Memorandum RE: Galaxy

May 22, 2011

 The Gredogs and the Slentor were two simple species living in relative peace. It was very segregated, unfair, and smelly, but peace none the less. That is, of course, until one pamphlet changed their lives forever.

Yurg was a Slentor just trying to get on with his life. He had a job, a family, and an affinity for knitting. When he was nervous he smelled of a low tide. When he was happy he smelt like a three day old fish kill. Nobody could really tell the difference.

Today, he smelt like a low tide. The reason he was so discontent could be attributed to the depressingly low productivity level of his employees at the Hanta Lighting Factory. Though his employees were incompetent in the first place, they had been more so in recent days, especially one named Blort. Today he needed to find out the cause of those problems, or he would face the Council of Safety and Productivity.

This name in itself is a deception. There was nothing safe about a visit with the Council. Most meetings ended with termination. The only thing former employees could look forward to was not having to pay taxes any longer. In addition to the termination there was that nasty business with the Gaping Maw of Rakshar. All former employees were fed to it, as per their contract with the Council of Safety and Productivity.

Many other alien races have looked at this procedure as quite severe. They didn’t even see the point of the tax cut. If the employee was going to die soon after being fired they wouldn’t have to pay taxes anyway. While most agreed that the taxes were moot after termination, people still thought they deserved some sort of break, so the breaks were kept in place.

“Suzzie!”, Yurg bellowed from his desk. “Did I get any mail today?”

“Yes. I left it in your box.” she replied, with a smack of her gum.

Suzzie was Yurg’s secretary. She always smelled of an old hotel mattress, no matter what her mood was at the time.

“Then bring it to me. What do I pay you for anyway?” he growled.

He was never getting the respect he once had. Twenty cycles ago, he was a man with real power. Then the revolts came. The Gredog species had fought against his own and won. Now society had ground to a halt.

Before the revolts, Yurg and his fellow Slentor could use the Gredog creatures for slave labor (as well as a delicacy in restaurants). The Gredogs didn’t seem to mind the back breaking drudge that was their job but did want some vacation from time to time. Usually when one of them asked for a vacation day his Slentor supervisor simply ate him. Problem solved; permanent vacation.

But one fateful day, one Gredog underling asked for a vacation, and the Slentor gobbled him up. Then another approached, and the Slentor delightfully partook of the second. Then another approached. And another. This was repeated until the supervisor had filled his belly with his entire third shift. While his tastes buds were satisfied, the Gredog were not.

Soon, through some legal loop hole, the Gredogs petitioned for a change of slave labor to minimum wage labor and demanded three vacation days every cycle. The Slentor leaders disagreed to the terms and then promptly began a war with the Gredogs. For the Slentor, this was more of an all-you-can-eat style buffet than a fight to the death. For the Gredog, it was more like a fish fry, but they were the fish.

The war ended rather quickly when the Gredogs discovered they could manipulate their body chemistry to change how they tasted to the Slentor. Since the Slentor couldn’t live without their equivalent of a Twinkie in their diet, they decided to make a treaty.

Surprisingly, this treaty changed only a few things. The Slentor gave the Gredogs minimum wages and three vacation days every cycle. In return the Gredogs would allow the Slentor to continue to eat them, but at substantially lower levels than before the war.

Scholars have debated why the Gredogs would allow the Slentor to continue to eat their species. Some maintain that it was the Gredogs taking notice of their communal relationship with the Slentor, thus making concessions for the greater good of both species. Others say it was because the Gredog leadership never consulted with a legal team prior to signing any papers. Most just believe that both species were too stupid to notice.

“Here’s your mail,” she slapped his mail on his desk. “You fat lazy oaf.” Suzzie’s claws clicked on the floor as she slipped out of the room. Yurg decided that reading the mail would only make him feel worse, so he decided to go downstairs and fix the problem at hand. Maybe there would be good news waiting for him when he got back.

***

Blort was a Gredog. He worked under Yurg in the flashlight department of the light manufacturing plant where they were both employed. He was, by and large, one of the stupidest creatures to have ever existed.

“You Fool!” bellowed the hulking beast of a shift supervisor. “How have the gods allowed you to live?”

“Um, me not know. What did me do?” squeaked Blort.

Yurg squared up to the little Gredog.“What did you do? I’ll show you!” The large sour smelling supervisor picked up his tiny employee by his tentacles and dragged him across the warehouse. When he stopped he made a point to drop the lesser creature on the floor in a heap.

“Look at this!” Yurg exploded.

