Much Ado About Canines – A Sequel to Much Ado About Humans [Funny Short Sci-Fi Story]

This is a sequel to Much Ado About Humans. I suggest you read it first if you want to understand some of the references, although you don’t necessarily have to.

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The Galactic Senate chamber was abuzz with conversation as its members chatted and shared last minute gossip before the commencement of proceedings. The noise trailed off quickly however as the Speaker, a large Bovanite wielding the golden sceptre of office, ponderously approached the podium. His huge leathery arm held the sceptre aloft for a moment, then inserted it neatly into a hidden slot in the podium, signifying that a quorum had been reached and that the session had officially begun. Exterior doors closed automatically and the overhead lights dimmed. Bright spotlights focused on the podium, demanding the attention of everyone in the room.

“Welcome, gentlebeings, to the ten thousand four hundred and seventy forth Assembly of the Galactic Senate. If you will kindly refer to your agendas you’ll see that the first order of business is an address from one of our newest members, the representative of the Canine Pack of New Terra. I now yield the floor to the Canine Ambassador.”

With that the Speaker retreated to his chair and the Canine representative padded up on to the dias. Covered in golden fur, she moved gracefully but with nervous energy. Several times she veered off course to investigate unseen attractions before eventually reaching her destination, where she reared up on to her hind legs and rested her forelimbs on the podium.

“Thank you Speaker, and to the members of the Senate for your time today. I come before you to address once more a grave threat to all of us. The sinister and obstinate organisation known as the Galactic Postal Service…”

Sitting some distance away in the gallery, where their conversation would not be overheard by the other Ambassadors, were two vastly dissimilar figures. A large gelatinous Trovaskian and a small insectile Mantoid.

“Bloody hell, not this again” groaned Maligar. “I thought we voted this down last time.”

Praetax, Maligar’s long time friend and confidant, looked up from the paper he was folding. He cast a glance at the Canine delegate, who was now gesticulating wildly.

“… for too long these untrustworthy interlopers have stalked unmonitored amongst our planets, invading the very heartlands of our systems…”

“We did, but Senate rules allow them to reintroduce the bill if it’s been substantially changed. The Canines adjusted the definition of ‘Prohibited Spaces’ to exclude Galactic Postal Service facilities in the hopes that that will get the bill through.”

“So the Postal Service can exist but its staff can’t go anywhere?”

“Yes, that about sums it up.”

Maligar thought on this silently for a moment before shifting his attention back to Praetax and the paper he was folding.

“What are you doing? What are those squares of dried fibre pulp?”

“It’s a human artform called ‘origami’. Ambassador Thompson taught it to me. He said I was a natural at it.”

With small deft movements Praetax made the final creases and then held up the result, a small yellow dog.

Maligar scoffed.

“Where is Thompson anyway? He normally likes to be on hand to lend his support to his pets.”

Praetax looked at Maligar with disapproval, a difficult feat since he had two large compound eyes and limited facial movement.

“Come now Maligar, the Canines are an independent and legally recognised species with full autonomy under the Galactic Constitution. They’re hardly pets.”

Rubbery flippers extruded from Maligar’s sides and he crossed them petulantly in front of himself.

“Then why are Canines always following humans around?” he asked sullenly, keeping his voice low as if grumbling to himself.

Praetax knew better than to argue when Maligar was acting peevish. Knowing he was fighting a losing battle, Maligar didn’t press the point.

“Thompson said he was going fishing on Oceania, that aquatic world that the humans have terraformed” said Praetax, seeking to steer conversation away from the contentious topic.

Grateful for the diversion, Maligar perked up and reabsorbed his flippers.

“Abhorrent pastime I say, fishing. The hunting of innocent pisceans is reprehensible” the Trovaskian said.

“Thompson said he was after something big this time” responded Praetax absentmindedly, most of his attention now on the origami.

“That man has no shame” declared Maligar, his attention drifting back to the Canine at the podium.

“… many of my ancestors, as well of those of my pack mates, fought in the great Mail Wars of 2327. They were Good Boys and Girls, heroes, and deserve formal recognition as such…”

Praetax looked up again.

“So, why are you so snippy today?”

Looking despondent Maligar continued staring into the distance and sighed.

“My coffeemaker left me and went back to Earth.”

“The one that Ambassador Thompson uplifted to sentience? That is most unfortunate. I know you two were close” said Praetax sympathetically.

“It said it was a strong independent appliance and it ‘ain’t nobody’s barista’. It was very sassy.”

“If you wanted it to stay then you should have told it how you really felt” said Praetax.

He finished his newest creation and held it out to Maligar. It was an impressive reproduction of the gelatinous Trovaskian, crafted from a square of green paper. On the front of its head, where Maligar’s visual receptors and mouth were normally found, Praetax had drawn a frowny face. He placed it on the balcony railing in front of them.

Maligar glanced at it disdainfully and continued starting sullenly into the distance, lost in his own thoughts. He raised a bulb of coffee to his mouth and took a sip, then grimaced with disgust before hurling the bulb into a nearby rubbish receptacle.

“I hope you agree with me, my fellow Ambassadors, so that we can run united as one pack, as we drive this postal menace from the galaxy. Thank you.”

