by Diana Rohlman
In the spirit of engendering convivial relationships amongst the array of species living aboard as we negotiate this novel interstellar alliance, this online forum has been arranged. Only by meeting with our allies professionally and in companionship can our mission of peace be achieved.
Please remember that Cassius Prime prides itself on a clean, supportive and diverse environment. This extends to online communications and chat rooms. Crude, inappropriate language will not be tolerated and will be summarily deleted by the Prime Director.
Please post a short descriptor of the person you are reaching out to, along with your basic demographic information (species, gender) and user identification. As defined per Klesan Space Directory Section 57, Chapter 9, Cassius Prime recognizes all genders and strives to celebrate all cultural customs. In that regard, only Arkanyans may select the gender identifier of “pre-pubescent.” Arkanyans do not identify a gender until maturation at age 57, as measured by Earth years, and have selected this English word as the closest estimation of their lifecycle stage. Please do not call station security to report the presence of pre-pubescents using this forum. Station security appreciates your concern, but reminds you that this forum is accessible only via your embedded identification chip, which lists your name, age and any cultural restrictions as determined by your local Embassy here on Cassius Prime.
Furthermore, relationships between senior officers and staff, or with visiting diplomats are strictly prohibited, even those of a virtual nature. For relationships of a decidedly non-virtual nature, please note that medical offices are available on Fourth Hall.
We ask that all members respect each other and the customs of all species living here on Cassius Prime. This forum is routinely monitored.
Alizarin hottie in the red dress
From: Lothario @AlienAdventureman (Daldinian non-binary)
Seeking: Alizarin female
Your third eye was so sexy; you were giving me naughty looks all during lunch. I can make your dreams come true. Is it true what they say: danger is an Alizarin’s aphrodisiac??????
Want an adventure? I’ll be in Red’s Bar tonight, 7:00. Be there. My real name doesn’t translate, but you can call me Lothario.
Pyzant looking for love
From: Cymbion @Lookingforloveinallthewrongplaces (Pyzant Non-binary)
Seeking: Lisa, Caninien female
We met in Seventh Hall, in holo-room 9, during a round of the quaint Alizarin game z’larneth. I was on the opposing team. You are the reason I kept dropping the goblet. Your character was gorgeous: elegant but tough. I believe our holo-characters are often representative of our true inner being.
You said my name, Cymbion, reminded you of something, but you couldn’t remember. It’s my chosen name. It refers to a custom among my species that I am seeking to fulfill. I think, with you, I could do just that.
You mentioned you love tasting different planetary vintages. I set up a special tasting in holo-room 9 for tomorrow, at the start of third shift. I hope you will join me.
SEXXXY CANINIEN LADYYY
From: Human male @sexAliensex
Post deleted by Prime Director
Never trust a Pyzant
From: Lisa @betrayedbylove (Caninien female)
To: Cymbion @Lookingforloveinallthewrongplaces, #AllCassiusPrime
Cymbion – I thought you were such a credit to your species; I was worried when you said you were a Pyzant. I bought into the flattery, thought you were different. I had even accepted that our relationship would forever be constrained to that of a holographic nature, given the limitations of your species. I was shocked when I saw you for the first time — it is difficult to realize you have been flirting with an organism no larger than a black olive — but I knew that true love could conquer anything. I fell in love with your mind, not your wrinkled, gray-brown, hideous little body.
Others would have thought a proposal was premature, but I knew it was a natural merging of minds. I was so happy in that moment. We were in holo-Paris, and it was so romantic. You had adjusted the mustache on your holographic simulacra the way I liked, and went down on one knee.
“I’ll be with you forever,” you said, holding a beautiful diamond ring. I was about to shriek my acceptance, proclaim my undying love. Until I felt your slimy alien body wriggle onto my neck, start to burrow in. You never loved me. You just tried to use me.
You parasitic bastard.
Explorer at Heart
From: Darien @exploreratheart (Daldinian male)
Seeking: Daldinian female
Do you ever feel like the words are just bursting out of you, and you simply have to release them? I know you will probably never read this, and I think that’s the only reason I can post here. Tomorrow we choose our shipmates. In two days, we begin laying in supplies. In three days we ship out, newly minted officers of the Klesan Federation.
I have admired you since our first day of training. I have been in awe of your intellect since you answered Dr. And’resos’ theoretical framework in the context of the Pyzant invasion of ’36. Your beauty has captivated me since we lost the holo-battle against the Velyunians. Even in defeat you were luminous, accepting the verdict with grace and equanimity.
Desperation, and the scant anonymity offered by online media, affords me the chance to bare my feelings. Per Federation rules, you, as one of the top-ranked cadets, will have the ability to choose your shipmate.
It is my desperate hope that you choose me. I am yours, though you know it not.
Annual Notice of Pyzant Culture
From: Cassius Prime Cultural Director, @PrimeCulture1
In light of recent events on Cassius Prime, I would like to take this time to remind all of our patrons that our station is a nexus where species, cultures and customs coalesce. This sharing of knowledge is powerful, but can result in situations that range from funny, to uncomfortable, to dangerous. We are navigating these uncharted space eddies together.
We are taking this opportunity to update the Galactic Translation Software on Cassius Prime. The Pyzant species are new to our station, and Ambassador Cymbion has done a tremendous amount of work to understand the customs of other cultures. During his work, he sought to learn of other species, leveraging the holo-rooms to facilitate interaction. During that time, he initiated a relationship that adhered to his understanding of galactic relationship customs and traditions. Unfortunately, as we explore the limitations of language, we found an error in how the term ‘marriage’ is understood by the Pyzants. The Translator specifically defines marriage by each species. For example, Alizarian marriage rituals differ substantially from Klesan-borne humans, which are unrecognizable from Arkanyan customs.
