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ko'a marji lo rectu

By Terry Bisson

   la .lojban. English (original)
   ko'a marji lo rectu THEY'RE MADE OUT OF MEAT
   fi'e la teris.bisyn. by Terry Bisson
   - ko'a marji lo rectu They're made out of meat.
   - rectu ki'a? Meat?
   - rectu .i ko'a marji lo rectu Meat. They're made out of meat.
   - rectu .ue Meat?
   - .i noda se senpi .i mi'a jajgau so'o ko'a le mi'a ninsisli'u marce
   loi vrici pagbu be le plini gi'e lanli ko'a .i piro ko'a cu rectu
   There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of
   the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the
   way through. They're completely meat.
   - .i la'e di'u na se kakne .i le se cradi .e le notci be fo lo tarci cu
   mo? That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to
   the stars?
   - .i ko'a pilno lo cradybo'a lo nu tavla .i ku'i ko'a na bacru lo
   cradybo'a .i lo minji cu bacru They use the radio waves to talk, but
   the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines.
   - .i ma zbasu lo bi'unai minji .i .ei mi'o tavla le zbasu So who made
   the machines? That's who we want to contact.
   - .i ba'e ko'a zbasu .i mi troci lo ka cusku le sedu'u lo rectu cu
   zbasu lo minji vau do They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to
   tell you. Meat made the machines.
   - .i mi'afra tu'a la'e di'u .i .ianai lo rectu cu zbasu lo minji .i do
   cpedu fi mi fe lo ka krici lo si'o lo rectu cu sanji That's ridiculous.
   How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient
   meat.
   - .i mi cpedu na je minde .i ko'a po'o cu sanji gi'e xabju le va pagbu
   .i ko'a marji lo rectu I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These
   creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made
   out of meat.
   - .i xu ko'a simsa lo .orfolei lo ka tabyselcmu pensi gi'e farvi fo lo
   rectu? Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based
   intelligence that goes through a meat stage.
   - na go'i .i ko'a rectu ca'o lo nu jbena bi'o mrobi'o .i mi'a tadni
   ko'a ze'i so'o nunjmive .i lo rectu cu mutce zasre'i Nope. They're born
   meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life
   spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life
   span of meat?
   - .i xu ko'a simsa lo .uedlei noi le stedu be ke'a cu vasru lo
   dicygapci besna? Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You
   know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain
   inside.
   - na go'i .i mi'a pensi la'e di'u .i mu'i bo ko'a simsu lo .uedlei lo
   nu se ke rectu stedu .i ku'i mi'o lanli ko'a .i pi ro ko'a cu rectu
   Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the
   weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way
   through.
   - .i xu noda .ue besna? No brain?
   - .i da ja'a besna .i ku'i lo besna cu marji lo rectu .i mi troci lenu
   jmigau do la'e di'u Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the
   brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you.
   - .i se ni'i bo ma pensi? So ... what does the thinking?
   - do za'oku naku jimpe .i do xarnu lo nu co'e lo se cusku be mi .i lo
   besna no'u lo rectu cu pensi You're not understanding, are you? You're
   refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the
   thinking. The meat.
   - .i lo rectu cu pensi .i do cpedu fi mi fe lo ka krici lo du'u lo
   rectu cu pensi Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking
   meat!
   - .i .ie lo rectu cu pensi .i lo rectu cu sanji .i lo rectu cu prami .i
   lo rectu cu senva .i lo rectu cu rolco'e .i do co'a jimpe .i je'i .ei
   mi rapli cfari? Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat.
   Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the
   picture or do I have to start all over?
   - .i do junri .i .i'e ko'a marji lo rectu Omigod. You're serious then.
   They're made out of meat.
   - ki'e do .i .uo .uadai ko'a ja'a marji lo rectu .i ko'a troci lo ka
   tavla ma'a puca'o lo nanca be li ji'i panono bei ko'a Thank you.
   Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying
   to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years.
   - .ue .i le vu rectu cu pensi ma? Omigod. So what does this meat have
   in mind?
   - .i pamai djica lo nu tavla ma'a .i remai pe'i djica lo nu ninsisli'u
   le rolmunje vau .e lo nu simtavla lo drata sanji vau .e lo nu canja lo
   sidbo .e lo datni vau .e zu'i First it wants to talk to us. Then I
   imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences,
   swap ideas and information. The usual.
   - .i .ei ma'a tavla lo rectu We're supposed to talk to meat.
   - .i la'e di'u sidbo .i ko'a cradi la'e de'u .i "lu coi do xu do tirna
   .i xu do zvati li'u" .e lo simsa That's the idea. That's the message
   they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.'
   That sort of thing.
   They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?
   Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat.
   I thought you just told me they used radio.
   They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know
   how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping
   their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through
   their meat.
   Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you
   advise?
   Officially or unofficially?
   Both.
   Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all
   sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without
   prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the
   records and forget the whole thing.
   I was hoping you would say that.
   It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact
   with meat?
   I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's
   it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with
   here?
   Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers,
   but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel
   through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the
   possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in
   fact.
   So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe.
   That's it.
   Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones
   who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they
   won't remember?
   They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads
   and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them.
   A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's
   dream.
   And we marked the entire sector unoccupied.
   Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others?
   Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?
   Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a
   class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations
   ago, wants to be friendly again.
   They always come around.
   And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe
   would be if one were all alone ...

ni'oni'o notci

   le dei mutpapri cu se zbasu la'o zoi. PierreAbbat .zoi. gi'e rore'u se
   galfi de'i zoi gy. Tuesday 23 of December, 2014 13:00:03 PST .gy. gau
   la'o zoi. PierreAbbat .zoi. .i la lomicmenes cu tcidu bacru de'i li
   2013-05-28
se finti la .djeims. Please report any errors to me.