• MiSTed: The Jovian Jest [ 1 / 1 ] (1/2)

    From Joseph Nebus@21:1/5 to you'll cluck like a chicken every t on Sun Dec 31 05:12:37 2017
    XPost: alt.tv.mst3k, alt.fan.mst3k


    TOM: So, an astounding tale from outer space, huh?
    CROW: That's the rumor.

    The Jovian Jest

    By Lilith Lorraine

    CROW: Sponsored by the Alliteration Council.
    JOEL: You'd think that would be an association.

    There came to our pigmy planet a radiant wanderer with a message ---

    TOM: 'Please remove us from your mailing list'.

    and a jest

    JOEL: And a jape?
    TOM: No, a *jest*. Pay attention.

    --- from the vasty universe.

    CROW: Vasty?

    Consternation reigned in Elsnore village

    [ ALL make grumbly crowd noises. ]
    TOM: Rar, argh.
    JOEL: Consternation and uproar!

    when the Nameless Thing was discovered in Farmer Burns' corn-patch.

    CROW: Fatty Coon! Get out of here!

    When the rumor began to
    gain credence that it was some sort of meteor from inter-stellar

    TOM: [ Nerdy ] I *believe* you mean it is a meteor*ite*, thank you.

    reporters, scientists and college professors flocked to the
    scene, desirous of prying off particles for analysis.

    CROW: Scientists and college professors! That's what we're doing wrong. We never should've given all those samples to the pro wrestlers and the guy selling Dead Sea bath salts at the mall.

    But they soon discovered that the Thing was no ordinary meteor, for it glowed at
    night with a peculiar luminescence.

    JOEL: We need a novelty song! Get Phil Harris, stat!

    They also observed that it was practically weightless, since it had embedded itself in the soft
    sand scarcely more than a few inches.

    CROW: Also Farmer Burns was growing his corn in the sand.
    TOM: It's a little game he plays.

    By the time the first group of newspapermen and scientists had
    reached the farm, another phenomenon was plainly observable. The

    TOM: Dum DA-dum!

    was growing!

    JOEL: Well, that'll happen.

    Farmer Burns, with an eye to profit, had already built a picket
    fence around his starry visitor and was charging admission.

    TOM: 'All right, here's my nickel. Now give me an admission.'
    CROW: 'I'm the guy that clicks on Twitter Moments on purpose.'

    He also
    flatly refused to permit the chipping off of specimens or even the
    touching of the object.

    JOEL: 'Can I lick it?'
    TOM: 'No.'
    JOEL: 'Can I lick it just a little?'
    TOM: 'No.'
    JOEL: 'C'mon, I just want to lick it.'
    TOM: 'Well ... okay.'

    His attitude was severely criticized, but
    he stubbornly clung to the theory that possession is nine points in

    CROW: So science is going to need at least a touchdown and a field goal to catch up.

    It was Professor Ralston of Princewell who, on the third day after
    the fall of the meteor, remarked upon its growth. His colleagues

    TOM: Were frankly amazed he took that long to get to it.
    CROW: 'No, please, Ralston, talk about growing orbs some more.'

    crowded around him as he pointed out this peculiarity, and soon they discovered another factor --- pulsation!

    JOEL: My god ... it's disco aliens!

    Larger than a small balloon,

    CROW: Yet smaller than a large balloon ...

    and gradually, almost imperceptibly
    expanding, with its viscid transparency shot through with opalescent
    lights, the Thing

    CROW: Dum DA-dum!

    lay there in the deepening twilight and palpably

    JOEL: Aw, it's space-chilly.

    As darkness descended, a sort of hellish radiance began
    to ooze from it. I say hellish, because there is no other word to
    describe that spectral, sulphurous emanation.

    CROW: Well *you're* pretty judgemental there, narrator.

    As the hangers-on around the pickets shudderingly shrank away from
    the weird light that was streaming out to them and tinting their
    faces with a ghastly, greenish pallor,

    TOM: Sheesh, they act like they've never even tried a death-ray before.