Upon consultation with Cymbion and our lingual experts, we have determined that a Pyzant ‘marriage’ more closely resembles that of symbiosis, wherein the Pyzant physically merges with their host spouse. While Pyzants strive for a symbiotic relationship, other cultures may view
this union as a form of parasitism. The Pyzant ambassador assures me that the relationship is typically mutual, with the host body maintaining the majority of their independent movement and thought. Ambassador Cymbion has taken complete responsibility for his actions, and regrets that his misperception caused emotional distress. The Ambassador will be returning to Pyzant to share his knowledge and train the next Ambassador.
To avoid further misunderstandings, all inter-species unions involving the Pyzant will be subject to review by Cassius Prime medical staff, to ensure the host species understands the full implications of a Pyzant union, and is physically and emotionally strong enough to carry their Pyzant spouse.
Re: Alizarin hottie in the red dress –
From: Lillith @AlizarinRed
To: Lothario @AlienAdventureman
Lothario, I wasn’t giving you naughty looks. My ‘third eye’ is not an eye at all. It is a natural orifice, designed to detect the gaseous composition of the air.
My red dress is the traditional garb of an Alizarin. Your post was offensive and speaks to inherent ignorance of alien culture.
Dangerous situations are known to raise the heart rate and increase one’s propensity for lustful actions. That is, of course, assuming one survives the dangerous situation… I’ll see you at 7, Red’s Bar.
Re: Alizarin hottie in the red dress
From: Lothario @AlienAdventureman
To: Lillith @AlizarinRed
Last night was great. At least what I remember… where are my pants? I woke up wearing your red dress, and you were gone. Is this an Alizarin dating ritual? Are we dating? I mean, I’m up for any adventure; I once dated a Pyzant! But seriously, I would like my pants back. And an explanation for how I ended up with a broken arm and a fractured toe. Let’s do it again sometime soon?
From: Lillith @AlizarinRed
To: Lothario @AlienAdventureman
You threw your pants into the sacrificial fire. You fractured your toe during the stone challenge, and broke your arm during the holo-wrestling challenge with the Arkanyans. You were not the greatest opponent, but neither were you pitiable.
It was for that reason I accepted your offer of marriage. Alizarin marriage ceremonies conclude with the exchange of clothing. It represents stepping into each other’s lives in a physical and spiritual sense.
I am confused by your other questions. I would assume since we are married that we are no longer dating?
My father arrives on the next in-bound shuttle. He can’t wait to meet you.
RE: Explorer at Heart
From: Roxanne @CadetAmongStars (Daldinian female)
Darien, I never knew you were so gifted with words. But I do know you. I submitted my request for a shipmate two weeks ago. You were the reason I handled the holo-battle defeat so well. You flipped the control switch and said, “You can’t win them all. But we can win the next one.”
I intend to win this one.
See you in three days.
This story was brought to you by the comic novel A Philosopher, A Psychologist, and an Extraterrestrial Walk into a Chocolate Bar by former standup comic Jass Richards. An independent activist and an office-temp-with-a-doctorate embark on a quest for a chocolate bar (a bar that serves chocolate, in all its deliciously decadent forms) and pick up a hitch-hiking extraterrestrial… a (way) off-the-beaten-path first-contact story. Available through Amazon (and other online bookstores) and directly from Lacuna. “I haven’t ever laughed so hard AND engaged with such unflinching tough ideas at the same time…” – C. Osborne
Excerpts from her books have appeared in The Cynic Online Magazine and on Erma Bombeck’s humor website. Her one-woman play Substitute Teacher from Hell received its premiere performance by Ghost Monkey Productions in Winnipeg.
About the Creator
Diana lives in the Pacific Northwest, invariably spending the rainy days inside, writing, with a glass of wine nearby, and her dog offering helpful critiques.
Diana, the Queen of Saturn has commissioned you to design for her a new pet that will fit in her handbag, to replace Skittles, the late royal pet who made the mistake of pooping on the royal phone. What would be the notable characteristics of your pet?
I would design the Royal Tribble. The original Tribble (OG Tribble) was eradicated, due to the concern they posed to the fabric of the universe, given their insatiable appetite and astonishingly rapid rate of reproduction. Given the significant design flaws of the OG Tribble, the Queen of Saturn will be receiving a mature Tribble crossed with the valerian plant, and modified to subsist on hydrogen, rather than carbon dioxide. As such, the Tribble has no observable excretions, and the result of the genetic modifications renders it unable to reproduce, much like the Earthen mule.
If the Queen demands that the pet have the personality of a literary character, what character would you instill into the royal pet?
While instilling personalities via manipulation of the genetic code is difficult, those with enough skill can do it. As I trust the Queen will not read this missive, I have attempted to align the personality of the Tribble with that of the Queen (high standards, capricious, and somewhat dangerous). In my search for such a personality, I have selected the character of Puck, from A Midsummer’s Night Dream, by Shakespeare. I hope the Queen enjoys this literary mirror, wrapped in a bundle of genetically modified fur and hydrogen.
Diana’s Dear Aunty Stanky question can be read here.
About the Artists
jimmylarkin is a Pixabay contributor from Sycamore, USA.
Rowan McMullin, associate editor, is definitely a human being, and has never once been accused of being a robot. After rising to god-status and being addressed by a cult of 30+ as The Transcendental Being, Rowan retired from divinity and now lives a quiet life among their pets and family. They write secret stories, redacted verse, and occasional blasphemic rhymes. [Rowan created the hilarious “Our Special Day” image.]