Excerpts from the Discussion of the Controlled Vibration Theory of Communication Among the Un-Kin

A Free Short Story
by Sarah Zettel

Taken from the discussion pool housed at the Toc Kup Communication Facilitation Unit from the period between 10:20:18 to 11:06:21. Compiled by Shh Tchtik Tic, Third Depth Researcher.

10:20:18. From Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of My Mind.

I was extremely disappointed when I listened to the 10:20:17 comments made by Shh Toc Ket. I recognize that this discussion pool is for open theorizing regarding the Un-Kin, but I did not think that included fantasizing by freshly graduated radicals.

Admittedly, there are many things we do not know about these arrivals to our home, but there are several points on which the Kin in Science are united.

First, the Un-Kin function as an intelligence system, probably evolved from a herd or hive dwelling mammal. Seven or more group members must be in close proximity to form a sentient grouping.

Second, the Un-Kin group members communicate between themselves by use of pheromones which are modulated primarily through their food groove.

Third, the individual Un-Kin members do not possess a mechanism that allows them to receive or transmit vibrations efficiently enough to evolve a language of sound like our own.

The first day of contact, two Un-Kin members walked straight through the underbrush up to Fourth Depth Researcher Kup Tak Kic. The researcher at that time had been speaking aloud from what he had hoped was a safe distance in order to attract the Un-Kin attention without alarming them. The Un-Kin showed no sign of having heard him calling. Instead, their reaction to him was to enlarge their food grooves and run back to the main group. Only within the group did the Un-Kin members organize an attempt at rational communication.

Despite the evidence which has convinced all the rest of the Kin in Science about the make-up of the Un-Kin intelligence system and methods of communication, “Learned Speaker” Shh Toc Ket says we are all wrong. She asserts, on the basis of no more than two unrelated observations, that the Un-Kin communicate by vibrations that they could not possibly hear or control and that group members posses sentience when operating individually.

Such speculations divide our energies and will cripple our efforts to learn the Un-Kin language before their messengers return from their home world.

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

10:20:19. From Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind.

With respect to the vehement opinions of the Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup, the only things we can say for sure about the Un-Kin are that they are sentient and that they did not evolve on this globe. We only know the latter because of the blood and hair cultures they have generously shared with us for analysis. We might not have guessed the former if they hadn’t been carrying photoelectric cells when face to face contact occurred. As for the unity of the Kin in Science, Learned Observer Ket Shh Shh has expressed doubts regarding the pheromonal communication theory. To my knowledge, she has not yet retracted those statements.

I agree that we must concentrate our efforts in order to meet the Un-Kin unencumbered and on open ground. But what’s the point of pursuing a scent that is so obviously cold? The Un-Kin members inferred almost immediately that the physical action of clapping speech spines is how we talk. A few weeks after their arrival, they had created a crude method of reproducing the sounds of our speech (a series of drums created from metal parts scavenged from their supplies). They analyze and accurately repeat sounds presented to them. Without even resorting to their measuring and analysis aids, they can to formulate a response using sound. If they are naturally deaf, as Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup suggests, how could they learn to receive and transmit sound at all? Further, if it takes all of ten of the Un-Kin who have remained with us to achieve the intellectual capacity of one Kin, how did they manage to decipher the mechanics of our language when the united efforts of the Kin in Science haven’t even begun to comprehend theirs? Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker.

10:20:20. From Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher. Addressing Kin of my Mind.

“Almost immediately” is a relative term. As the first observer of the Un-Kin group I feel obliged to strike out at this point. During the initial contact period, the Un-Kin membership and I faced each other for days. We slowly and carefully manipulated the natural objects that were available in the clearing where they have marked their territory. Both sides tried every route available to determine that the other was capable of abstract, logical thought. If the Un-Kin members worked more feverishly than I did, I ask you to remember that the small, unarmored Un-Kin must have been highly motivated to find out whether I was interested in communication or consumption.

