Bad Scifi is Universal
With his lower hands, GleTha spread the branches of the bril exposing the central trunk. Several kass grubs were attached to the trunk sucking on the sap. Using the claws on his upper left hand, GleTha plucked the fattest grub and returned with it to the living space. He closed all of his eyes and was just about to eat the grub to savor the chilling effect it had on the mind, when his mate oThen walked in.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
His arms sagged and GleTha replied, “I don’t want to think right now. Thinking only reminds me of my shame.”
oThen walked over and knocked the grub from his hand. “You should have thought of your shame before writing such insanities.”
“I was trying to do something important.”
“Wasting resources is important? Having your sanity questioned is important? Destroying any chance of you being considered a literary figure among our people is important?”
GleTha raised up on his back legs. “No. What was important is it has been over ten generations since our invasion forces have been defeated. And that was against the VIRT. Since then, we have only invade planets without intelligent life or with the most primitive of intelligences. But some have forgotten the lessons we learned from the VIRT. They think that because our forces have been unstoppable for ten generations, nothing can stop us. There are some who even think we should go to war with the VIRT again. I wanted to show that we need to be careful. Just because we have been undefeated in ten generations does not mean we can’t be defeated.”
Rising up on her back legs, oThen replied, “That may have been your intent, but why did you have to make our forces act so stupidly? Any hatchling knows that if there is any chance the primitive intelligence could offer resistance, our battleships would bombard the planet from orbit. But what do you write? You have our troops land in the center of the native’s population center and try to kill them individually. Why would anyone be that stupid?”
“The issue wasn’t the specifics of the battle, but our overreliance on our superior technology being the decisive factor.”
“But who would cut off three arms before going into battle? If – for whatever reason – they couln’t use the plasma cannons on the battleships, then unleash a plague to decimate the native population. Redirect asteroids to impact the planet. Do something other than dropping down to the native’s primitive level and fighting claw to claw.
“And worse,” oThen continued, “you have our troops leaving in shame after defeat. You talk of forgetting the lessons of the VIRT, but after our first invasion force was destroyed, did we slink away in shame?”
GleTha dropped down to all fours. “No.”
“That’s right,” oThen stated. “We sent a second invasion force, and a third, and a fourth. Our ancestors knew that if they did not wipe out this powerful enemy they could turn around and wipe us out later. The VIRT destroyed seventeen invasion forces before our leaders admitted defeat. Yet you write about leaders admitted defeat after only one invasion force had been destroyed.”
oThen dropped to all fours and said, “And you wonder why you have brought shame to our people.”
GleTha did not reply.
“My hatchmates were correct; I mated with an idiot.”