To be fair, there were a lot more things that Furgun liked, than things he hated. It was just an unfortunate coincidence that he was the leader of the Tanturian seas, spokesman for the most powerful Tanturian governments, and his job currently entailed dealing with a lot of things he didn’t much care for. The historical irony of his being chosen delegate to speak with alien visitors, given his stance on the space program, was sadly lost.
Oh, and he didn’t like the fact that Fliei were performing a lot of the interaction. They had a far more compatible mode of communication, and the Tanturians and the Fliei had long since settled their own differences, at least as far as talking to each other went. Furgun was quite sure that not many Fliei really liked Tanturians, either, but he’d be the first to admit they had no reason to. Tanturians of old had treated the Fliei people really quite atrociously. They were almost literally from different worlds.
Satellites and short-range exploratory spacecraft had turned up nothing in the Tanturian solar system, and their telescopes had shown nothing but gas, stars, dust, and the occasional planet for several thousand light-years around. None of the closest solar systems seemed to be inhabited, none of the three other planets in their own solar system were even remotely suitable for Tanturian life, and it had come as a considerable surprise when one of their deep-space buoys had bounced back a response signal.
It had come as an even more considerable surprise when the signal had been roughly translated as saying, “we have received your transmission, please wait, you are currently seventeenth on our response list.”
It hadn’t taken long for excitement to spread across the globe. The aliens are coming! We are not alone! A great shoal of races will welcome us and share brotherhood!
Sometimes Furgun thought he was the only sane man in a world gone mad. The relationship between the Tanturians and the Fliei was the only example of inter-species relations that anybody on Tantur had to go on. Based on that, he really didn’t understand the optimism.
He was just beginning to whirl himself up into a state about it, when his chief aide swept into the enclosure and declared that the alien ambassadors were on their way.
His annoyance giving way to helpless apprehension, Furgun surged away towards his waiting attendants.