After each experiment they performed, the Un-Kin clustered together to share interpretations of the results and receive new assignments from the group intelligence. At no point did a single Un-Kin member initiate an experiment on its own. They marked no territory between themselves and they displayed no competition for even basic resources.

Their first attempts at establishing communication involved standing in front of me and manipulating their food grooves, dousing me with pheromones I was unable to process. They did not work out a new approach for three weeks. At that time, a set of members lined up, one behind the other, and waved their manipulative limbs over their heads. The waving limbs looked remarkably like speech spines in motion, but they did not produce any sound. As I recorded at the time, this indicates that their primary sense is that of smell, followed by sight.

During this time, I heard only random and infrequent noises from the Un-Kin. Some were physically produced by the members. Some were the result of a piece of equipment they were working with. However, these noises were so sporadic in comparison to the pheromonal changes that I had to discount them. I can state from direct experience, each Un-Kin has a distinct scent, sometimes artificially augmented or repressed. This scent changes with emotional level or even reproductive state. If the changes seem crude and slow to us, I would suggest it is because we do not posses either the the proper sensory organs or the proper aids for interpreting underlying subtleties.

It was a total of ten weeks from my initial contact that the Un-Kin created their first drums, allowing a sentient group to produce sounds I could understand as speech. Although I was able to make them understand that they had found a successful means of reaching me, they were, and still are, incredibly slow to progress. All observations show the same pattern of behavior. The Un-Kin members speak using their drums and wait for the response.

Response is given. The Un-Kin communicate with each other for a space of time, and then make their answer.

Third Depth Researcher Tch Tic KtchKt suggests that while the Un-Kin cannot hear vibrations as we do, their elongated, vertical, body cavities can feel the vibrations that clapping speech spines produce. They were eventually able to understand that these vibrations were the source of meaningful communication for the Kin.

We can only bristle with impatience that our technicians have been unable to come up with a way to effectively record and transmit scent. Until that time, we’re oblivious to the subtleties their marvellously delicate noses ascertain.

Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher

0:20:21. From Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind.

Progress is being made in the recording and transmission process. With the recent application of the digital sampling and analysis system that chemists of the Tck TchShh Tic Kup family have developed, as well as the generous contributions of other direct contact researchers, I have mapped fifty-seven pheromones patterns from the Un-Kin. The number is growing by the week. With enough data we will be able to discern the grammar involved in the Un-Kin’s language of scent.

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

11:00:00. From Learned Observer Ket Shh Shh. Addressing Kin of My Mind,

Because Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket invoked my name and reputation, I feel obligated to respond, but I am by no means elated at the prospect.

Yes, I have recorded my doubts about pheromonal communication between the Un-Kin membership. My initial argument was that scent is an inefficient mechanism for communication, particularly at a distance. Even mild wind and rain could effectively render such creatures mute and if mute, they could not function as their intelligence system requires. This does not mean I advocate either the individual intelligence theory or the controlled vibration communication theory espoused by Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket. These are the facts. The members of the Un-Kin group have an average cranial mass of twenty pounds. Our nearest relatives have a cranial mass of thirty-five pounds and our own is forty-five. Can we reasonably expect sentience in an individual body with less than half our cranial capacity? Further, an Un-Kin member’s average body mass is one hundred and sixty pounds, less than a third of an average Kin’s. In an eco-system which contained large predators, how could such tiny creatures have prevailed to become the sole sentience on their world by acting singly? It is an applicable truism that the hunted cannot rule the hunter.

Further, the Un-Kin constantly speak of themselves in terms of groups, using our words for “flock” or “herd” or “clan.” They talk about “informing,” “giving instructions to” and “receiving help from,” the groups that make up their home environment. When questioned about why particular tasks are being performed, the answer is inevitably a variation on “We decided it would be useful to…” No recorded exchange has elicited an indication of individual member action.

