Fern Leaf’s Paradox
“They call it a paradox”
“The new guys. ‘Fern Leaf’s’ paradox or something. Apparently they thought it was the reason no one spoke to them” One-Of-Many from the Centaurus Super Cluster dropped a larva in its soup and slid back in its chair, betraying what looked like, and probably was, knowledgeable self satisfaction.
The table fell silent for a moment, before amused rustling from an incomprehensible orifice of the Germanium Entity sent the usually reserved Laniakea diplomats into a flurry of what could loosely be described as raucous laughter.
“Those fools!” squealed the Nitraxi Limefish.
“Oh come now. We’ve all been there…” Fluffles the Annihilator was perched peaceably on the rim of it’s feeding cannon “…and we all found our way here. Let us not judge too harshly. After all, shouldn’t we be the least bit curious?”
There were murmurs, scratches, screeches and beeps of reluctant agreement.
“The Napping Entitlement concur,” came a series of vibrations from their virtual ambassador. “My bewhiskered wards, entitled as they are to dominion over the infinite depths of emergent realities, have relayed in conspicuous uniformity a desire to understand how these creatures have managed to emerge from the funnel unscathed, with complete intraspecies contact and zero interdiction”
“Impossible!” There was an unfortunately audible frustration in the Nitraxi’s voice, as it rose to a tenor that would melt most composites, were it not for the bowl.
The sound of a crowd yelling incoherently came roaring out over the elongated mandible of Pop Fizz Kadunkadunk, Chief Diplomat of the Whiz Bang Confederacy. It was followed by the approximated sound of petty squabbles, which peaked before slowly mellowing into exasperated agreement.
“It’s true!” said Fluffles, adding an appropriately inflected “Mmmm” to echo the onomatopoeic sentiment. “My progenitors had ascertained as much before dutifully downscaling. Apparently they worked it out, with only a brief period of annihilation. Though I find your indignance understandable Nitraxi…” Fluffles wobbled precociously. “…given your condition”.
A piercing shriek filled the room, briefly disorienting the more gelatinous representatives, before being muted by the intoxicating influence of the Nevermind. Fluffles cast a dubious set of eyes at his vacant looking counterpart, who sat staring blissfully at an empty plate.
“It is our understanding…” One-Of-Many interjected, with characteristically pleasant condescension “…that they first crossed the meta-data event horizon with primitive media and rudimentary scribblings only a few thousand generations ago. Less than half a degree of galactic rotation. A few undecillion jiffies”
“Which is theirs?” The larva had attained some modicum of sentience within the safe confines of the soup and was now compelling it’s maternal relay to multitask. One-Of-Many reconstituted the upstart with a slurp and continued “Despite the usual proliferation of cataclysm and even a peculiar fondness for self annihilation…” An antenna nodded respectfully at Fluffles “…they appear to not only have survived the gauntlet of mass communication, but embraced it!”
“Inconceivable!” screeched the fish.
One-of-many winced diplomatically before continuing again. “One and many would have thought so, yes. Yet, they have undertaken a persistent and invariably reckless campaign of ‘getting to know each other’”
There was stunned silence. A ball of iridescent gas asked if it could borrow a chair. “Certainly! Anyway, as we were saying, they actually made it through. A wilfully dense, pardon my language, network of independent beings, forcing a higher threshold of information tolerance”
“Clearly they have little regard for any reality, much less themselves” came a series of delicate rumbles from the Entitlement’s corporeal representative.
“Perhaps. They have essentially bludgeoned themselves with a meta-verse. It’s astounding really”
“Indeed, if at all true…” Fluffles interjected with a now contrarian swagger.
“Well yes. However, if true, then it means these creatures have achieved a hive of minds. Something we abandoned in favour of unification. Something we have each avoided in some fashion. If true it could pose a tremendous threat to all. To the Germanium Entity and its uncompromising denial of probability mechanics…” The ineffable blob rattled and hissed, before excreting a small mineral cuboid “…to the multitude of masters ensconced in their own personal realities” The Entitlement’s ambassador let out a noticeable purr. “Even to the eviscerated senses of the Uncertain Empire and their cold eonic dance with chaos” The group craned and articulated themselves towards the lone cylindrical metallic figure at the end of the table, which blinked it’s single red diode once in confusion. “You see,” One-Of-Many continued. “There’s a good reason we keep these meetings, and contact in general, to a minimum”
“What about you?” demanded the Nitraxi gratingly, gesturing towards the Nevermind with an obnoxious polyp. “What do you say?” There was no response. No movement. No thing from the Nevermind. Typical.
“It’s no use. They never say anything. Always show up, but never contribute” Fluffles was visibly disappointed, but understood. “At least they stick to their…”
“We…” The table fell silent again. “We ARE curious”
It was about to begin.
“Good equinox and welcome to the twenty seven million six hundred and twelfth meeting of the Cosmic Filter Survivors Society. Please keep exchanges to a minimum. We’re content to be welcoming a new member today. All the way from a small blue-green planet in the outer spiral arm of what they call the ‘Milky Way’ galaxy. Sentient lifeforms, please mobilise your appendages for the Humans!” The room erupted in something resembling applause as an opaque meaty looking biped strode confidently onto the stage.
“Hi everyone, I’m Alex and I just want to say how wonderful it is to be here and how much I and ALL my fellow humans are looking forward to meeting each and every one of you!”
“Oh shit” Fluffles muttered. “We might have to do something about that”