    Farmer Burns' small boy,
    moved by some imp of perversity, did a characteristically childish

    CROW: He ran around yelling for a while until he fell down and cried.

    He picked up a good-sized stone and flung it straight at the
    nameless mass!

    JOEL: The mass answers back about sticks and stones may break its bones.

    Instead of veering off and falling to the ground as from an impact
    with metal, the stone sank right through the surface of the Thing

    JOEL: Dum DA-dum!

    into a pool of protoplastic slime. When it reached the central core
    of the object, a more abundant life suddenly leaped and pulsed from
    center to circumference.

    TOM: Welp.
    CROW: It's like pouring sugar in the gas tank, that.

    Visible waves of sentient color circled
    round the solid stone.

    JOEL: What's an invisible wave of color?

    Stabbing swords of light leaped forth from
    them, piercing the stone, crumbling it, absorbing it. When it was
    gone, only a red spot, like a bloodshot eye, throbbed eerily where
    it had been.

    TOM: [ As the kid ] 'Uhm ... can I have my rock back?'

    Before the now thoroughly mystified crowd had time to remark upon
    this inexplicable disintegration, a more horrible manifestation
    occurred. The Thing,

    JOEL, TOM: Dum DA-dum!

    as though thoroughly awakened and vitalized by
    its unusual fare, was putting forth a tentacle.

    CROW: That figures.
    TOM: It's always tentacles. Why is it never, like, sea lion flippers?

    Right from the top
    of the shivering globe it pushed, sluggishly weaving and prescient
    of doom.

    ALL: [ As onlookers ] HE DID IT!

    Wavering, it hung for a moment, turning, twisting,
    groping. Finally it shot straight outward swift as a rattler's

    Before the closely packed crowd could give room for escape, it had
    circled the neck of the nearest bystander, Bill Jones, a cattleman,

    CROW: Moo.

    and jerked him, writhing and screaming, into the reddish core.

    TOM: [ Bill Jones ] 'Tell my cattle ... I love ... aaaargh!'

    Stupefied with soul-chilling terror, with their mass-consciousness practically annihilated before a deed with which their minds could
    make no association, the crowd could only gasp in sobbing unison and
    await the outcome.

    JOEL: You know the *Australian* alien space blob is like twenty times
    deadlier than this.

    The absorption of the stone had taught them what to expect, and for
    a moment it seemed that their worst anticipations were to be

    CROW: Pebbles across the county might be no more!

    The sluggish currents circled through the Thing,

    TOM, CROW: Dum DA-dum!

    the victim's body to the center. The giant tentacle drew back into
    the globe and became itself a current.

    JOEL: Don't fight the current! Swim out and then make it to shore!

    The concentric circles
    merged --- tightened --- became one gleaming cord that encircled the
    helpless prey.

    TOM: Is ... he turning into Sailor Moon?

    From the inner circumference of this cord shot
    forth, not the swords of light that had powdered the stone to atoms,
    but myriads of radiant tentacles that gripped and cupped the body in
    a thousand places.

    CROW: [ Bill Jones, giggling ] No wait stop I'm ticklish aaaaaaugh
    [ and breaks down laughing ]

    Suddenly the tentacles withdrew themselves, all save the ones that
    grasped the head.

    JOEL: That's his *hair*.

    These seemed to tighten their pressure --- to
    swell and pulse with a grayish substance that was flowing from the
    cups into the cord and from the cord into the body of the mass.

    TOM: And from the body of the mass into the grayish substance and
    that's what we call an 'economy'.

    Yes, it was a grayish something, a smokelike Essence that was being
    drawn from the cranial cavity.

    CROW: Mmm, fresh skull juice.

    Bill Jones was no longer screaming
    and gibbering, but was stiff with the rigidity of stone.

    JOEL: [ Bill Jones ] 'Mondays, am I right?'

