Humans Tricked a Rock to Think? [Short Sci-Fi Story]

Quickzar looked over the documents handed to him regarding a newly discovered species that identified itself as humanity. They had met with ambassadors from the Schell, and a general exchange of information had been agreed to.

Nothing too groundbreaking so far. The Schell had encountered many other species and been able to create bonds that lasted even to this day. The problem, though, was that he had been given pages upon pages of gobbledygook.

“Are these a human-specific script?” Quickzar asked his assistant.

“H-hard to say, Sir…” his assistant stuttered. “Our ambassadors spoke of them having a decent ability to convey information in person,” he quickly added.

“Hmmm,” Quickzar tapped his chin in thought. “Perhaps they are a species with many languages like the Vestari?” he pondered aloud.

“Maybe it will be quicker to speak to a human directly. They can clear up any misunderstanding and maybe even offer a way to translate what they have provided,” his assistant offered.

“Yes, that seems to be the best option. Hopefully, they didn’t send us this indecipherable nonsense in bad faith,” Quickzar said, nodding to his assistant.

“Sir?” the assistant tilted his head in confusion.

“Well, I mean, they may have purposely sent this,” he gestured to the documents covered in lines and O’s, to occupy us while they skulk away with our kindly offered clear information,” Quickzar finished explaining.

“Ah, I see… if they did do that, it’d be rather devious. But I shall send a communique right away, Sir,” the assistant gave a quick bow before rushing out of the office. Quickzar could only watch the man as he wondered what the response would be.

He didn’t need to wait long for a response. Within the day, a human representative had arrived and was all smiles.

“A pleasure to meet you, Sir Quickzar. My name is Captain Kline,” he bobbed his head in a gesture of respect.

“Well, met Sir Kline, we were hoping you could aid us with these,” Quickzar gestured to what was becoming a truly mountainous pile of documents.

“We requested your assistance as the information you provided us is in a form we cannot comprehend,” Quickzar explained.

“Odd, the information we received from you is being translated by our computers already,” Kline explained with a confused expression.

Calmly walking over, he looked over the pages piled up. Quickzar closely observed the human’s expressions. He was sure the human would say it was a simple script, and they would offer some way to translate it. Only he didn’t. Quickzar watched the man’s brows furrow as if he was bewildered.

“That’s odd…” he muttered.

“Pardon Sir Kline?” Quickzar asked.

“Well, I can’t make heads nor tails of this,” he answered. “I saw what we sent, and it wasn’t this.”

“So it is indecipherable?” Quickzar asked.

“Well, no, it can be deciphered. I’m just wondering why it’s all in binary?” he asked aloud.

“Binary?” Quickzar repeated.

“Yes, ones and zeroes. I’m not much of a computer guy myself, but it’s how our computers convey information,” he explained.

“Ah, so it is a language unique to your computers. Ours probably didn’t know what to translate it as, so they provided the base version,” Quickzar said, snapping his fingers at the realization.

“Oh, your computers don’t use binary? I’m sure our techies would love a look at them. Might be able to install a way for it to understand binary,” Kline offered with a smile.

“Install???” Quickzar repeated, confused. “Do they have the necessary genetic growth chemicals to do such a thing?” Quickzar asked.

“Genet…. Sorry, I’m confused. Why would we need genetic whatsits to install a way to read binary?” Kline asked.

“Well, all computers are organic. We make large synthetic thinking beings that do all the calculation and processing we need,” Quickzar explained. “It should be in the information we provided you?” he added, tilting his head in confusion.

“Wow…” Kline took a step back in surprise. “Organic computers,” he muttered to himself. “No wonder why yours only spat out the ones and zeroes,” he continued muttering.

“Sir Kline, is everything ok?” Quickzar asked, concerned for this representative’s wellbeing.

“Yes, I’m fine—just a bit of culture shock. You see, Sir Quickzar, we don’t use organic computers,” Kline explained.

“But we have seen the machines you control. They could only be controlled by a high-grade organic computer!!” Quickzar exclaimed in surprise.

“Well, we use… silicon, I think?” Kline answered unsurely. “As I said, I’m not a techy, so not one hundred percent on that.”

“You use… you use inorganic computers?” Quickzar asked, even more, shocked than Kline had been. “Such a thing is deemed impossible. Only that which is living can deign to think.”

“Well, I have a friend that put it like this. Humans went out and tricked a rock into thinking,” Kline explained.

Quickzar was speechless. He was aware these humans were a different sort from what they had met thus far. But to be able to make a thinking machine out of rocks was beyond absurd. But the proof was already in front of him. The only thing he could think to do at this very moment was laugh.

Republished with permission from the author, Random3x. Image created using Stable Diffusion.