2015.02.25 "Why do they fear us?"

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"Why do they fear us?"

I'm having the same thought, but when I glance over at the Orbodun - with his massive assault laser, and evident ability to wield it - I burst into laughter.

He snaps a quizzical look at me, and sees the monster that I am gripping an edged weapon sized to suit a video game, he sees the joke too.

After taking inventory of the various beings nearby - all of whom are seemingly disturbed by our mirth - we silently agree to retreat back to another spaceport bar.

"They could all still probably kick our asses."

He's right. I nod my assent. "Our main hope was surprise. They're too zarking observant, and our mode warns them off. It's bad."

The Orbodun gestures meaningfully to the server: ALE, VOLCANIC. Then resumes our private, encoded conversation. "Our mode? What does that mean?"

"Well, mostly that they have figured out that we can detect them - at least, somewhat. And the most likely explanation is that they extrapolated it from how we were acting."

"Ah. Mathematicians."

"Yeah."

Our drinks arrive - that was fast. We touch containment vessels and sample our respective poisons.

The Orbodun blinks, and sighs. "Maybe this means that they won't bother us any more."

We both laugh cynically. It upsets the locals. That suits me fine. The Orbodun apologizes. I'm not sure if he does so sarcastically. He's a more complicated entity than I am.

"More likely they're just being cautious, for now." I try to leave an ominous pause, but ruin it with an involuntary hiccup. My Volcanic didn't like the laughing I just did - it's volatile stuff.

"Yeah. They'll probably think of a way to deal with us before too long."

I nod. "If they were capable of cooperating, we'd be dead already."

"So, plan ALPHA?"

I don't recognize that one. "What's plan ALPHA?"

"Run away."

Ah. "Yes. But let's do it as ironically as possible."