    Notwithstanding, there was no visible mark upon his body; his flesh
    seemed unharmed.

    TOM: [ The Blob ] Oh yeah! Let me work on that.
    JOEL: [ Bill Jones ] Whoa hey yeowwwowow!

    Swiftly came the awful climax. The waving tentacles withdrew
    themselves, the body of Bill Jones lost its rigidity, a heaving
    motion from the center of the Thing

    CROW, JOEL: Dum DA-dum!

    propelled its cargo to the
    surface --- and Bill Jones stepped out!

    TOM: And he holds up the eight of diamonds --- your card?

    Yes, he stepped out and stood for a moment staring straight ahead,
    staring at nothing, glassily. Every person in the shivering,
    paralysed group knew instinctively that something unthinkable had
    happened to him.

    CROW: You suppose Farmer Burns will give him a refund?

    Something had transpired, something hitherto
    possible only in the abysmal spaces of the Other Side of Things.

    JOEL: Do ... do you think he liked it?

    Finally he turned and faced the nameless object, raising his arm
    stiffly, automatically, as in a military salute.

    CROW: Oh, do *not* go there, I don't have the energy.

    Then he turned and
    walked jerkily, mindlessly, round and round the globe like a wooden
    soldier marching. Meanwhile the Thing

    ALL: Dum DA-dum!

    lay quiescent --- gorged!

    Professor Ralston was the first to find his voice. In fact,
    Professor Ralston was always finding his voice in the most
    unexpected places.

    JOEL: One time he spent a week searching for it before it turned up
    in Schenectady.

    But this time it had caught a chill. It was

    "Gentlemen," he began, looking down academically upon the motley

    TOM: Too Fast For Love.

    as though doubting the aptitude of his salutation.

    CROW: 'It appears the aliens are here to ... play.'

    "Fellow-citizens," he corrected,

    JOEL: Buh?
    TOM: The ever-popular 'unneeded correction that somehow makes
    you sound like a jerk'.

    "the phenomenon we have just
    witnessed is, to the lay mind, inexplicable. To me --- and to my
    honorable colleagues (added as an afterthought) it is quite clear.

    CROW: Oh, *boo*.

    Quite clear, indeed. We have before us a specimen, a perfect
    specimen, I might say, of a --- of a --- "

    JOEL: You know he's a professor of accounting, right?

    He stammered in the presence of the unnamable.

    TOM: Read the employee badge! Then you can name it.

    His hesitancy caused
    the rapt attention of the throng that was waiting breathlessly for
    an explanation, to flicker back to the inexplicable.

    CROW: [ As Ralston ] 'Hey, stop paying attention to the not-man here!'

    In the
    fraction of a second that their gaze had been diverted from the

    ALL: Dum DA-dum!

    to the professor, the object had shot forth another tentacle,
    gripping him round the neck and choking off his sentence with a
    horrid rasp that sounded like a death rattle.

    [ ALL clap. ]
    JOEL: 'Wait! I needed him to sign my financial aid paperwork!'

    Needless to say,

    JOEL: End paragraph.

    the revolting process that had turned Bill Jones
    from a human being into a mindless automaton was repeated with
    Professor Ralston.

    TOM: Blob is going to get *such* a letter from the Faculty Senate.

    It happened as before, too rapidly for
    intervention, too suddenly for the minds of the onlookers to shake
    off the paralysis of an unprecedented nightmare.

    JOEL: With too much joy from everyone who's had to listen to
    the Professor mansplaining the world.

    But when the
    victim was thrown to the surface, when he stepped out, drained of
    the grayish smokelike essence, a tentacle still gripped his neck and
    another rested directly on top of his head.

    CROW: He's ready for Stromboli's puppet show!

    This latter tentacle,
    instead of absorbing from him, visibly poured into him what
    resembled a threadlike stream of violet light.

    TOM: Heck of a way to pick a new Doctor Who.

