Monday, May 26, 2014

Story A: Politics and Religion, by Cislyn Smith

Story A
Politics and Religion

“Backwards, you say?”

“Yes. Left to right. Idiots human subset write also top to bottom.”

“Surely the preferred direction of writing is arbitrary.”

“Gods say not. See also stupidities your other. Zones time many. Nouns follow descriptors. System measurement adequate but universal not. Flow electricity plus to minus. Humans backwards ways many.”

“Well, we don’t have a single planetary government to set or enforce standards.”

“Problem also. Gods like not. Humans sloppy. Query: we fix.”

"No!" I took a deep breath and answered again, without shouting at Zarr this time. I sat down on the edge of my bed. "No. I don't even know what that 'fix' would look like."

"Stupidities none! Same all. Problems gone." It flashed colors at me and waved its forelegs excitedly. I rubbed my temples. I had a headache. Zarr insisted on waking me up early on therapy days, and I just wanted to go back to bed for a nap.

This wasn't the first time Zarr had offered up some universal cure that sounded more like poison to me. For all I knew, these were morality tests, or even jokes. Zarr seemed to love tempting me with ridiculous power, and had been doing so for months now. I had no idea if Zarr - either the individual or the collective - and its so-called Gods could follow through. I couldn't take the risk, though.

"Zarr, I don't want that. We don't consider homogeny a strength. You say we're sloppy, but diversity is -"

The phasefrog cut me off mid-sentence. "Gods say sloppy. Not Zarr."

Great. Now we were going to go in circles talking about Zarr's religion again. It really is a universal rule to never talk about religion or politics. I needed to find a way to short-circuit this conversation. "Zarr, my therapist says you're not real." This never failed to divert it.

"Therapist backwards also! Never considered Zarr potential reality."

Interesting. It was still stuck on this backwards thing. "She says I'm making you up. That you're a delusion. I have to say, she makes a pretty persuasive case. More persuasive than yours. Humanity doesn't need fixing."

Zarr flattened itself in mid-air, sprawling on nothing near my shoulder. I'd learned that this was the phasefrog equivalent of a dejected flounce. Good. I admit, I was taking some pleasure in Zarr feeling down, for a change. I'd had a hard morning. Taking it out on Zarr was only fair, since it was to blame.

"I have to keep going to her - we've had too many conversations where other people could overhear only my half. My point is that you could solve everything by just showing yourself to other people. She says there's no good reason some transdimensional super intelligent alien being would choose to only converse with me!"

"Backwards thinking again you are! Special emissary Zarr chose. In the title it is!"

"Look, you're either a quirk of my psychology - and proof that I'm special in that way, because you're a damned persistent quirk and a very odd one, too - or you're not. But for all the time we've been together, you've never really told me why only the special emissary can interact with you."

"False. Gods decree. We many times said."

I flopped backwards onto the bed. I just wanted Zarr to go away and leave me alone. Not forever, you know? Just for a few hours.

"Your gods are about the same as ours, it seems - all arbitrary rules and going on about what they don't like. They're probably just as real as you are."

"Gods more real."

I waved a hand at it. "Yeah, yeah. Prove it."

"Query accepted! We fix!"

I swear I thought it was safe. We'd never gotten anywhere with religious topics before. I'd been so careful ever since Zarr first appeared. I took my responsibility as special emissary seriously!

I know what I'm asking for is difficult, but miracles are what you do. My appeal to the Zarran Gods was denied. I was given the choice to be a Zarr special emissary and find another civilzation to infect, but that doesn't appeal to my sloppy human nature, you know? You could undo what the Zarran Deities have done. Please. There's only one way to undo the damage, only one way forward. And that's through you.

Transcript of the Terran's appeal to the Murquan Gods for divine un-intervention. The request was conditionally granted. Terra will be under holy quarantine until a Murquan prelate finds the world free of Zarran influences.