We know that both herd and flock systems evolved for the protection of the majority of the members. In the initial stages of evolution between competing herds, it would be the group that could act the fastest for the greatest benefit of its members that would triumph over its competitors. This would be the same herd whose members could communicate the fastest. The selection pressure therefore, would be for rapid communication between members and decisive action to preserve the protective group structure and therefore the life of the individual. It may be that the combination of evolutionary pressures and societal teachings have rendered the Un-Kin incapable of producing the idea of acting singly for an extended period, even though they are physically capable of it. This theory does appear to lend credence to the pheromonal communication theory, but I remain skeptical that pheromones alone could evolve into an effective communication system, even for a herd. I think perhaps we are overlooking something.

What is most frustrating is that the ones capable of answering this riddle are at the tips of our tendrils, and yet we cannot understand them. The Un-Kin are studying us as intently as we are studying them, but while they can understand and process the words for observable objects or simple equations, our physiologies are so different (two manipulative limbs as opposed to one, vertical orientation as opposed to horizontal) that terms for biological actions, such as “talk” are extremely difficult to convey.

Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer

11:00:01. From Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I have noticed that serious discussion of Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket’s controlled vibration and individual intelligence theories is taking place in other pools. This could eventually divide contracted observers and researchers and leave us still at a disadvantage when the Un-Kin messengers return.

Let’s look to the Un-Kin for solutions. First, each Un-Kin member has evolved with a pair of primary manipulative limbs that are well removed from their three short proboscises. Three, you will notice, not one. One between their eyes and food grooves and one on each side of their eyes, allowing for directional differentiation. This indicates a degree of specialization in their noses that Kin do not posses. The proboscises are very close to the food groove, which is the primary producer of Un-Kin pheromones, much as our ears are located between our speech spines. This close orientation of scent production and scent reception shows how important the scents must be for communication.

Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher

11:00:02. From Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I am amazed at the degree to which all the Learned Speakers and Researchers expounding in this pool are able to pronounce accurate judgements on a species with so many physiological differences from ourselves that we don’t even have names for all their limbs! They possess no equivalent of our speech spines, our bristles, or our proboscis, not to mention the fact that they have one seventh the number of legs. We have no equivalent of their manipulative limbs or food groove, and yet we expect every orifice in their bodies to function exactly as ours do.

All these discussions have been conducted as if the Un-Kin were silent. Because our ears and our standard recording equipment cannot detect most of the vibrations they produce, this does not mean such sound does not exist. The Un-Kin produce vibrations.

They produce them from their food grooves at measurable levels with varying frequencies and intensities. Un-Kin group members respond to these vibrations at a distance pheromones could not possibly reach.

I have just finished today’s observation rotation. I was watching Un-Kin members gathering shellfish samples from the tide pools. One of the Un-Kin members (whom I call Tch) required tools carried by another member (Tch Tch) who was hunting specimens a full hundred yards down the shore. Tch faced the direction of Tch Tch, enlarged its food grooveand produced a short burst of vibration.

It was this vibration that Tch Tch responded to, not pheromones, which could not have possibly carried up-wind on the ocean shore at a distance of one hundred yards. Further, it was not help cogitating that Tch required; it was a net and specimen bucket. My recording is available in these archives for review.

Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker

11:00:03. From Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer. Addressing Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket

If standard recording equipment cannot discern what you assert are the majority of the Un-Kin members’ controlled vibrations, how have you managed it?

Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer

11:00:04. From Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker. Addressing Learned Observer Ket Shh Shh

Since I contracted my observation time, I have followed the procedures laid down by Kup Tak Kic and Toc Toc Kup and measured the air quality around the Un-Kin members diligently, but I also worked at quantifying and attempting to interpret their related physical movements. After all, both birds and our own relatives go through courtship and warning dances. I thought the Un-Kin might have a similar component to their interactions.

