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theonetrueelhigh t1_jcfyamb wrote

"They are NOT telepathic. None of the samples exhibited any such capability, no matter what kind of test we put them through. Sexual arousal, somnolescent states, extreme fear - no circumstance enables interpersonal telepathy."

"There have been examples in their entertainments."

"Do I need to remind you that most of their entertainments are 'fiction?' Not representations of real things, past or present. They are pretend."

"Ah, right. The Galaxy Quest paradox."


"So how did they detect me?"

"As the humans say, let's go to the tape." Tar'Van operated his console and the video display lit up. "Here's you, approaching the group."

"In retrospect, such a large crowd of humans was not a good choice for social insertion."

"Analysis strongly suggested that missteps would be missed by the individuals, against the greater noise of so many other humans' behavioral signals to confuse them. It was a good plan."

"That did not prove to be the case."

"Indeed. Humans have a consciousness we had not anticipated. But it is not telepathy."

Nel'Gor and Tar'Van watched as the video progressed. Nel'Gor tried, in the recording, to navigate a few inconsequential interactions, minutiae in the day-to-day interactions of humans. He met one person, talked to it briefly, spoke to another. He answered questions - correctly, he knew, with the right jargon and even accompanying gestures, very amusing according to their research. There was a brief pause...

And then suddenly both humans lunged at him. With his Ordan reflexes, Nel'Gor was able to evade them and, despite the encumbering human garments, ran like the wind. A few more humans joined the pursuit but only halfheartedly, not knowing what the chase was about. The video changed viewpoints a few times, as other secreted pickups about the facility were able to provide a record. Nel'Gor shot past one, then another. By the time it moved to the third camera, Nel'Gor had opened a gap and the humans were losing inclination to pursue him further. Once he gained the open space where the humans all left their vehicles, Nel'Gor was able to open his stride even further and the humans were left completely behind, and abandoned the chase.

The humans spoke to each other briefly. "I did not hear what they said. Can you increase the gain on that?"

Tar'Van twiddled a few more controls, and background noise faded as the humans' speech gained prominence. He backed up the recording a few seconds.

"...and you don't know that guy at all?"

"Hell, no!"

"Where the hell's he get off, making a crack about your mom like that? Guy's looking for trouble. Damn near found it but damn he's fast."

"Some people, man."

Nel'Gor said, "the joke about the man's mother is at timestamp," he showed his notes to Tar'Van, who backed the recording further. "Magnify this individual's face and let me observe."

At the crucial moment, the human's face froze. Nel'Gor had encountered the word "stony" in descriptions before, and had not appreciated its aptness until now. The expression on the face became blank in a way he had not understood in the moment, when he was stumbling through his Innocuous Conversation In A Social Setting repertoire, trying to remember all the rules and their myriad exceptions. The human's eyes clicked to the side.

Tar'Van expanded the view to take in the other human, and sure enough his eyes glanced toward the first's. This nonverbal contact lasted approximately one point two seconds, and both humans initiated pursuit. It was only the sudden, enormous surge of pheromones dumping out of both humans that alerted him sufficiently; one human nearly made contact.

"That was it? That? That's all? They just looked at each other!"

"I suspect that no matter how much time we spend studying human modes of communication, we may never fully comprehend everything they do to communicate. They have been evolving with each other for millions of years, they have a head start."

"Let's throw away the Innocuous Conversation Starter pack from the Discord subcategory. It appears to contain unacceptable cues for in-person conversations."

"Agreed. Let's try the Starbucks pack and start over. Those are all face-to-face."



DerG3n13 t1_jcgf4bu wrote

So what was the joke?


ballrus_walsack t1_jcgokkq wrote

They learned their interaction lessons from immature conversations on discord where people routinely make “I f*cked your mom” jokes.


theonetrueelhigh t1_jcgpe6o wrote

You saw the reference to Discord, right?


DerG3n13 t1_jcgrqcn wrote

Nope, where is it?


theonetrueelhigh t1_jcgs3ck wrote

Five lines up from the bottom. It's a little more pat than I usually try to do, but it works well enough.


DerG3n13 t1_jcgsdyu wrote

Ooooh, that totally went over my head lol