The small mindless creature assessed what he was looking at. He saw shelves and boxes, and that seemed right, but something else seemed amiss. In utter confusion the imbecile looked up at his supervisor and uttered his thoughts in one word.

“Uhh…?”

Yurg was baffled at the pure lack of intelligence. He decided to change tactics. “Okay Blort, something here is wrong. What do you think that is?” His sentence ended sharply like a swing of an axe.

“Well,” began Blort, “Me see box on shelf, and that seem good. And me see they are in right place. That good too.”

“This is all true Blort, please continue.” Yurg couldn’t help himself and added the sarcasm.

“If me had to guess, Big Mr. Yurg,” ventured the underling, “Me would say you upset about boxes being so,” He said the first thing that came to mind. “Brown?”

“No, Blort. No. ” The Yurg rubbed his temples in disgust. “I would like you to tell me why there are fifty opened boxes of flashlights on the floor.”

“Oh,” Blort smiled. “Well, it funny story really. Me were looking for some tools in storage shed, but me not find nothing. Too dark. So me think to open up box and use one of those flashlights. But it not work. So me open up another box, but that no work.”

“Blort, there are no batteries in those flashlights. None of them will work until you get batteries.”

With a long delay, Blort’s only reply was “Oh.”

Yurg could feel his brain actually slow down. He needed to get away from this fool before he did something foolish, like kick Blort into some expensive machinery.

“Blort, you will work overtime to make up for the lost productivity. And consider yourself lucky, back when I first started working here, you would have been my lunch appointment.

Blort stared blankly back at Yurg. He clearly didn’t understand. Yurg tried again.

“If you do this again, I. Will. Eat. You.”

Blort understood this. His tenticles quivered as he made haste back to his workstation.

Yurg stomped back toward his office. He thought to himself that this would not really solve the problem. He would eventually have to come back down here and find a way for Blort to ‘accidentally’ slip and land on a laser bolt. He didn’t like getting his hands dirty, but it was much faster than asking for the pipsqueak to get transferred to another shift. When he got back to his desk he noticed a pamphlet setting on his desk.

“Suzzie, what in the name of Furtag’s Thorax is this?”

“It’s a pamphlet.” she yelled. She was busy painting her toe claws. She didn’t need to be bothered with difficult questions.

“Well, who’s it from?” he hollered back. He knew that he could just read it, but that would be too much work for him and not enough for her.

Suzzie finally looked up from her purple claws. “I don’t know, but everybody got one.”

“Everybody in the office?” he wonder aloud. “If it’s about who’s clogging the toilets on the second floor, I don’t want any part of this witch hu-.”

“No,” she cut him off. “Everybody on the planet.”

Yurg’s interest was peaked. Who would want to send a pamphlet to everybody on the planet? He decided to put off his post-yelling-at-idiots sulking session and read what laid before him. He began to read.

To :Mr. Yurg (or current resident)

From: Grand Kalothian Corporation

Subject: URGENT: Impending attack

Today you and your species will get the opportunity of a galactic cycle!

Us here at the Kalothian Institue for Advancement (a subdivision of the Grand Kalothian Corporation), would like to inform you of the large amount of fleets building up along our shared boarders. This is NOT a time to panic, but a time to rejoice. You have been personally tapped to become a member of the UNDI division of Grand Kalothian Corp!

All we ask of you and your brethren is to take part in our survey. That is all!

Still confused? We bet your tiny brains you are.

If you would like to know more please continue to the below Q & A section. Detailed instructions will follow after that.

What is the purpose of this survey?

Quite simply, the Kalothian species feeds on knowledge. We need it to grow. And If you haven’t noticed, lately, we’ve been doing a lot of “aggressive expansion” in your quadrant of the galaxy. We have been giving this survey to thousands of species scattered around you. We do this because we have learned everything about ourselves, but know very little about everybody else. With the information we obtain, we are able to continue to grow into one big happy family.

O.K. Sounds simple. But how do I take the survey?

We’ve made that easy on you. We have developed a neural device that will give you a constantly updated questionnaire that resides in your frontal lobe (or nearest organ). That’s right, no silly paper work! These questionnaire devices are called MINDRAM’s. This stands for Manually Inserted Neural Devices for Research and Murder.*

*Don’t worry about that murder stuff, our lawyers make us put that in there for legal purposes.

This sounds dangerous. Should I be concerned?

Of course not. Why would you be concerned? Our highly trained surgical technicians will be willing to help your implant procedure go off without a hitch. Of course there is a slight chance for some unavoidable side effects. But the pros outweigh the cons.