This led me to consider whether the bursts of vibration I could hear had some pattern. I presented this observation to my apprentice Shh Tic Tic, who was able to reciprocate by pointing me towards the technology of radio astronomy where radiation outside both the visible and audible frequencies is recorded and measured by precisely tuned receptors which project the signals onto a screen as a visible wave pattern for comparison and contrast.

I am not, unfortunately, a mechanic. I’ve only recently been able to modify a version of such a receptor into a portable form which lets me continuously record the vibrations from the Un-Kin membership. As I’ve only had two contact rotations since my “vibration recorder” has been in working order, I haven’t gotten enough data to create a transmitter that can accurately reproduce the vibrations at appropriate levels.

Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker

11:00:05. From Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer. Addressing Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket

Have you been able to discern any vibration patterns that correlate with previous observations made using standard methodology?

Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer

11:00:06. From Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker. Addressing Learned Observer Ket Shh Shh

Unfortunately, I have not been able to contract enough observation time to record the data necessary to make such correlations with any certainty. I must also beg that you understand, I earn my contact rotations by performing academic work that does not leave me the time I need to decipher my data properly. I have herded as much responsibility as I can to my apprentice, but I am still overwhelmed.

Because only some of the Un-Kin vibrations can be picked up by standard recording equipment, the current contents of the observation pools are largely useless to my research. I gained permission from the Un-Kin members to leave one of my vibration recorders in their territory for continuous operation next to the pheromone samplers. I will enter the data into this pool as it becomes available.

Shh Toc Ket Learned Speaker

11:00:07. From Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup, Addressing Kin of my Mind

What amazes me, is how Shh Toc Ket could make so many incredible assertions and forget so many basic facts. Scents can be transmitted over distances of three hundred yards or more. Even a Kin, if they are a trained observer, can discern the number and identities of a room’s occupants a full day after that room has stood empty. Our ancestors were capable of greater feats because they relied much more heavily on their tracking abilities than we do.

If we are capable of this much, then how much more could the Un-Kin members, with their highly specialized noses, discern?

As for the behavior you observed in the two Un-Kin members, the individual units of a group intelligence would have an instinctual aversion to being separated from each other, particularly while performing a complex task. The Un-Kin members do not travel outside of their territory alone. Within their territory, they have been observed to function individually, but they congregate in pairs, triplets or larger groups an average of twice an hour.

And let us not forget that when they talk to a Kin researcher, they always congregate at length in their sentient group before transmitting a statement or reply. There may have in fact been a required exchange of tools between the Un-Kin members Tch and Tch Tch during the observed incident, but because Shh Toc Kup did not make any measurements of the surrounding air quality at that time, she has no idea what else was exchanged. It could have been an encyclopedic account of tide pool elements, for all we know.

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

11:00:08. From Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I must agree with Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup. Because she did not follow the established procedures, Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket has seriously jeopardized her already tenuous position.

However, she has made a bold and useful step in incorporating the knowledge gained in other sciences into her own work. Inspired by this, I have entered several queries into the biological research pools. I have placed full recordings of the answers to my questions in these archives. Those answers combined with the limited number of patterns Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup has been able to discern for the Un-Kin scents have led me to doubt that the Un-Kin members’ pheromonal communication has anything we would recognize as a grammar.

A group intelligence would have no need for grammar. The pheromones would act like chemical messengers diffusing across the gap juncture between neurons. The originating member would be analogous to the neural transmitter and the receiving member would be the receptor. The result of the communication would be to open or alter a neural pathway within the Un-Kin member to access stored information within the individual memory or to merge the individual cognitive capacity into the group.

Kup Toc Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher

11:00:09. From Shh Shh Ket, Learned Observer. Addressing Kin of my Mind

The analogy between the Un-Kin membership and cells within ourselves is an interesting one, but I have gained something quite different from Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket’s work; the fact that the Un-Kin members do produce measurable vibrations. This cannot be ignored.

If these vibrations were involuntary, the Un-Kin would not have survived long enough to evolve any form of intelligence. Can you imagine a quarry that yelped “Here I am!” every time it moved?

