Social justice as a first-contact policy

(And also, one of the few uses of first contact as a believable catalyst for introspection.)

“They’re not algae like the stuff you get on a pond back home. They’re protozoa, as far as I can tell from the samples we did get, single-celled organisms. But they’re more than that, they’re self-assembling into something bigger. Into a higher species. Like, you know, how an ant colony or a swarm of bees does. We need to get a linguist in, that’s the protocol. Nothing about them without them, isn’t that how you put it?”

Min clicked her tongue, frowned at her across the desk. “Bees are pretty amazing things,” she admitted. “But, you know, they don’t actually talk to people.”

“It wasn’t actually bees, that was a goddamn analogy.” Gita crossed her arms, faced Min down. “We’re doing this properly, or not at all.”

Sarah L. Byrne, “Tears of the Gods,” The Future Fire 31