The Canine dropped back to all fours and swiftly left the dias, tail wagging happily with satisfaction.

Once more the large Bovanite Speaker trudged on three legs to the podium. He was quite old as Bovanites go, and his horns had grown so long that their weight pulled his head forward, the huge muscles in his neck straining to keep it upright. Normally he wore anti-grav rings around them to support their weight, but on the Senate floor such technologies were forbidden by tradition.

“Gentlebeings, I must apologise for an unexpected change to our schedule. There is a last minute addition to the agenda that will take place next. It is a petition from a newly uplifted species who wishes to be admitted to the Galactic Senate. Unfortunately, due to their physical limitations, they cannot yet come before us in person and will address the Assembly via live video.”

Once more Maligar scoffed and leaned over to whisper to Praetax.

“Let me guess, another sentient gas cloud that’s going to demand that we turn down the air conditioning in the senate chamber?”

Glancing across the chamber to the balconies on the other side, Maligar accidentally caught the eye apparatus of the Zephyeron representative, another species of sentient gas cloud. They shared a look of mutual acknowledgement. Maligar waved awkwardly.

“I hate that guy. You can’t trust gases. Never trust anyone who you can breathe in by accident, that’s what my pool-mother used to say.”

“Oh you liquid species are always saying disparaging things about gasses. You’re more alike than you know” replied Praetax dismissively.

Behind the Speaker’s podium a huge screen, many metres across, lit up. From it came a vivid blue light that washed over the Senate chamber.

Visible on the screen, floating serenely as though underwater, was a giant creature. Meta-data in the screen’s corner showed vital statistics about the newly uplifted race. According to the information displayed this creature was over thirty metres long. Scientific name: Balaenoptera musculus. Commonly known as the Blue Whale.

Praetax reached to his stack of paper and extracted a few sheets.

At that moment a deep and melodic voice filled the chamber, occasionally rising to high pitched squeals to provide emphasis.

“Greetings representatives of the Galactic Senate, my name is Mobius. I appear to you on behalf of the Cetacean people. It is with great joy…”

Maligar flinched as the accompanying squeal caused strange harmonic vibrations within his jelly.

“…that we present ourselves for your consideration and petition to join your ranks so that we may swim together in the spirit of harmony…”

It was at that moment that Maligar noticed something else floating in the water beside the Cetacean, tiny by comparison. It was a small bipedal creature, probably air-breathing since it seemed to be wearing artificial breathing gear. Clouds of bubbles escaped from the mouthpiece, shooting rapidly to the water’s surface. As they rose they wafted a cluster of long brown fur that seemed to sprout from the top of the creature’s head.

The creature couldn’t talk due to the regulator in its mouth, but it floated there with its five digit hands giving an emphatic thumbs-up.

“Is that… Thompson?” asked Maligar uncertainly.

Mobius continued his speech.

“It is the profound blessing of our Human sponsors, who have carried us with them among the stars and given us the blessings of Uplift, that has enabled us to petition you, oh wise ones…”

Praetax looked up.

“Yes, I believe it is Thompson” he said “He was after something big indeed.”

Mobius finished his address to thunderous applause from the collected Ambassadors. Admittance to the Galactic Senate was almost a given for any peaceful sentient species. The main test for membership was simply asking for it, since that demonstrated both the ability to communicate and a defined concept of self.

The Speaker, who had bowed his head during Mobius’ speech to conserve energy, looked up and addressed the Assembly again.

“As you all know, any member of the Galactic Senate has the undisputed right to attend the Assembly physically, and comfortably, in an environment that provides for its basic biological requirements. Accordingly, it is with great excitement that I announce new plans to renovate the Senate chamber in order to accommodate our newest member. A suitable Earth-standard aquatic facility of sufficient size will be installed in the eastern wing of the gallery.”

The Speaker looked up and indicated to the section of the gallery where Praetax and Maligar were sitting.

“Unfortunately, this cycle’s budget does not have sufficient surplus funds for an expansion of the Senate chamber, so we will have to compact our existing seating plan in order to create the necessary space. I give my heartfelt thanks those of you in the eastern wing, as you will suffer the greatest loss of floor area. Your sacrifice is most noble and appreciated.”

With that Speaker’s address ended and the assembled representatives began shuffling out of the Senate chamber for their morning break.

Thin wisps of water vapour were rising from Maligar’s gelatinous body as his heightened state of anger elevated his core body temperature.

“Cheer up” said Praetax. “Such an interesting new colleague. I bet he will have many interesting stories to tell.”

Praetax finished folding his latest origami creation. It was a sizeable facsimile of a blue whale, constructed of no less than seventeen squares of blue paper. He leant towards the balcony railing and carefully balanced the whale on top of the figure of Maligar that he had folded earlier. The mini-Maligar started to compress and distort grotesquely due to the weight of the newcomer placed on top of it.

His mission accomplished Praetax stood and flew off towards the refreshment table, leaving Maligar alone.

Maligar started shaking visibly as the wisps of vapour turned into thin jets of steam.

“THOMPSON!!!”

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Republished with permission from the author, Reddit user /u/bott99. Follow the author on Facebook here: Michael Carabott. Image created with the Nightcafe AI.