    Facing the cowering audience with eyes staring glassily, still in
    the grip of the unknowable, Professor Ralston did an unbelievable

    CROW: Let's ... POLKA!

    He resumed his lecture at the exact point of interruption!
    But he spoke with the tonelessness of a machine, a machine that
    pulsed to the will of a dictator, inhuman and inexorable!

    JOEL: I had this guy for pre-algebra!

    "What you see before you," the Voice continued --- the Voice that no
    longer echoed the thoughts of the professor --- "is what you would
    call an amoeba, a giant amoeba.

    CROW: Would you believe ... a giant amoeba with cupholders?
    TOM: It's, it's, maybe more of a paramecium? Would you buy that?

    It is I --- this amoeba, who am
    addressing you --- children of an alien universe.

    JOEL: [ As the Amoeba ] Are ... are any of you buying this?

    It is I, who
    through this captured instrument of expression, whose queer language
    you can understand, am explaining my presence on your planet.

    CROW: [ As the Amoeba ] I ... you know, this got a better reaction when I tried it at open-mic night.

    pour my thoughts into this specialised brain-box which I have
    previously drained of its meager thought-content." (Here the
    "honorable colleagues" nudged each other gleefully.)

    TOM: Mind-wiping is fun when it's someone else on the faculty senate getting it!

    "I have so
    drained it for the purpose of analysis and that the flow of my own
    ideas may pass from my mind to yours unimpeded by any distortion
    that might otherwise be caused by their conflict with the thoughts
    of this individual.

    JOEL: Oh, uh, PS, we're not the bad guys?

    "First I absorbed the brain-content of this being whom you call Bill
    Jones, but I found his mental instrument unavailable.

    TOM: Oh, sheesh.

    It was
    technically untrained in the use of your words that would best
    convey my meaning.

    CROW: [ Bill Jones ] Are you calling me stupid?
    JOEL: [ As Amoeba ] I'm saying you have an abundance of deficiencies!
    CROW: [ Bill Jones ] Well ... okay then.

    He possesses more of what you would call 'innate intelligence,' but he has not perfected the mechanical brain through
    whose operation this innate intelligence can be transmitted to
    others and, applied for practical advantage.

    TOM: Oh, c'mon, how many people do you know perfect mechanical brains?
    CROW: Joel did!
    TOM: Sycophant.

    Now this creature that I am using is, as you might say, full of
    sound without meaning.

    JOEL: How we might say? How would you say?

    His brain is a lumber-room in which he has
    hoarded a conglomeration of clever and appropriate word-forms with
    which to disguise the paucity of his ideas, with which to express

    CROW: Um ...

    Yet the very abundance of the material in his storeroom
    furnishes a discriminating mind with excellent tools for the
    transportation of its ideas into other minds.

    TOM: [ Professor Ralston ] Are you calling me stupid?
    JOEL: [ As Amoeba ] I'm saying you have an abundance of deficiencies!
    TOM: [ Professor Ralston ] Well ... okay then.

    "Know, then, that I am not here by accident.

    CROW: I had long and fully planned to land my flying saucer at a 50 degree angle in the middle of this corn silo!

    I am a Space Wanderer,
    an explorer from a super-universe whose evolution has proceeded
    without variation along the line of your amoeba.

    TOM: Look, I don't want to nitpick.
    JOEL: Of course you don't, honey.
    TOM: Just, 'evolution' or 'variation', which of those words aren't they using right?

    Your evolution, as
    I perceive from an analysis of the brain-content of your professor,
    began its unfoldment in somewhat the same manner as our own.

    CROW: With cartoons of fish stepping up on land.

    But in
    your smaller system, less perfectly adjusted than our own to the
    cosmic mechanism, a series of cataclysms occurred.

    JOEL: Does this involve blowing up the moon and jolting Earth into a new orbit?

    In fact, your
    planetary system was itself the result of a catastrophe, or of what
    might have been a catastrophe, had the two great suns collided whose
    near approach caused the wrenching off of your planets.

