(...continuing my role as a plague on civilization, here...)
For example, when our first Team Member died in an accident, it was hard to communicate with the Ebens. The member died instantly, therefore,
no medical care was provided. Our two doctors examined the Member's body and determined the injuries were consistent with an accidental fall.
Initially, the Ebens never interfered with our care or offered to provide any of their medical care.
However, once the Ebens – a very benevolent and caring people – saw our team members crying, the Ebens stepped in and offered to attempt some sort
of medical care. Although our doctors felt the Team Member was medically dead, they allowed the Ebens to try their own medical care. Most of this was
either through sign language or speaking to the Travelers who could understand some English.
The Ebens transported the Team Member's body to a remote area of the largest community. They took the body into a large building, apparently their
hospital or medical center. The Ebens used a large examination table to view the body. The Ebens ran a large bluish-green light beam over the body.
The Ebens watched a display, that appeared on a large screen that looked like a television screen. The readouts were in the Eben written language and
thus our team could not understand it.
Let's go through this one again...
However, once the Ebens – a very benevolent and caring people – saw our team members crying, the Ebens stepped in and offered to attempt
some sort of medical care.
Let's touch on crying and military culture just briefly. This is something that was ingrained in me; something I grew up with.
IF YOU ARE AN OFFICER, YOU DO NOT CRACK IN PUBLIC.
Remember how Jackie Kennedy stood proud and quiet at the funeral of John. F. Kennedy? It's that kind of control that was ingrained in the culture of
Men in general in the 1950's and 1960's did not cry in public and the injunction was even deeper if you were in a public (diplomat/politician)
position or in a military position. That was the rule of the 1950's/1960's... and it holds strongly today among those who grew up in military
families. It's still a part of our ethic.
When we buried my mom two years ago, my brother (who was still in the Army) took the folded flag from the honor guard (mom was a veteran) and handed
it to my dad. It took everything he had to keep from crying... and he didn't cry in public, because he was an officer. His son (also in the Army,
and a young lieutenant) did cry briefly but this emotion was acceptable because of his rank and his age.
So...back to the Serpo story. We have 12 (or 10 or maybe 9 or 8 by now) military officers who have been in the military for long enough to get a very
solid security rating and be proveable experts in a field -- and suddenly they're all breaking down and sobbing.
By some miracle (in literature this is called a "deux ex machina" and is considered a Lame Plot Device), the Ebens -- who would never have seen
ANYONE crying before, suddenly intiut that these facial expressions and odd vocal noises mean that the team is grieving. They don't ask "what does
this mean" and they don't assume it's some sort of cultural display at death or some sort of ritual. No, one of them suddenly "intuits" that
humans are in emotional distress and are grieving -- and offer the "appropriate comfort."
Why is that odd? Well, appropriate comfort depends on your culture and your upbringing (for instance, I don't like to be hugged by strangers or
anyone other than immediate family if I'm terribly upset. Hugging is not a part of the military culture. Hugging IS part of the Southern culture,
however. What may be comforting to one Earth culture group is annoying or irritating to another one -- yet the Ebens suddenly know how to give group
...to the military.
Now... Anony-Hoaxer and Clown2 try to get away with the "intuition"/"ESP" angle, conveniently forgetting that they provided us with a striking
example of just how UN-intuitive the Ebens are.
Or maybe the Ebens left their probes in their other uniform pockets.
The Ebens used a large examination table to view the body. The Ebens ran a large bluish-green light beam over the body. The Ebens watched a
display, that appeared on a large screen that looked like a television screen.
So this great civilization, which can "intuit" grieving in an alien culture, hasn't bothered to look at the anatomy of its visitors (even in
diagrammatic form) and can't figure out that the organs are smashed and there's internal bleeding and the organism is dead. When Fearless leader
(aka Anony-Hoaxer) comes up and gets into a snarling fit at The Leader of The Ebens, the magic Eben intuition/ESP suddenly goes into hiding because
they don't understand why he's mad and they can't come to a quick agreement. Nor can Eben medical personnel tell the difference between an
embolism and a bacterial or viral disease but in spite of that, they're allowed to treat the humans for medical problems:
Ebe1 brings some fluids and something looking like a biscuit. Fluid tastes like chalk and the biscuit doesn’t have any taste. We all eat it
and drink the fluid. Almost instantly we feel better. Ok, get organized. Told 203 to round up all crew. Found 308 missing. Must be the dead crew
member. Ebe1 came back and lead me to 308. He was in bowl, something like coffin. 700 and 754 will examine 308. Ebe 1 cautioned us no to take 308 out.
Don’t understand the caution. 700 and 754 is here. I try to tell Ebe 1 that these guys are our doctors and must examine 308. Ebe 1 said no, because
of infection. I guess 308 must have had some sort of infection and it could be contagious.
Ebens and the Scientists With Great Hair also don't know much about water (it really sounds as though this particular section was lifted from some
travelogue of Africa, the Southwest, or the Gobi Desert though I can't put my finger on where this is being lifted from.):
Another problem was water. The water on Serpo contained a number of unknown chemicals found by our team. Our Team eventually had to boil the
water before drinking it. Seeing this, the Ebens built a large plant that processed water for our Team.
The water contains "unknown chemicals"... so apparently there was no chemist around and Ebens (with their galactic civilization, advanced materials
and science) apparently haven't discovered the atom yet. There are only 100 or so possible elements in this universe and they only combine in
certain ways. Any kid with a high school chemistry hobby kit could have told the Team Of Scientists With Great Hair what was in that water.
By the way -- boiling water gets rid of germs -- not "unknown chemicals" and it only gets rid of a certain set of germs. You'd think scientists
would know this, but this bunch apparently slept through chemistry as well.
As a gesture of goodwill, the Ebens build "a large plant that processed water for our Team." How much water DOES a 12 man (well, 10 since two of
them died) need??? I don't think I go through a hundred gallons per day.
Are they doing their laundry every 5 seconds?
Are they watering the desert?
Are they bootlegging it to the miners to cool off the planet "otto" and get it to solidify back into at least liquid rock?
We humans with our not-ready-for-galactic-prime-time can build filters and slap them on a faucet to eliminate just about everything, or run the water
through a processor and make plain old H2O with nothing added. EBENS, with their galactic technology have to build "a large plant" to handle what
we can create in the 2000s with something smaller than the size of a washing machine.
[edit on 12-2-2006 by Byrd]