Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

You may be required to show proof of id.

Tag: first contact

Scream Enough

Scream enough, and they will start to sound like you. They will actually lose the ability to sound like they did before, and their insides will readjust to seem more human. Their genetic codes seem far too unpredictable to be engineered, which suggests that these things have evolved naturally. If you stop screaming, and talk to them instead, they will parrot you. If you sing, they will learn to sing. There is no advantage to hunting like this, they only reveal this after the capture. For all intents and purposes, it is psychological. They are justifying the hunt to themselves.


Alien psychologists seeing diseases that just aren’t there in your precious human mind. They like you. In your head, one terrapsychologist has decided, there is the feeling of belonging anywhere. The yearning for a specific location, it is so strange and causing you so much pain. You are not, you need not long for Earth, they tell you, you will be okay without it.

“I already have a word for it,” you tell them. “Homesickness. But it’s no sickness.”

There is an expression on her face that you cannot read. Maybe it’s a smile. “And it is not your home.”

A Host with No Guests

Jannu knew the exact spot the visitors would choose. It was in the water. Were the visitors aquatic? He found an island nearby and oared his way out to it, setting up a massive welcoming buffet of all the different kinds of foods he could find. He stayed on the island for three days, gradually thinning the once-impressive buffet. Sometimes he stared at his feet.

On the other side of the world, just a kilometre away from the place Jannu stared at when he stared at his feet, the visitors wondered why nobody came to greet them, then they left.

Touchdown Gently

You come from the sky in a shining ball of gold; you touchdown gently in my corn fields and draw strange crop circles and my eyes roll back in ecstasy. I try to contact you but you speak in maths and I don’t understand, and I tell all my friends and none of them believe me and all of them laugh, but it’s true, I remember you cloudlessly. I stay out late in other people’s fields just waiting, and the other people can tell I’m not really there, my eyes are fixed to the sky. Most of them don’t care.

Somewhere on My Body

Maybe he had imagined it. But if it happened again, this time, for serious, he would write it down somewhere on his body. Every five minutes he looked at the inside of his arm. He had seen that on the telly, he remembered it clearly. He reached for his marker, and a giant shimmering orb danced through his room with no regard for what is a solid object and what is not. It exited through the wall above his head, and he thought: If it happens again, this time, for serious, I will write it down somewhere on my body.


Based on this:


“Find life.”

You were fitted with a chelonian, deliberate kind of intelligence, and all the cameras in the world. You left our system as a living thing; you taught us all we know about extrasolar space. And you fulfilled your mission; you found life.

You aimed your thruster; you set your course.

And you degraded. Micrometeors, particles of dust, stray gamma bursts, bugs that turned up after hundreds of years, data inconsistencies. So you turned into just another inert clump of metal, gathering ice on your journey to this other world. They did not see you coming.

And you crashed.

Plots You Can Have #5, Ambiguous Monsters Edition

[Content Warning: suicide, human sacrifice]

Previous part here: /2012/10/31/for-the-undecided-plots-you-can-have-nanowrimo-edition/

First part here: /2012/08/20/a-few-plots-you-can-have/


The Dalmour Parasite

a parasite that only infects suicidal people and turns them into psychopaths to make their lives better

Neil Ruthsmoke is a man who makes his friends suicidal. He cannot help it; it is not to do with his personality per se, it is just that his particular body odour trips bad wires in people’s brains; he is a freak of nature undiscovered by science. He is also quite depressed on account of this. Story is about how his psychologist both tracks the spread of the parasite and how it starts to take over hir. There is research into Ruthsmoke’s life, and the point where his friends stopped killing themselves and started becoming sociopaths is found. Good scenes might include: when the psychologist puts forth the idea that maybe, possibly, it’s all Ruthsmoke’s fault; when a friend breaks the pattern by topping hirself; when the psychologist realizes ze has probably been infected hirself.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Anywhere Machine, Appendix II – Telepath Unexplained

On a world called Forest, dread rose from the earth. There was nothing but liquid rock on the planet’s surface. Intelligence grew. Whether this was because of the dread or despite it, does not matter.

The rock cooled down. The planet glowed red for a while and then that too disappeared. There was life already on this boulder. Dread continued to seep up through the cracks in rocks and the space between molecules in the sand and the air. The dread had no audience in space, but one emerged on the planet surface.

A primitive trapcreature evolved: it would wait underneath rocks and dirt to make its move. Fearwarped, it had coated itself with iron, filled its blood. When a fat animal walked over its single sinewy tendril, the trapcreature would turn itself into a spear and spike the beast. It would gain a feast that could last for months. The trapcreature would then be all alone with its thoughts. It thought itself to be alone of its kind, not sure how it had come into being and not that interested. It worked up a coping mechanism for the nightmares: it would talk to the air.

