Posts Tagged ‘negotiation’


Cast of Wonders 274: Won’t You Please Give One of These Species-Planets a Second Chance?

Show Notes

Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.

Won’t You Please Give One of These Species-Planets a Second Chance?

by Nathan Hillstrom

At 2:13pm EST on a slate-grey Tuesday, the Earth was caged.

The barrier appeared line by line, traced into existence by white-hot dots dragging their way through the thermosphere. From the lawn of the United Nations Headquarters, it looked like chicken wire wrought of pure light.

U.N. Secretary-General Ataahua Tan Tan Tamahi was strolling on the lawn as he took his lunch, a welcome break from the impossible demands of his job. He stopped chewing and stared at the sky. “Like chicken wire,” he said, to nobody in particular, before his security detail tackled him and knocked the pita pocket from his hands. After a mumbled consultation, they disentangled him from the protective huddle, brushed the grass off his suit, and whisked him to the U.N.’s basement bunker. The sandwich was left behind.

It quickly became apparent that the cage corrupted all aerial communication and satellite-assisted technologies. Within hours, power surges and brownouts were rolling across the planet.

Reports from the field were of unmitigated panic: Militaries everywhere went on war footing. Governments launched contingency plans and double-checked their lines of succession. Families devolved into tantrums as videos got stuck buffering.

(Continue Reading…)

Genres: ,

Cast of Wonders 243: The Tentacles Never Lie

Show Notes

Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.

The Tentacles Never Lie

By J.W. Alden

In Connie’s line of work, you had to massage the truth from time to time. A stretch here, a bend there–even human clients expected a fib or two at the negotiation table. But when trading with the Hygoelus, you always lied. It just made things easier.

“My friends,” she said to the hygos across the table, who were not her friends, “you won’t regret this deal. One day, when you’re bouncing great-grandspawn on your knee-like appendages, still in perfect health in your august years, you and your people will look back on this meeting and thank me.”

Their forehead tentacles shifted to the left and became a deep shade of purple, standing out against the pink translucence of their skin. Appreciation. “We shall not wait so long, Connie of GalactiCorp,” their leader said through the tinny voice of a translator. “We thank you now. We are always honored to do business with your mighty race. We hope your government will keep our continued partnership in mind as development continues on their Baryonic Synchrotron superweapon.”

“Now, now, Dthlrap.” Connie held her hands up, palms outward. “I’ll try to put in a good word, but I can’t speak for the government. You’ll have to take it up with them. I’m merely a humble salesperson.”

(Continue Reading…)