-B18-

“Oh, this is not good. Not good at all! The Overseers will not be happy at all!”

“Overseers? What? Is this translator system working properly? Wait, are you even listening to me right now?”

“This is so bad! I don’t know how to fix this... Oh, this was never supposed to happen!”

“Hello? Alien life form! Would please make some effort to make this first contact a bit more, well, involving? You are humanity’s first contact with an intelligent being not from our world. We would really like to have a proper conversation and... Well, and find out why you are pacing back and forth mumbling about Overseers among other things.”

“Oh-uh-um- I guess it doesn’t matter now. So... Yes, hunam. I suppose some dialog in this situation isn’t uncalled for. Especially with the extenuating circumstances given. I’m certain that the more thorough explanation I can provide to the Overseers, the more forgiving and understanding would be.”

“Fine. Um... Yes... I am Captain Zelnick of the Alliance of Free Stars ship, the Vindicator. I would like to be first human to peacefully greet you.”

“Okay... As much as, I would like to believe that... Really would... You make it a bit difficult, at the moment. Since your ship has almost crashed into my space station.”

“Well, uh, yeah... Admittedly, we thought it was an asteroid. Thankfully it wasn’t because it seems to have been significantly less damaging given your station’s shielding and tractor beams.”

“Speak for yourselves on what is and isn’t damaging.”

“Yes, well. Our maiden voyage has hit a few significant snags. But, finding and meeting extraterrestrial life has made it worth it. Can you tell you me about your species?”

“I’d really rather not, at the moment. There’s, um, protocol for these kinds of situations.”

“Oh, yes. If you like to tell us about the protocol, we will see if we can abide by it.”

“Uh, yes. That’s actually quite difficult for you. I honestly don’t think you could possibly follow it now.”

“What’ do you mean?”

“Well... Major errors have already been committed.”

“We would most certainly apologize for the our accidental transgressions, and would like to know about following the proper procedures now.”

“You can’t.”

“What? Why not?”

“You just can’t. Especially, not now.”

“If you can brief us on these protocols, we might be able to determine a way to follow such protocols. Certainly, we can come to some kind of agreement and then seek to to determine modifications and concessions to any-”

“There were only two rules, you’ve already broken them!”

“Huh? Okay, what were the two rules?”

“Oh no. This was suppose to be a simple posting. So easy. We though we had figured it out. So many plans undone!”

“Alright, can you AT LEAST tell me what the two rules were?!”

“They’re really simple. Well, were... So... One. Humans are to never leave the confines of the exclusion zone. As per Overseer orders.”

“Wait, what?!”

“That was such an easy one to work around, too! You just had to ruin it.”

“Huh, what work around?”

“Very simple really. We’d just determine the maximum lifespan of a human, double it, and multiply it by the speed of the fastest space vessel we have observed... Then, we set that as the new Hazardous Lifeform Exclusion Zone.”

“Hazardous Lifeform Exclusion Zone?! What the hell are you talking about?!”

“Oh, just fixing that rule made it so easy for the second rule to work. A few gravitational signal traps and camouflage shielding for the main base. The second rule was SO EASY!”

“Which IS?!”

“Oh, yes... Two. Humans must never come into contact with any other galactic faring species.”

“With all due respect, I can’t help but feel slighted on behalf of my ENTIRE SPECIES.”

“You see this is this why those rules were put into place! The hostility and aggression from the very start. It’s all going so bad, so quickly! The Overseers will be so disappointed! We Spetti will never get such a cozy position in the Order ever again!”

“I’m trying my best to understand the situation. Who are the Overseers? And why has humanity been put in an exclusion zone where we aren’t allowed to contact anyone else?!”

“Because you are dangerous species that should not be allowed into the galactic community.”

“By whose authority?!”

“The Overseers.”

“Who are?”

“The Overseers. They’re in charge of the Order.”

“Which is?”

“An organization that maintains order in this galaxy.”

“And they determined WE were dangerous?!”

“Well, in your first experimental flight of an unproven space vessel you nearly ran into my star base.”

“We thought it was an asteroid.”

“Even worse.”

“Yeah, that actually doesn’t help our case. Um...”

“Exactly! So rash to defend your actions, even when they are demonstrably reckless!”

“Stop making us sound so irresponsible.”

“You are doing a perfectly good job of that yourself.”

“I’ll have you know we’ve done extensive tests upon the systems of this ship, and it was made by our best engineers. This is the height of human creation at this very moment!”

“A metal tube without basic energy shielding, ionized gases for thrust, and a…”

“And a?”

“That’s, um. That’s, in the crudest technical terms, a warp drive… Oh my... Yes, you are flinging yourself around space in a metal tube without shields powered by gas using a warp drive missing all known required safety subsystems.”

“When you say it like that, you make it sound like our ships are nothing but toy rockets being thrown around by dangerous cosmic forces.”

“You said it, not me.”

“Well, I need to go back and report this. If this is the kind of welcome to expect... We might have to rethink this whole search for extraterrestrial life idea.”

“Actually, yes, that is a good idea. And please leave! We might be able to obfuscated this entire encounter in the records, and hopefully pretend this never happened. Though admittedly, the exclusion zone will have to be vastly increased…”

“...”