Nobody asked what the message said because it was clear from the way Lin closed her eyes and held her headphones to her ears that she was trying to block them all out while she translated the it. Instead they all stood in silence and waited for her to finish.
It took far longer than actually receiving the message had and she was obviously going over it several times. Eventually she nodded to herself and looked around at them.
“Okay, I think I’ve got this correct and the Coronan system backs me up on that. Its very much a placeholder message and not very interesting. Shall I put it on screen?”
“Please do,” Mori said.
“Okay.” Lin clicked her console and the message appeared on screen. It showed a large meeting chamber that reminded Amanpreet of the images she had seen of the United Nations from pre-Contact Earth.
On a podium at the front stood one of the upland Coronan’s, tall with a silvery blue skin and dressed in long robe-like garment. It stared at camera and began speaking. The language was multi-toned and musical. Indeed it reminded Amanpreet of a particularly complex birdsong. That made sense considering what they’d been told about the Coronan people having a vocal system similar to a syrinx but the complex interaction of sounds made it obvious why Lin had needed to listen several times to translate it.
After a moment Amanpreet managed to draw enough of her attention away from the musical language to the translation Lin had added in captions.
“Greetings, visitors, welcome to our home,” the Coronan was apparently saying. “We hope our peoples may be friends and benefit from an association.” It inclined its head to the camera and stepped aside to be replaced by another Coronan who gave a similar message in a different language. After it to gave the podium up to a third speaker Amanpreet realised what was a happening.
“Representatives of their various governments?” she asked.
“It looks like it,” Mahir said. “It sort of reminds me of the old films of the UN from before both the Dip and first contact.”
“I’ve read about that,” Summer said. “We had something similar. Their version is more effectual than either of ours was. More like the council in minature.” He flicked a tentacle at the screen as a fourth Coronan, this one had short blue fur rather than fuzz, a slightly blunter face and was significantly taller than the others. It was also wearing some sort of respirator. “Lowlander species. I wasn’t expecting that. The lowest levels of the atmosphere are corrosive and this is a hard tech primary species like your own which has limited technical development in the Lowlands.”
“Doesn’t stop them talking to the their Upland neighbours,” Lin said. “Or being invited to join their council of nations.” She looked back at the screen. â€œIt’s all just us being welcomed by various leaders. I suggest we ask the Council to send a similar message in reply.â€
â€œThat’s reasonable,â€ Summer said. â€œI’ll send a message to the Council with a copy attached.â€