After what felt like eternity in angst, it grew a second spike. With this, the trapcreature entered the category of beings known as receptacles. Because it could communicate with itself – it carried an idea machine – and it could define itself as this communication. Something happened with hir identity. Now hir neurons clustered and televised and spun around themselves, and a forest of spikes emerged from the ground. The trapcreature was still tortured, still alone, but gave hirself the illusion of plentifulness.

The earth still gave hir bad dreams; ze changed the way ze hunted. Its slithery spikes crawled in groups of four, for miles and miles, below the surface, to find vulnerables. Ze would spike them through their limbs, capture them, and eat them alive.

The vulnerables were but little consolation to the terribleness of the dreams. The receptacle trapcreature found that differences in density of air and rock changed the subject matter of the dreams. Ze started creating a map of what dreams were triggered in what places: the first Forest attempt at history.

Ze grew bored of that.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Anywhere Machine, Appendix II – Telepath Unexplained, pt 2


There is now a followup post to the first instalment of this series! The adventure of this civilisation continues. You should check it out!

(The first one’s here,

The Committee of First Contact

This is a story written a while ago, published as 7 drabbles on my Tumblr blog. I decided it needed a home here.


Every human, any intelligent enough animal, along with some robots, felt it. An intense sensation of fear, glimpses of visions where a gargantuan entity destroyed them and everything they loved and it wasn’t even aware of them. The fear filled all Earth minds – in dreams or in reveries or in lucid thoughts – for about five seconds, before disappearing. There were car crashes and frenzies and brains that just shut down completely from fright. Instantaneous – comparisons of the robots’ timestamps confirmed this – the thing had treated every intelligence on Earth as an ansible and communicated a feeling, perhaps to scare us.

The Committee of First Contact, CoF, was created, to pursue every way they could think of to contact these aliens and to prevent the fear’s reappearance. In machines, the feeling had often been erased from memory, or been too distorted to make sense. However, a super-intelligent surveillance satellite that had shut down in the middle of the attack seemed likely to have some information. Begrudgingly, the government in charge of it let them in. It bore fruit: they found it had two and a half seconds left of fear when they revived it, including a glimpse of a starry sky.

The picture’s every star was classified and a few were identified. Given their strength and their position, assuming a few things like where stars will be in a few hundred million years to the best of our knowledge, the Committee of First Contact found out two places in the galaxy where the fear could have come from: where this scene, no matter if it happened or was pure fabrication, could have taken place. There was no doubt about it, two fleets were assembled and humanity lined up to assist, to reach out to the stars and find the signal’s nexus.

Of the two fleets the Committee sent out, only one would get results. Only one would meet with them, and the brave people who entered the deep sleep didn’t know what group they were went they went down. They would spend an eternity dreaming– to keep their minds useful, keep them from going stale and dull and rotting – and then they would wake up either in empty space, or close to the only other intelligent life in the solar system. They said goodbye to their families if they had them, during the year of preparation, and then off they went.

One would think the fear would go away, but with the fleets gone, the only memory that didn’t fade was the big uncaring monster thing. The public, the people, grew more and more afraid of another ‘attack’. The Committee of First Contact was disbanded, replaced by the Band of Interstellar Warfare, which produced weapons and let minor ships fly out to attach them like legos to the sides of the fleets, giving them an entirely new silhouette and impression. The members of the Committee’s efforts to restore the image of the extraterrestrials were all in vain. Humanity was at war.

The fleet arrived, millions of years before they had planned, for the Band of Interstellar Warfare had attached superluminous drives as well to the hulls of their ships. The humans searched for a habitable planet and found but one, a desolate planet. They landed clumsily, their ships eight times heavier than planned for, and scared the snot out of the local intelligent life form, which broadcasted instant shockwaves of fright, their strongest defence mechanism, throughout the universe. Everyone on the ship struck was dead within seconds, but before they died they saw themselves through the inhabitants’ eyes: big and monstrous.

The fright travelled between the stars faster than the stars’ light, faster than instantaneous: travelling backwards in time. Four or five seconds was all that wasn’t destroyed by the radiation and the speeds, but four or five seconds was all it took. It targeted every one of them, everyone of the beings that had helped produce their terror, and it hit them too well, or not well enough. In the past, the aggravators rusted up for war and set out into space, mounting ridiculously large weapons on their vessels, arming themselves to the teeth. They were now on their way.