“Gorak!” Barked Team Leader soundlessly. “If you don’t comply, you’ll be sent back and someone else will finish this Observation!”

“Yes, Your Most Excellent Expediency,” Gorak stammered in response. “I will, I will.”

“Move your top section slightly back and forth and side to side,” Team Leader reminded Gorak. “And move the top two appendages from side to side slowly with them slightly angled in the middle.”

“Yes, yes,” Gorak responded.

‘How do these creatures manged so many motions all at once?’ Gorak wondered. ‘And, the bipeds are mobile at the same time!’ He was totally astonished. Moving each of the top appendages continuously was a challenge; moving the top section simultaneously, almost impossible. Gorak strained and struggled to achieve.

Exo-three was Gorak’s first assignment. Gorak had never seen alien life before. They were simply amazing. They all had all these appendages and moved them all at the same time, not quite randomly Gorak was beginning to notice, but if there was a pattern to the motions, Gorak could not discern it. Only the lowest appendages, which seemed to hold the aliens upright, appeared to have a pattern: one would move forward, then the other. At no time were both in the air, yet some times both were stationary. And, still, sometimes, those lowest appendages, sort of folded themselves under the aliens reducing their height! That was confounding. As for the other appendages, their motions had no recognizable pattern at all, except the ends of them often grasped onto things – objects that were not part of the aliens themselves. That was odd.

And, these aliens emitted vibrations into the air. These vibrations were unintelligible. Gorak did not even try to discern patters in the vibrations. Gorak noted this as a possible point of future research: vibrational patterns of limited frequency range. Obviously not a very advanced species if they emitted vibrations. Gorak could not fathom any purpose of the vibrations.

The shapes and sized of the aliens varied considerable, but within a limited range. The tallest seemed to be the most dominant, but not always. This was mystifying. Their forms and shapes were almost repellent with their multiple appendages, totally unlike the sleek elegance of Gorak’s body and those of Gorak’s people. Their bodies had no ungainly appendages. Their bodies were simplicity itself: smooth, rounded in their natural place. Their bodies were so adaptable, they were able to easily fill the entire cavity of the containers which the members of the Investigation Team were now in. How they managed to find the containers and fill them was an aspect of the Investigation Operation Gorak was not informed of. Those details did not matter to Gorak’s responsibilities.

These container forms the team members were in were simply outrageous. Not only did they feature the appendages of the aliens, but the colors on the outside where harsh to look at. They were as intense as all the other colors on this planet. Where were the soft, soothing grays and browns of home? Gorak had seen few of the peaceful colors on this research trip. Did these aliens know them at all?

Gorak wondered how that information could be discovered, but that was not one of the standard questions they had come to observe for. Their primary objective was to observe alien procreation.

The population on Gorak’s Homeworld was diminishing. One birth every hundred years was not enough to sustain society. Though Gorak was one of the younger ones, that was clear even to Gorak.

Gorak wondered what it would be like to subdivide. Gorak had heard from older ones their talk of the joys of hibernation for half a century, then emerging as TWO, no longer one! Gorak had not heard this first hand. Gorak did not know anyone personally who had subdivided. It was so rare that Gorak had not encountered anyone in five hundred years who had subdivided. The population was in peril. But, Gorak wondered, how would they recognize alien procreation if they saw it? That was also one of the goals of this Observation.

Gorak observed that the aliens were together in small groups, sometimes two, but most were groups of more than two and, in nearly all the groupings, the aliens were different sizes. Sometimes the size difference was great, sometimes not. This did not make sense to Gorak. Gorak began to memorize the differences, maybe there was a pattern to them.

‘Group of four: one large, three smaller, one of them very small. Group of two: nearly identical in size and shape. Group of three: two large, one much smaller. Group of six: two large, four of various smaller sizes. One, rare, single individual. Group of two: one large, one small. Group of five: two large, three of various smaller sizes.’ Gorak continued, filled with joy at being productive. There would have to be a pattern when enough data was collected.

As tourists wandered around Disney World, seeing Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale, and the others waving at them with their permanent smiles, they had no clue they were under study and observation by aliens from another world inside the costumes, each inconceivable to the other.

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