer rather than fully replacing breathing.

Also introducing what were essentially hyper-intelligent bulletproof whales.


PM_ME_UR_SYLLOGISMS t1_jaauatu wrote

"Convince them? No, they wanted to go. It was kind of a race, you see. First to the pole!"


frossenkjerte t1_ja9arl0 wrote

Heh Planet Winnipeg.


I_Arman t1_ja9s4qv wrote

"But enough about the weather, how about those mosquitoes?"

Screaming, fading into the distance "... Was it something I said?"


RealFrog t1_jabkai8 wrote

Y'know the helicopter scene in Apocalypse Now? The one with Ride Of The Valkyries? Imagine it with mosquitoes, albeit slightly bigger than the choppers. That's summer in Winnipeg.

Now that the Red Planet is infested by rovers, a semi-regular winter news item is "Today local temperatures are once again colder than the surface of Mars -- before wind chill. Bundle up!"

Wanna know how tough Ukrainians are? They like Winnipeg weather.


crazy_dude360 t1_jabkd0a wrote

Smaller Chihuahua-like race is seen spontaneously levitating away in the background.

Being chased by a medical team and a chemical weapon team.

When the humans were questioned. They simply stated. "It's northern Michigan in early summer. We told them to soak themselves in the repellants. They are milder than the noseeums."

Edit: A: "the whatseeums?!"

H: The noseeums. They bite like horse flies but you can't see them.



Wrldegg t1_ja9izyf wrote

Wait until they here of places that feel all four climate temperatures


I_Arman t1_ja9rr82 wrote

"Roasting heat, biting cold, constant wind, alternating dry and humid air, oh and don't forget the storms that rain down fist-sized hail and summon whirling winds strong enough to tear a house to splinters or drive straw into a tree!"

"What is this hellscape!? Have any of your people survived it?"

"What, Kansas? I grew up there, actually. Uh, are you ok?"


Bazrum t1_jabck2y wrote

i visited Kansas way back when i was scared of thunderstorms, and i had an awful time because of it lmaoo

then i went back after i got over it and had a good time swimming with the jellyfish in potato lake


ctesibius t1_jabyi3x wrote

You have inland jellyfish?


Bazrum t1_jacl7j1 wrote

There are a surprising number of places in the US that have freshwater jellyfish!

I’ve only ever seen them in lake Pomme De Terre (AKA “Apple of the Earth”, AKA French for “potato”), but they’re in like 44 states!


W2ttsy t1_jablfnu wrote

I thought you were describing western Sydney for a minute.

Sunday it’s expected to be 28°c and partially cloudy, Monday will be 34°, Tuesday will be 32° and thunderstorms.

Laughs in australia!


Minniechild t1_jackbrl wrote

I second that I thought it was Sydney- been through two confirmed tornadoes, one possible. Have seen frosts so thick they were ice, and that’s not even up in the Mountains!


I_Arman t1_jad6fmh wrote

The only difference between Australia and Kansas is ocean front property and an imbalance of deadly animals!


[deleted] t1_jaabagx wrote



Direness9 t1_jabt0nn wrote

We had a rainy haboob in Kansas last night. Even for us, that was a little odd.


Primus_Pilus1 t1_jabd06n wrote

"Texas? Sounds harmless, let's go." - Xeno tour guide # 516 (Repitilian predator). Last seen 6 weeks ago in the far eastern sector of the target polity.

"Craziest tasting gator boudin ever." - swamp dweller.


Wasphammer t1_jaac1y4 wrote



Wrldegg t1_jaad77z wrote

I was thinking Northern Utah, it drops below 20 almost every winter, rises above 100 every summer, is extremely dry, yet is known for snow


DishOutTheFish t1_jaat859 wrote

I have seen five seperate states mentioned in replies to this one comment are all yall midwest folk ok????


MechisX t1_jab5ugc wrote

Grew up in Ohio and live in Illinois.

I haven't noticed any difference in the weather.

Only the scenery.


Wrldegg t1_jadhfhq wrote

I wouldn’t call Utah Midwest, we don’t really qualify with our short goodbyes and lack of high consumption of alcoholic beverages.


Bardez t1_jaavsqy wrote

Terrified screams in Illinois


Dra5iel t1_ja8xin7 wrote

I really like your take on this.


Youddlewho t1_ja9k3jk wrote

The scale you've achieved with this gave me a very warm, hopeful feeling. I want to live in that universe now. THANK YOU


I_Arman t1_ja9sv3w wrote

The neat thing is, you can! Vacation somewhere new - even a cheap camping trip a day away or a day trip to a museum can introduction you to some wonderful new people. I highly recommend it!


msdolchie t1_ja9fsxh wrote

Your story just got better, and better, and better, and better :)


I_Arman t1_ja9sd1w wrote

I'm glad you enjoyed it!


CarlosFer2201 t1_jabuofl wrote

Nice story, very different to what I thought it would be given the prompt.
Just a typo: wear oxygen masks


dievox22 t1_ja9or5g wrote

Man… what a ride that was! I honestly for a minute forgot that I was reading a comment on Reddit.


MechisX t1_jab5mbc wrote

More Humans are Space Orcs writing?


I_Arman t1_jabjlfv wrote

More like humans are Space Tourists. No special powers, no invincibility, just a willingness to travel and compare it to home.

Single biome planets are a staple of science fiction as it is, and it's easy for a species to stick with its comfort zone as long as there is no pressure to change. And "unified species" make it easy to play the segmentation game. I'm guessing that the Parliament was split four ways, with constantly shifting political allegiances. Earth's tourism was enough to show up the extremists, and bring together the lesser extremes.

...Not that I don't like a good Humans Are Space Orcs story, heh.