I can expect side effects from my device?

Yes, but this is true of anything that is directly inserted into your brain. You may experience dry mouth, hearing loss, blindness, fits of rage, blackouts, coma, and death*. But don’t let this scare you. Our success rate is at 20% for new clients. That is a stark improvement over our last model.

*likely just death

What does UNDI division stand for?

Undesirables Not Deemed Important. But once again, that’s all just legal mumbo-jumbo.

When can I expect my new MINDRAM?

Soon. Very soon.

Thank you for reading our simple Q&A section!

The Kalothian Institute for Advancement and it’s parent company would like to just inform you of the conditions of our corporate ‘merger’ that will be finalized within the next few days.

So, after reading the information above, we are sure you will not be against testing. But, if you have any more questions, please feel free to contact Doris at our publicity department. If you get no reply, please hang up and try again. If you still do not receive a reply, just hang up and spend some quality moments with your family. They could be your last to enjoy.

Also, our ships that carry our surgical technicians and ‘security teams’ will need a place to dock. And since we are such a big family, we may need to use some of your system’s local resources. The gracious hosts you are, we certain you won’t mind, but will need nearly ALL of your resources. So don’t be alarmed if you see any economic failure, civil unrest, or large explosions in your area. This is simple transition that we can all work through.

Learning everything is tough work! And we look forward to working with you!

Your soon-to-be Overlords,

The Grand Kalothian Corporation

Yurg sat in silence as he contemplated the pamphlet. He knew that everything was about to change forever. He thought of his family. His job. The mittens he had been knitting for the past week. All of that would soon be gone.

With a few minuets of contemplation he decided that he would do the one thing he wished he could do before he died. He would take his lunch early today.

Yurg got Suzzie to call down to the factory floor, and set up an appointment with his favorite employee. Within a few moments Blort crawled through his office door.

“You want to see me, Big Mr. Yurg?”

“Yes Blort, please, have a seat.” He gave Blort a toothy grin.

Yurg got up and called into his secretary’s office “Suzzie, hold my calls. I’m taking an early lunch.” He closed the door behind him.

“You having lunch now Mr. Yurg?” Blort asked nervously.

“Oh yes. I am.” his smile growing across his face. Yurg ambled across the room toward Blort’s seat.

“What you eating today?” Blort whimpered.

“Fresh Blort.” he shrugged.

While he was still one of the most simple minded creatures to have ever existed, Blort knew his doom soon awaited him. He tried one last tactic to advert his demise.

“Me want vacation now Mr. Yurg.” cried Blort.

“Granted.”

With a sudden lunge and a loud crunch, Blort was no more.

Now Yurg smelled of a three day old fish kill. Still, nobody would notice.

Memorandum RE: Galaxy © D.A. Bancroft

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3 Responses to “Memorandum RE: Galaxy”


  1. Hey – so I REALLY like this. The only feedback I’d give is that I don’t think you need the exposition at the beginning. I was way more engaged with the in-scene stuff. Is there a way you can show the beginning info through dialogue or something of the sort?

    Other than that, I was totally entertained. I loved the ending and all of the alien names :)


    • That’s very nice of you Kathryn, I really appreciate your feedback.

      I can totally see what you’re saying here. It is quite lengthy and could deter the reader from getting engaged (thanks for continuing to read, by the way). Do you suggest nixing the whole thing, or just most of it? How do you try to avoid this in your writing? Is giving that much exposition ever a good thing? How do you know when it’s too much? Do you, in fact, live in a Starbucks?

      I suppose I could have made it so we see the beginning of Yurg’s day. He wakes up, gets dressed, kisses his wife and kids goodbye, and goes to work. While he’s talking to people on his way in we are learning about the things described in the first 5 paragraphs. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this. I guess I could have thought just giving the information at the beginning was easier than planning his entire day. Maybe I did it to set up punch lines at the end of the story.

      Anyway, thanks again! I’m really looking into it.


  2. I was reading a blog somewhere, and it said something about how we overwrite the first draft with all of the stuff we need to know, and then revise so that what’s left is what the reader needs to know. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s something I’ve been working on a lot lately.

    As for Starbucks, it’s possible that I live with two high-maintenance girls who make it easier to write at a coffee shop than at home OR maybe I’m secretly the Starbucks Pixie who enchants those who cross the threshold to forget their lives while I seduce them out of fortunes all for the fleeting intoxication of caffinated beverages. I’ll let you decide which it really is :)


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