    CROW: And if their diplomats weren't able to find a face-saving solution to the crisis.

    From this
    colossal accident, rare, indeed, in the annals of the stars, an
    endless chain of accidents was born, a chain of which this specimen,
    this professor, and the species that he represents, is one of the
    weakest links.

    TOM: Is Lilith Lorraine getting back at one of her professors?
    CROW: Show *you* to give me a B *minus*.

    "Your infinite variety of species is directly due to the variety of adaptations necessitated by this train of accidents.

    JOEL: If only no planets had formed then we'd all be amoebas!
    TOM: Huh?

    In the
    super-universe from which I come, such derangements of the celestial machinery simply do not happen.

    CROW: Amoeba-boy's getting a little snobby there.

    For this reason, our evolution has
    unfolded harmoniously along one line of development, whereas yours
    has branched out into diversified and grotesque expressions of the Life-Principle.

    TOM: Why, thank you for noticing!

    Your so-called highest manifestation of this
    principle, namely, your own species, is characterized by a great
    number of specialized organs.

    CROW: Is ... is Amoeba-boy talking about breasts?
    JOEL: Oy, aliens, always like this ...

    Through this very specialization of
    functions, however, you have forfeited your individual immortality,
    and it has come about that only your life-stream is immortal. The
    primal cell is inherently immortal, but death follows in the wake of specialization.

    TOM: Also in the wake of being eaten by a bear. Just saying.

    We, the beings of this amoeba universe, are individually immortal.

    CROW: So there's no escape from Great-Aunt Carol and her inappropriate questions.

    We have no highly specialized organs to break down under the stress
    of environment. When we want an organ, we create it.

    TOM: From ... ?
    JOEL: Never you mind!

    When it has
    served its purpose, we withdraw it into ourselves.

    CROW: We draw the shades and hide from neighbors.

    We reach out our tentacles and draw to ourselves whatsoever we desire. Should a
    tentacle be destroyed, we can put forth another.

    JOEL: Our contests of rock-paper-scissors can take years to decide!

    "Our universe is beautiful beyond the dreams of your most inspired

    TOM: So neener neener neener on you.

    Whereas your landscapes, though lovely, are stationary,
    unchangeable except through herculean efforts, ours are Protean,
    eternally changing.

    CROW: [ As an onlooker ] Get me the one they call Heraclitus.

    With our own substance, we build our minarets
    of light, piercing the aura of infinity.

    TOM: Your buildings are made out of people?

    At the bidding of our
    wills we create, preserve, destroy --- only to build again more

    JOEL: It's all great fun except when you're signed up to be the sewer this week.

    "We draw our sustenance from the primates, as do your plants,

    CROW: Are they telling us that ferns eat apes?
    TOM: That's how I make it out, yeah.

    and we constantly replace the electronic base of these primates with our
    own emanations,

    JOEL: Your ferns charge up apes?
    CROW: Even for aliens these are kinda weird mamma-jamas.

    in much the same manner as your nitrogenous plants
    revitalize your soil.

    TOM: [ Onlooker ] ``Um ... are you completely sure you landed on the right planet here?''

    "While we create and withdraw organs at will, we have nothing to
    correspond to your five senses.

    CROW: Though we have a perfect match for your Five Mrs Buchanans!

    We derive knowledge through one
    sense only, or, shall I say, a super-sense?

    JOEL: We know everything through our hyperdimensional sense of taste!
    TOM: Thus we travel the cosmos finding things to lick!

    We see and hear and
    touch and taste and smell and feel and know, not through any one
    organ, but through our whole structure.

    CROW: You're making this creepy, Amoe-boy.

    The homogeneous force of
    our omni-substance subjects the plural world to the processing of a
    powerful unity.

    TOM: Dilute, dilute, okay?

    We can dissolve our bodies at will, retaining only the permanent
    atom of our being, the seed of life dropped on the soil of our
    planet by Infinite Intelligence.

