From: "nikolai kingsley" <>
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: FTSD: quiet
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 01:09:54 +1100
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The new transmitter array had been in operation for less than a year before
the aliens arrived and told us to turn it off. Well, they didn't bother to
tell us to turn it off; they blew it up and then came down to explain
themselves. While they were doing that they also explained our place in the
scheme of things.

Years of cheap SF television had given us the impression that the stars were
quite close together. Reality was, of course, another matter; there was a
lot of space out there, and it wasn't empty. Things lived in the gulfs
between the stars, things that were as far above mankind as man was above
the insects that lived in our garbage. The aliens who'd blown up the
transmitter were from next door, more or less; part of a federation devoted
to spreading the word. And the word was "quiet".

Apparently the things that lived in the gulfs didn't like certain kinds of
electromagnetic noise. They were quite tolerant in general, but bitter
experience had shown that there were limits to their tolerance. And humanity
had been pumping out exactly the wrong kind of noise for almost a hundred
years. It had started off quietly, but the new transmitter was way beyond
what these beings would sit still for. Those nuts who'd warned us about
radiating TV signals in all directions, wondering what extraterrestrials
would make of "I Love Lucy" were right, sort of. We were cockroaches; we
were moths fluttering around the lamps of the stars. As long as we weren't
pests, we would be tolerated. If we became annoying they'd perform the
equivalent of spraying. Waves of radiation designed to eliminate life-forms
like us.

There was no point in trying to negotiate with them, the aliens told us. We
were too different; their concerns just didn't mesh with ours at any point.
We had to give up the idea of broadcast information. The aliens gave us
plans for a better cable communications system and left, warning that they'd
be monitoring us. It wasn't altruism, either; the things in the gulfs tended
to spray liberally, wiping out dozens of civilisations at a time.

Kind of makes me wish i'd invested in cable TV.

rapid dessication