Observations of the Cax

What if aliens took a sample of humanity, but made the mistake of taking them from a show like Last Comic Standing?

*  *  10  *  *

<observation log 3824>

<cultural analysis, day 1, of species:33687 subset:planet-449>

<amanuensis: G’nusecc>

<observer: Hkyiel>

Observation of species/subset:(designation “Cackle”) began today. I’m unimpressed. To be perfectly honest, they seem a bit unstable.

Probe scans suggested a moderately advanced species nearing a stellar age, but all I’ve seen is a bunch of meat-bags that seem to communicate through a series of grunts and screams. As best I can tell, they hold gatherings wherein an individual, whom I hypothesize to be some kind of religious leader, presents his ideas to the general populace who then respond mostly uniformly with screeches and cackles (hence my designation).

<amanuensis interjection: “A uniform response as described by Hkyiel could suggest a partial hive-mind.”>

Based on positioning of seating, a trio of Cackles rank higher than the masses and have distinct and venerated voices. The leader waited quietly after his presentation as they presented counterarguments that were also occasionally met with squawks from the general populace. I cannot yet tell whether the leader outranks the trio or vice-versa.

This is my first observation of species:33687, but if they are all like these Cackles, I find it hard to believe that they pose any threat to the empire.

<observation log 3825>

<cultural analysis, day 7, of species:33687 subset:planet-449>

<amanuensis: G’nusecc>

<observer: Hkyiel>

Further observation has led me to the realization that there are multiple leaders that present at these gatherings. They seem to be met with different levels of enthusiasm from the masses, and two of them have disappeared. I will investigate what has happened to them.

I have taken the liberty of bringing two Cackles from the general populace aboard for further study. One seems to be more in-tune with what G’nusecc is referring to as a quasi-hive-mind while the other remained distinct and stoic through most of the leaders’ presentations. Hopefully, dissection will give us a better understanding of what makes this one different.

<observation log 3826>

<cultural analysis, day 9, of species:33687 subset:planet-449>

<amanuensis: G’nusecc>

<observer: Jouper>

My predecessor’s notes on these “Kak’ls” are highly speculative to say the least. His unprofessionalism led to one of his subjects escaping custody leading to the necessary rescue-by-atomization of both the subject and the observer. Such mistakes cannot be tolerated.

<amanuensis interjection: “The change in spelling from Cackles to Kak’ls was made at the behest of Jouper. My protests were met with rescue-by-bludgeoning.”>

My observations of the Kak’ls have been tempered by the work of the linguistic department and their partial deciphering of the Kak’ls language. The following is a translation of a phrase used by one particular speaker that seemed to elicit a more impassioned response from the larger group:

If it had [untranslatable], it would be a [untranslatable]!

Due to a poor recording made by the on-site gatherer (who has been treated with rescue-by-ignition) and a large quantity of untranslatable phrases, we cannot know what preceded the above statement. The vocal inflections as compared to other members of species:33687 would seem to suggest that this was merely the end of a larger idea, but we cannot know at present whether this line alone was the cause of the increase in volume or its place in context.

Vivisection of the remaining Kak’l subject onboard shows no sign of a hive-mind. That theory has been officially closed.

<observation log 3827>

<cultural analysis, day 19, of species:33687 subset:planet-449>

<amanuensis: Dave>

<observer: G’nusecc>

The Cax subject we’ve been experimenting on has proven to be very efficient as an amanuensis. Their brain patterns actually align with ours rather effectively leaving him fully capable of performing the

<amanuensis interjection: “They told me not to think while I’m attached to this thing. I wonder what will happen if I do.”>

necessary functions. This will also allow us to better translate the

<amanuensis interjection: “Hello! Hello! Echo! Echo! Now batting for the New York Yankees . . .”>

sections of audio brought to us by the gatherers that were previously untranslatable. It also means that I finally got a promotion! Jouper has returned to his regular duties in detention block 9. You will note that we have taken to referring to species:33687 subset:planet-449 as “Cax” for efficiency’s sake. I have also returned to the use of the native “C” as the initial letter as an homage to the original intention of the designation.

As Hkyiel observed, the number of presenters at the gatherings has slowly diminished. There now seem to be only two. We have also concluded that the trio of beings seem to be somehow responsible for this ever-shrinking number. We do not yet know how they accomplish this.

<amanuensis interjection: “I wonder what that button does.”>

As I mentioned before, thanks to the help of the Cax subject Dave who is serving as amanuensis, we have a

<amanuensis interjection: “I probably shouldn’t press it.”>

better understanding of the Cax language. Because he has been able to link with our systems, we have been able to use his experiences to better understand the passage that was listed here previously with several untranslatable parts. We have also been able to determine the preceding statement.

Based on the context of the statement, we believe that the loud high-pitched noises the creatures emit is akin to our laughter, because, honestly, the statement is rather humorous. To understand, one must know that “chicken” is the Cax designation for species:33672 and understand the duel meanings inherent in

<amanuensis interjection: “What the hell? I’m dreaming anyway. I’m gonna press it!”>

the Cax vocabulary. For a full explanation, see linguistic log 99438. I will present the full text of the statement here:

“Why does a chicken coup have two doors? If it”

<transmission interrupted by rescue-by-detonation>


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