Check out this short story, Melting in Their Arms, from Geoff Lepard’s blog
When Captain Fr’ngg Oblique plotted the coordinates for the next planet on his list he didn’t suspect he would be the one to discover a highly-developed but unique intelligence, the first humanoid to do so. Nor did he expect to find that, on landing his sub-galactic hopper, he would be treated with barely disguised contempt.
Intelligence takes many forms in the universe and most of them have the same characteristics of species that we have on Earth. On Ptolemy 457 the intelligences were characterized by their state, and the highest form on P457, in that self-regarding way planet inhabitants have, who have yet to master space flight was considered to be the gaseous puff-streams from the Omovoidle caskpits. Having a hierarchy meant a strict separations between states.
The appearance, literally out of the blue, of Captain Oblique changed that.
The rules of engagement with any new intelligence weren’t very clear…
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