skonen_blades: (hamused)
[personal profile] skonen_blades
The problem was their terrific understanding of math regardless of having no spoken or written language.

Both of our teams are here on the First Contact asteroid, formerly Vesta in the belt. It’s a neutral meeting ground selected for this purpose. This is the 8th race we’ve met here and they are so far the most unusual.

The Cashnishi, named after Dr Cashnish who discovered their ship’s trace pattern as it entered the solar system, understood math on an instinctual level, not unlike savants here on Earth. It could be likened to catching an orange. If a person tossed an orange at a human, the catcher would need to perform complex calculations of the orange’s parabola and the intersecting angle needed for that window of probability to catch the orange. However, no conscious math goes through the catcher’s head. It was like that for the Cashnishi but on a much higher scale.

They wanted to go to space so they made it happen. They intuited how much thrust it would take and how much fuel would be needed and the necessary tensile strength of the materials involved. They figured out faster-than-light travel in moments. Design and construction took the same amount of time it would have taken here on Earth but the basis for the engines took no time at all. Several groups got together into one group and made ships. To them, it was as simple as that. Instinctual, intuitive math leading to production. Not a higher brain function like ours but something on a level of hunger or attraction.

The deeper mystery was how they communicated with any complexity. They seemed to only ‘speak’ in intent. They had no trace of being telepathic in a way we’d know it but like-minded groups would gather and do what they wanted to do, knowing the end goal. Sometimes for minutes and sometimes for entire lifespans like the Cashnishi astronauts/ship engineers here.

They germinated bulbous memory pods on their backs during their life. These pods were harvested at death and eaten, passing on the memories. No matter where death occurred, it was instinctually the highest priority to them to harvest the pods. They lived in memories, did whatever they felt needed to be done, and knew math in a way we could not. They seemed more primitive than us yet they were here, escaping their own gravity well and breaking the light-barrier in a giant blue ship to discover other races.

Their research on us is stimulus response in nature. Our first contact team is on edge. The Cashnishi shout at them, coo at them, touch them, slap them, change colour like cuttlefish, tap out rhythms, and then stare at our team’s responses, committing it to memory. The memory pods on their backs writhe with the new information.

The separation of mind and memory is interesting. They seem to have a practice of disconnecting from memory and just sitting in a form of ‘meditation’ if we had to give the state a name.

They read our body language like we’re shouting. I feel as if they know our team very well and understand humans on a deep level. All of our written knowledge is useless to them, however. We cannot give them our memories and we can’t show them our records. Communicating our history to them is impossible. Video seem to get across to them but only in a gestalt way like they’re watching a montage.

The tallest one keeps looking at me. I’ve named it Wendel. I’m not sure how to tell them that they should probably steer clear of us. They seem so naïve. But maybe I’m projecting.


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