I would at this time like to propose the following possibility. Perhaps both sides of this argument are correct. Given Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket’s vibration recordings and observations of Un-Kin membership behavior at a distance, and Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup’s discovery of scent patterns between the members, perhaps they use sound to communicate at a distance, much as we do, but use pheromones to form and function in their sentient groupings when they are close enough together.

Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer

11:00:10. From Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

Both Fourth Depth Researcher Kup Tak Kic and Learned Observer Ket Shh Shh have made interesting and thoughtful observations. I, however, cannot agree entirely with either of them.

A herd would depend on continuous observation and appropriate group action, not concealment for protection. So, producing vibrations that could be detected by their predators would have no effect on their chances of survival.

It is not likely, however, that the pheromones used for communication between the members of such a group would alter the neural pathways of the Un-Kin membership to the point of suborning individual cognition to the group mind. Informational exchange between the free-ranging members of the sentient grouping would be essential. Informational exchange between different sentient groupings is also required, and exists. We know this because a sentient grouping has been sent back to the Un-Kin world to obtain additional membership and equipment. If one member could suborn the information processing abilities of another, the Un-Kin would be one massive, collective mind. Because observation shows this is not the case, the nature of the pheromone exchange must be grammatical, not dependent on an overwhelming chemical reaction.

As for the behavior Shh Toc Ket observed between her Un-kin members Tch and Tch Tch, I repeat that instinctual reluctance to function alone is a sufficient explanation for their actions.

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

11:00:11. From Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker, Addressing Kin of my Mind

Sufficient! Since when has sufficiency been a mark of validity! ‘The ocean likes its belly warmed’ was sufficient explanation for our ancestors seeking to understand the sunrise!

If the Un-Kin members communicate by scent, why do the scents vary with much less subtilty and frequency than the vibrations they produce? Has anyone considered that the reason our best recorders, even the ones introduced by Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup, do not detect any of these hypothetical “pheromonal subtleties” is that they do not exist? On the other hand, I have recorded an enormous range of controlled vibrations. I will provide my raw data to any member of this pool who wishes to see them.

Because it takes seven Un-Kin members to talk to one Kin, that does not mean it takes seven members to think of what to say. We communicate by clapping seven sets of speech spines together. The Un-Kin have only one pair of manipulative limbs per member. This physical restriction is what prevents any one member acting on their own to produce any but the simplest words. My contact rotation today provided evidence that even with this physical handicap, a single Un-Kin member could initiate basic communication.

I entered the Un-Kin territory un-aware that the members were hanging a series of nets in the lower tree branches to capture insects for study. Before my speech spines could become entangled in the nets, the Un-Kin member Tch pounded its manipulative limbs together to say “Stop!” At the same time, my recording showed, it emitted a burst of vibration. At that exact moment, all the Un-Kin members on the project ceased their activities. I was recording both scent and sound at this point. There was no appreciable change in air quality between any of the Un-Kin members, but, not only was a command given to the Un-Kin, a single Un-Kin member recognized a need to communicate with me, formulated the correct type of communication and acted on that formulation.

Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker

11:00:12. From Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I have reviewed Shh Toc Ket’s recordings. When she entered the area containing the active Un-Kin there was already an elevated level of pheromones in the air, indicating that the Un-Kin group was in the middle of active communication and the intelligence system was in full operation. With the current unsatisfactory level of our pheromones recording systems, the fleeting exchange between the intelligence system and the member Tch most likely went undetected. When the new recorder/transmitter is completed we will not loose such vital subtleties.

These so-called “bursts” of vibration Shh Toc Ket has observed from the Un-Kin members are exactly that, bursts of fluctuating frequency and random duration. There is no separation of part from part. Instead, the vibrations within each burst are a continuous flow. If there is no way of distinguishing one syllable from the next, how can there be a grammar?