    JOEL: Decluttering tip! Shed every part of your existence that doesn't bring you joy!

    We can propel this indestructible
    seed on light rays through the depths of space.

    CROW: However I confess we are not yet able to tell a cabbage from a lettuce.

    We can visit the
    farthest universe with the velocity of light, since light is our

    TOM: *Now* how much would you pay? But wait, there's more!

    In reaching your little world, I have consumed a
    million years, for my world is a million light-years distant: yet to
    my race a million years is as one of your days.

    JOEL: For us three of our popcorn balls are like two of your candy corns!
    TOM: To my race seven of your Star Wars movies are like three of our Thanksgiving Day parades!
    CROW: Four things that you perceive as green are equivalent to one of our yellowy-blues!

    "On arrival at any given destination, we can build our bodies from
    the elements of the foreign planet.

    CROW: We can make them stronger, faster, well, you get the drill.

    We attain our knowledge of
    conditions on any given planet by absorbing the thought-content of
    the brains of a few representative members of its dominant race.

    TOM: Isn't that going to be, like, some microbe?
    JOEL: So, the amoebas?
    TOM: Oooooooooh.

    Every well-balanced mind contains the experience of the race, the
    essence of the wisdom that the race-soul has gained during its
    residence in matter.

    JOEL: The longer that sentence ran the more I dreaded it.

    We make this knowledge a part of our own thought-content, and thus the Universe lies like an open book before

    TOM: Even when we're in the bathroom?

    "At the end of a given experiment in thought absorption, we return
    the borrowed mind-stuff to the brain of its possessor.

    CROW: Who's ... uh ... us, now! Neat how that works, isn't it? Thanks.

    We reward
    our subject for his momentary discomfiture by pouring into his body
    our splendid vitality.

    TOM: Also a $20 gift card to Jersey Mike's.

    This lengthens his life expectancy

    CROW: We hush it up because it would ruin the insurance companies.

    by literally burning from his system the germs of
    actual or incipient ills that contaminate the blood-stream.

    JOEL: We leave behind the broken arm, we don't have an administrative code for that.

    This, I believe, will conclude my explanation, an explanation to
    which you, as a race in whom intelligence is beginning to dawn, are

    TOM: So, any questions? Yes, you there.
    CROW: The *heck* was that all about?

    But you have a long road to travel yet. Your
    thought-channels are pitifully blocked and criss-crossed with
    nonsensical and inhibitory complexes that stand in the way of true

    JOEL: Oh dear lord it's a Dianetics ad.

    But you will work this out, for the Divine Spark that
    pulses through us of the Larger Universe, pulses also through you.

    TOM: This might explain why you feel like you're ticking and also part of the Galactic Federation of Light.

    That spark, once lighted, can never be extinguished, can never be
    swallowed up again in the primeval slime.

    CROW: As long as you remember one thing: always --- I mean, never --- I mean, you have to make sure [ Cough, wheezes ] THUD!

    "There is nothing more that I can learn from you --- nothing that I
    can teach you at this stage of your evolution.

    JOEL: Nothing at all? Not, like, antibiotics ---
    TOM: Nope! Nothing to teach you.
    CROW: Maybe how to make electronics ---
    TOM: Negatory! You've got all you can handle.
    JOEL: Could you give a hint about grand unification theory?
    TOM: Nah! What wouldn't be redundant?

    I have but one
    message to give you, one thought to leave with you --- forge on!

    CROW: Counterfeit *everything*!

    You are on the path, the stars are over you, their light is flashing
    into your souls the slogan of the Federated Suns beyond the
    frontiers of your little warring worlds. Forge on!"

    TOM: Excelsior!
    CROW: Tuebor!
    JOEL: Here's mud in your eye!

    The Voice died out like the chiming of a great bell receding into immeasurable distance.

    TOM: The time is now 11:00.

    The supercilious tones of the professor had
    yielded to the sweetness and the light of the Greater Mind whose
    instrument he had momentarily become.

