Noah Sletten • Ventura, California
Identification: Worker drone Δ-42A. Log entry 534. Subject planet: Sol-3, aka “Earth.” Species of interest: Homo Sapiens, aka “Humans.”
After hundreds of planetary cycles studying the humans’ language, culture, and mannerisms from afar, I feel like I am ready to approach them personally. For this task, I will be utilizing the custom-made, pseudo-biological, remote-controlled android, in the form of an average human female, about 25 solar rotations of age. With this, I will be attending a primitive human ritual known by them as a “concert.”
7:42 P.M.: The android is dropped off at a secure location, where I assume control. Packaged with the android is some paper currency, which is the curious method by which humans exchange items and favors with each other and form agreements. This species is so primitive as to not even have thoughtwave technology yet, so they rely on this much less efficient method; it’s a wonder their society is able to function at all. I give the human gatekeeper the appropriate amount of paper, and he, in return, gives me another differently colored slip of paper. It seems that this slip of paper is a sort of acknowledgment that I am worthy to enter the sacred building where this ritual takes place. There are many hundreds of humans here, so many that there is hardly room to stand up. Perhaps the discomfort is part of their way of paying tribute to their gods. Who’s to say—this will require much more extensive research.
Several humans are drinking copious amounts of water mixed with fermented grains— “bee-ar,” I believe it’s called. It seems to accompany many rituals such as this one. The bioscanner built into the android reads that the bee-ar dulls their senses and makes them loose motor control—again, what I can only assume is part of their tribute to their gods.
8:30 P.M.: After several minutes, a costumed figure comes on stage and addresses the crowd. All of them cheer vigorously and the ones closest to the stage attempt to touch his feet and garments. I can only assume this is their main deity that they worship or at least a prophet of their god. Several others appear behind him and prepare several devices—these must be his disciples. Then, they vigorously beat, strum, and blow into these devices, which trigger coordinated noises to come out of large metal rectangles. These noises are recorded to be many, many decibels louder than the noise tolerance range for humans that I initially calculated. And yet, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, not in pain at all. I will have to look further into the relationships between humans and pain stimulus; it may be more complex than I originally thought.
After several minutes of this, the music slows down, not as frenzied as before. Many of the humans pull out small metal rectangles that have small lights on the front and wave them around in the air. I appear to have made an error in not equipping the android with one of these rectangles; now that I observe closer, many humans appear to use them for more than just illumination.
9:52 P.M.: The ritual is over, what it was supposed to accomplish is still a mystery to me. I assume the mission is over, but before I can pilot the android back to the retrieval area, I am approached by a human male. He seems quite unkempt and is covered in copious amounts of a sort of chemical coating, especially in his armpits. He says, “Hey, hot stuff! You up to anything tonight?” I am initially confused on how to respond. However, as I scan the surrounding area, I see several pairings of males and females, some engaging in a barbaric-looking action in which they both press their mouth together and grasp each other with their appendages tightly. Suddenly, I have a realization. This must be the next part of the ritual! Perhaps this ceremony is a sort of mating congregation, in which the males are encouraged to court the females in order to hasten reproduction. All of the motions these couples are making seem vaguely erotic, so that is my best guess. I agree to his proposition. He seems happy and escorts me to his vehicle, and I mimic his action of securing a leathery strap across his chest. He then accelerates the vehicle, which seems to be powered mainly by carbon-based liquid fuel (demonstrating once again how truly primitive humans are).
10:09 P.M.: The human male has directed his vehicle to a small, brightly-lit building in the middle of their community. He brings me inside, where there are many rowdy humans inside. It is quite loud; not as loud as the concert, but certainly louder than should be healthy. He motions for me to sit on an elevated cushion that is close to a long table, on the other side of which is a human preparing beverages of even stronger alcohol content than the ones at the concert. The male who is courting me asks, “So, what’ll it be, baby?” I have no preference, so I respond, “Whatever you think is best.” He seems to like this answer and beckons the human on the other side of the table nearby. A few seconds later, he produces two drinks and hands me one of them. I pour the liquid down the android’s throat, where it will be stored for further examination.
He then begins talking about his career and interests. I take note of certain aspects of what he says for future reference. I also add a few more words to my catalogue of English vernacular, such as “cross fit,” “flexing” (in two different contexts), “Insta-gram,” and “homies.” Occasionally he glances at me expectantly. I can only guess that this is some sort of complex mating ritual, in which he attempts to impress me by flaunting his skill and beauty, not unlike another species on Earth, such as the peacock (Has this behavior been mimicked by humans from peacocks? Must investigate this further). I attempt to give positive feedback by smiling and nodding along.
Once he’s finished, he says, “But enough about me, what’s up with you?” I am unprepared to answer this question. I start saying something about how I am visiting from far away when a thought occurs to me. All the signs point to this encounter ending with sexual intercourse, but the android that I’ve sent is unequipped for such an act! I cannot study this male further if I cannot get intimate with him. I hastily say that I just remembered that I have an important appointment I must get to, and I can’t stay for much longer, but I would love to see him again. His face falls briefly, but then he says, “Okay—can I get your phone number?” He pulls out his small rectangular device (which I now know is referred to as an “eye-phone”) expectantly. I say that I have left my eye phone at home, but he can give me his number anyways. He quickly picks up a scrap of flimsy paper and a nearby plastic writing utensil and jots down a series of numbers, telling me to “call him whenever.”
As I say goodbye, I “kiss” him on the lips, like the other couples at the concert. This is not only to conform to his societal customs, but also to insert a swarm of nanobots into his gastrointestinal system that will allow me to track him and monitor his diet and biological details. He offers to take me to my nonexistent house in his vehicle (a “car,” I now know it is called), but I insist that my house is nearby and I prefer walking. He seems confused, but he complies and drives away. With that, I walk the android to the retrieval area, and at 10:56 P.M., the observational mission ends.
I am conflicted by the results of this mission. It confirmed many of my theories about human language, culture, and biology. Once this information gets back to the homeworld, I’m sure they will find it very insightful. But conversely, it opened up a multitude of new questions, more than I had before this. Why do humans enjoy these seemingly unbearable situations where their senses are bombarded and lashed to the limit? Why do they intoxicate their minds with fermented grains, dulling their intellect and response time? What is “bit coin,” and why are so many people fascinated with it? These questions will have to wait for a second expedition. For now, I will compile my data and work on outfitting the android for future missions. I will also procure an eye phone by which I will be able to contact the human male that I interacted with tonight. He is a most interesting specimen. I’m sure our next encounter will be most informative, indeed.