Further, and most importantly, Shh Toc Ket’s vibration recorder shows these sounds are produced when the Un-Kin eat, when they sleep, and when a member is completely alone. I ask you, is any further evidence needed that these vibrations are simply a physical side-effect, like your bristles extending when you get angry?

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

11:00:13. From Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker. Addressing Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup

You really should be more careful with your metaphors. Extending one’s bristles is also the way our Kin in the equatorial regions keep cool. Such mistaken cross-cultural assumptions led to several wars, a fact you can find in the child depth pools.

Shh Toc Ket Learned Speaker

11:00:13. From Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher. Addressing Shh Toc Ket and

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speakers Both

If you have finished bristling at each other, perhaps we could continue with the purpose of this pool; useful exchange.

Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher

11:00:14. From Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I apologize if my input strayed from the productive. What I intended to convey is that if we could make disastrously erroneous assumptions when discovering other Kin, we must be ten times as cautious about what assumptions we make regarding the Un-Kin.

Shh Toc Ket Learned Speaker

11:00:14. From Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I am pleased to hear Shh Toc Ket talk about caution. Given her rash espousal of unfounded theories in a research pool, I thought she had never been taught the word.

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

11:00:15. From Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I move immediately that if Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup makes one more personal attack on Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket, he be denied access to this discussion pool, particularly since he cannot seem to recognize that such attacks made publicly will reflect on the rationality of the theories he backs, many of which are shared by the Kin who use this pool.

Learned Observer Ket Shh Shh’s theory of the dual nature of Un-Kin communication seems to have some observational evidence to credit it. However, if sound was used as a method of communication between the primitive Un-Kin membership, it must have become secondary to the instantaneous communication that could be afforded among the group via pheromones exchange. Controlled vibration may have been a last resort, a type of warning or alarm from one member to the sentient group that they had become too separated from intelligence system to function, or that they were at the end of their assigned task and required instructions.

I must disagree with Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup. The absence of a grammar does not mean that pheromones exchange must suborn a member’s individual judgement or information retention capacity. In fact, given that sentience only occurs within groups, it probably stimulates it. It would certainly eliminate the possibility of an individual member deceiving the intelligence system, which would be extremely advantageous to the group.

Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher

11:00:16. From Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

My lab work on the pheromone transmitter for the Un-Kin is proceeding rapidly. The results of its introduction into the Un-Kin environment will settle the question as to whether the Un-Kin pheromones form a grammar or not.

Since no one else has taken advantage of the opportunity, I would like to show that Shh Toc Ket has finally brought the weaknesses in her own “theory” to open ground with her own words. “Only some of the Un-Kin cells produce vibrations that are…picked up by standard recording equipment” (11:00:06).

If the “controlled vibrations” are Un-Kin speech between individual intelligences, then why don’t all the members produce the same level of sound? However, each of the individual members produce nearly equal levels of pheromones.

I observe that Shh Toc Ket’s contracted observation time is almost finished. Since her access to this pool has the same time limit, we can look forward to a return to reason.

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

11:00:17 From Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I must admit that Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket’s theories are nothing if not infectious. I have just returned from my observation rotation. As the Un-Kin and I struggled through the communication rituals, I found myself wondering at the pause they made between my speech and their response. I deliberately kept myself to the phrases I knew they understood. The pause was still there. If they were acting as one mind, communicating constantly with each other, as both the pheromone theory and my own “dual” theory assert, why would they need to confer between themselves before formulating a response?

I address Shh Toc Ket directly. Will you place your vibration data in the open pool for review?

Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer

11:00:18 From Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher. Addressing Learned Observer Ket Shh Shh

I cannot urge caution in this matter strongly enough. Your researches and input to this pool and all other areas relating to the Un-Kin have been invaluable. By being seen to advocate an unstable theory you are placing your viability as an information resource in jeopardy and consequently, your recent influence in the directing and apportioning of Un-Kin research and contact. I would hate to see an error in judgement herd this influence into the territory of someone less capable.

