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Evaluation of Species

Somewhere outside the orbit of the Moon an immense spacecraft drifts lazily through space, its engines emitting a low-frequency humming sound that's eerily similar to the bass-line of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs". This is, of course, only a coincidence though, truth be told, the aliens within rather enjoy it.

Inside the ship three alien researchers, whose appearance would make a human want to instinctively smash them with a rolled-up newspaper, are gathered in front of a monitor in remote consultation with a superior. We presume it's a superior creature because he has additional nostrils on his pseudopods.

"Suzerain, this is planet A113, known locally as "Earth". As you know the dominant creatures here have achieved the technical capacity to make short jaunts into space and so, as ordered, we have spent the past twelve planet cycles examining their culture in order to ascertain if they pose a threat to our globular cluster. I am saddenned to report that, as inventive as they are, especially in the arena of recreational chemicals, there are three criteria which cause us grave concern."

The figure in the monitor jiggled its head slightly, causing its eye-stalks to softly undulate. From the speaker a thin voice said "I thank you for your service. Please continue."

"Yes, dominant one. Our first concern is that a large percentage of the population still subsists on animal flesh."

From three million light years away the supervisor's skin began to strobe violently from bright orange to a color that humans could only recognize as the odor of fermented guacamole. After several seconds the chromatic storm slowed, then stopped. An appendage snaked from under the desk, toggled the speaker switch, and an uncertain "Go on" sliced though the air of the scout ship.

"Our second concern, eminence, is that they engage, almost continually, in armed conflict, mostly large-scale warfare as a means of achieving regional dominance. But we've also noted many occasions of a culling of the herd, especially among the very young at educational facilities. I'm sending you a selection of images."

As the photos flicked across the screen the color drained from the supervisor's skin and tears began to flow from its eyes, if "tears" could be defined as a blood-red acid the consistency of cookie-dough ice cream and a halo of pseudo-penises around what humans would call its head could be considered "eyes".

Eventually the bubbling, hissing torrent slowed to a halt and the scouts were given the silent though unmistakable permission to continue.

The head researcher paused for a moment, as though gathering its courage. It scanned the data terminal once more then said "The third area of concern..." before its voice caught in its thorax. After a moment it tried again.

"The third... area of concern..." before trailing off, again, to silence, broken only a particularly enjoyable harmonic from the engines and the sudden snap of the intercom.

"Continue!" said the executor.

"They engage in politics, my lord! Please don't kill me!"

At this the figure in the monitor rose from its seat. It disappeared into a small cubicle and, even though the hatch which closed behind it was capable of resisting of the full vacuum of space, the creature could still be heard violently retching. The sound went on for a very, very long time.

Eventually the door opened and the leader returned unsteadily to its seat. It leaned forlornly on a pair of tentacles while seventeen pseuodo-penises gazed glumly at the floor.

The three underlings looked at each other, wondering what they should do. The biggest took the initiative.

"Should we... should we implement the extermination protocol, lord?"

The adjutant didn't even bother to look up.

"No. No, they'll do that themselves soon enough. Do you have the samples I ordered?"

"Yes, eminence! We have the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders in the hold. We should be at rendezvous point in thirty minutes."

At this the leader's head snapped up, with what any sentient being could understand as expectant glee.

"And remember," said the captain, "thirty minutes or they're free."


Dear Pencil-Necks: I realize I've been posting the 'toons later than usual lately, and I apologize to those who awaken each day in gleeful anticipation of Raging Pencils anew, but I don't want to just crank out the first idea that comes to me. I want each 'toon I do to be the best I can, even if they sometime suck.

Your pal,


end rant

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