The Last Wilderness III: Planet Graggazzit and its “People”

Planet Graggazzit, as previously stated, is a terrarium world, its native intelligent race, the Glorbs not well suited for the types of control the Malflorians implement on their development worlds (pet worlds). As one side is bathed in constant light of its star and the other constant darkness, it is a planet much less averaged than those with regular periodic rotation. The gravity is slightly less than that of Earth, and the atmosphere contains almost no nitrogen but an abundance of oxygen and co2 from all the creatures making use of the constant light. The survey shows that this is the primary balance in the grasslands, though here, where the Glorbs reside, a planet’s worth of decomposition leads to not a small amount of methane. The Glorbs stand at only half a meter fully grown. They are four-sided creatures with eight eyes and eight tentacle-like appendages, though one of the four sides tends to be slightly more dominant and therefore slightly larger. It is considered somewhat rude to address any of the other sides. Their language, if you can call it that, appears to have no definite order. Just throw in a doing word and a thing words into a pot, and presto, you have something they find intelligible. Their language is spoken with the vibration of internal air sacks and thus is impossible for humans to replicate. Even their writing, crude and squiggly as it is, is written in a light spectrum outside what we humans consider visible. Luckily for me, I got the full tourists package. A respirator to breathe the air, which doubles as a translator. A monocle of sorts to translate the relevant light spectrums into those my receptors can pick up. It also auto-translates all Glorbian text though I can turn off this feature. My earpiece, of course, also serves as a translator, though it too can be turned off if I ever desire to listen to the burping, vibrating swamp gas of a language. None of these translations can be perfectly accurate, given the vast differences between our peoples, as will be later discussed. Given I am the first human to visit Graggazzit, that means all of these contrivances were made just for me by the Malflorians, who I both worship and despise.

My ship landed near a city. The architecture was a squat brownish-yellow, accommodating the people there. It was also universally flooded with about twenty centimeters of greenish swarmp water. Though the Glorbs breath atmosphere, watching one move about on dry land was a very funny and slow thing.

Three Glorbs approached me, each a reprehensive of one of their major corporations.

“Earth person, me give favor power, you safe be.” The one on the left said.

“Come, you stay, me power favor, you have many help.” The one in the middle said.

“You best, most big, reward most get, me stay.” The one on the right said.

“Where do I go?” I asked.

“ME!” They simultaneously croaked.

Given the little information I had, I picked the one on the right. Who doesn’t want most big and best?

Food appeared in front of all three of them. The one on the right had a pile twice that of the other two. The one on the right who I will henceforth call Bestbig, despite having an almost identical appearance to the others, spun in place.

“Reward me, lose you, egg layers all.”

They then all mounted their piles incorporating them into their bodies and thus expanding.

The translator was unable to give me an understanding of the vibrations of the losers.

“Me!” Bestbig said and started moving in a right diagonal. I followed him. “Reward you.” By this, it means, by you, I will be rewarded by the power. It takes some getting used to but generally considers anything a Glorb says to be in relation to its own advantage.

Their most common joke, for instance, goes.

Enemy promotion me acid. Which despite the literal translation, actually means: My enemy(anyone hearing it will think in terms of themselves, you is actually used to describe yourself with regards to others. For instance, when proposing an alliance and you want to persuade the other side, you might say: you strong, me benefit. This actually means I am strong in a way that will be helpful to you, and therefore you will benefit from this. Though in ‘reward you’ since it is the case that Bigbest is making a statement not necessarily to me, you becomes an object similar to ‘reward power,’ which is their statement for gaining from the Malflorians. It is really rather simple when you get the hang of it. Perhaps these notes may be used to upgrade the translator for future tourists.) And the translation continues my(understood as previously stated as every listener) enemy gets a promotion, I trick him and melt him in acid. Who do Glorbs think of as enemies? Anyone who they could benefit in dying, anyone who might pose a potential threat to them or their rewards, anyone who at any time finds themselves not benefiting the Glorb in question. That is to say, practically everyone. Taking this joke and universalizing it into our language would, of course, renders it with an almost inverted sense. But we are a class C cooperative race. Glorbs are class F, cooperative only when narrow self-interest is at play.

He led me to an empty space, and there appeared a large apartment of undoubtable Malforian make.

“Me power strong,” Bigbest said to me, meaning that my rewards from the Malflorians were great.

I nodded a meaningless gesture to the Glorbian and entered my quarters to inspect them and take a nap. As the airlock door closed, I saw another, smaller pile of food appear in front of Bigbest, and it squirted out brown fluid. Welcome to Graggazzit.

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