    CROW: And now he's going back to a career of explaining to waitresses that if the choice is cole slaw *or* home fries he's entitled to get both.

    It was charged at the last
    with a golden resonance that seemed to echo down vast spaceless
    corridors beyond the furthermost outposts of time.

    As the Voice faded out into a sacramental silence, the strangely
    assorted throng, moved by a common impulse, lowered their heads as
    though in prayer.

    CROW: [ As Amoeboy ] ``Sorry, ah, this thing usually takes off right away. Think the battery's a bit low is all.''

    The great globe pulsed and shimmered throughout
    its sentient depths like a sea of liquid jewels.

    TOM: [ As the Terminator ] Liquid Jewels.
    JOEL: For the Twee-1000.

    Then the tentacle
    that grasped the professor drew him back toward the scintillating

    TOM: [ Amoeboy ] 'C'mon and gimme a hug!'

    Simultaneously another arm reached out and grasped Bill
    Jones, who,

    CROW: Was still in the story we guess?

    during the strange lecture, had ceased his wooden
    soldier marching and had stood stiffly at attention.

    TOM: [ Amoeboy ] 'You give me a hug too! It's a hug party and everyone's invited! Not you, Ray.'

    The bodies of both men within the nucleus were encircled once more
    by the single current. From it again put forth the tentacles,
    cupping their heads, but the smokelike essence flowed back to them
    this time,

    JOEL: [ Amoeboy ] And what the heck, you'll cluck like a chicken every time someone says 'cabinet'.

    and with it flowed a tiny threadlike stream of violet
    light. Then came the heaving motion when the shimmering currents
    caught the two men

    [ CROW, TOM scream in agony ]

    and tossed them forth unharmed but visibly
    dowered with the radiance of more abundant life.

    JOEL: And they fall down the ravine to Rock Gulch.

    Their faces were
    positively glowing and their eyes were illuminated by a light that
    was surely not of earth.

    CROW: They look at each other and say, wulp, nothing to do now but make out, right?

    Then, before the very eyes of the marveling people, the great globe
    began to dwindle.

    [ TOM makes a low hissing noise, as a balloon deflates. ]

    The jeweled lights intensified, concentrated,
    merged, until at last remained only a single spot no larger than a

    JOEL: Are we having alien yet?

    but whose radiance was, notwithstanding, searing,

    CROW: Strangely lemon-scented.

    Then the spot leaped up --- up into the heavens,
    whirling, dipping and circling as in a gesture of farewell, and
    finally soaring into invisibility with the blinding speed of light.

    TOM: Travels for a million years, you'd think it could stay for dinner.
    CROW: Got a look at this bunch and headed right out.

    The whole wildly improbable occurrence might have been dismissed as
    a queer case of mass delusion,

    JOEL: Like the Clown Sightings of 2016 or the so-called state of 'Tennessee'.

    for such cases are not unknown to
    history, had it not been followed by a convincing aftermath.

    TOM: The alien coming back to ask if anyone had seen its flagellum.

    The culmination of a series of startling coincidences, both
    ridiculous and tragic, at last brought men face to face with an
    incontestable fact:

    CROW: If Woody had gone right to the police this would never have happened!

    namely, that Bill Jones had emerged from his
    fiery baptism endowed with the thought-expressing facilities of
    Professor Ralston, while the professor was forced to struggle along
    with the meager educational appliances of Bill Jones!

    JOEL: Whoo-hoo-hoo-oops!
    TOM: Ha ha!

    In this ironic manner the Space-Wanderer had left unquestionable
    proof of his visit by rendering a tribute to "innate intelligence"
    and playing a Jovian Jest upon an educated fool --- a neat

    CROW: It's funny 'cause it's ... I don't know, playing on elitist pretentions? Something?

    A Columbus from a vaster, kindlier universe had paused for a moment
    to learn the story of our pigmy system.

    [continued in next message]

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