If the Un-Kin did not evolve the need to control their vibrations, they may not have evolved the mechanism to hear them. The majority of the observational evidence suggests that this is the correct view. Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket admits she had to go to extraordinary lengths to detect the majority of these vibrations. Assuming the Un-Kin have control over the vibrations coming from their food grooves may be equivalent to assuming the beating of our hearts is a part of speech.

I address Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup directly. Will you provide us with information about the workings of your pheromone transmitter?

Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher

11:00:19. From Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I am delighted to note that this recent silence on the part of Shh Toc Ket has resulted in a swing back towards sanity.

The pheromone transmitter will actually be both a recorder and a transmitter. The recording portion has already been used to analyze the air quality around the Un-Kin. The results show the pheromones to be composed of readily available chemicals. A digital release mechanism programmed with the observed patterns and combinations will be able to match the “ebb and flow” that constitutes the Un-Kin grammar (assuming I am correct and that a grammar does exist). This is the portion of the transmitter that I am currently working on.

The resulting mechanism will be somewhat bulky because it will include canisters of the required chemicals. However, consumption rates will be reduced as our facility with the Un-Kin language increases.

With the transmitter, the Un-Kin will be able to communicate with us in our language and we will be able to answer them in theirs. This will place us on the open ground we all desire to reach prior to the return of the Un-Kin messengers.

I estimate another three weeks before the transmitter is ready for presentation to the Un-Kin.

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

11:00:20. From Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I commend Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup on his diligence and clarity of purpose, if not on his manners. If his transmitter works as predicted, his allotment of influence will be greatly expanded and he will doubtlessly be given the contact time and other resources he deserves.

I am looking forward to the results of the experiment.

Has anyone in this pool had contact with Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket? I have attempted direct contact with her and had no response. I have not heard her input in any of the other pools either.

Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer

11:01:20. From Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher. Addressing Learned Observer Ket Shh Shh

Unfortunately, I believe Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket is sulking. She has withdrawn all comment from her allotted pools, has not kept up her academic commitments and also has not used her contact time with the Un-Kin. I also see she has removed her vibration recorder from the Un-Kin territory.

Today, the communicating group of Un-Kin asked about her. I am extremely excited. This is the first direct indication we have had that they are able to understand that we operate as individuals.

Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher

11:02:21. From Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

If Shh Toc Ket is not using her contracted time or reciprocating her academic grants, she forfeits both, according to her contracts. I would like to nominate Third Depth Researcher ShhTckKic Kic to receive her contact time.

I ran a highly successful laboratory test of the modulator for the pheromone transmitter today. I have included the results for your review.

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

11:03:21. From Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher. Addressing Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup

Your modulator seems to be proceeding extremely well. With your next entry, will you be able to provide details on how you will handle the reproduction of conflicting pheromone emissions from two or more Un-Kin members?

I suggest that we put off reassigning Learned Speaker’s Shh Toc Ket’s contact time until the results of the Un-Kin reception of the pheromone transmitter are analyzed. At that time, an appropriate assignment can be made.

Kup Tak Kic, Fourth Depth Researcher

11:04:21. From Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I would like to remind all concerned about the portion of our contract which states we may miss up to nine contact periods without losing our time. Learned Speaker Shh Toc Ket has missed only seven.

Ket Shh Shh, Learned Observer

11:05:21. From Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

Learned Observer Shh Shh Ket makes a valid point. However, we also agreed to modify the contracts to allow for time imperatives. With only four months left before the Un-Kin messengers return, we definitely have a time imperative.

Toc Toc Kup, Learned Speaker

11:06:21. From Shh Toc Ket, Learned Speaker. Addressing Kin of my Mind

I apologize for my recent lack of attention to this pool, and to my academic duties.

I agree with Learned Speaker Toc Toc Kup. We have a time imperative. Therefore, I did not wait for laboratory confirmation before field testing the working translation and transmission version of my vibration box in the Un-Kin environment.

I would like to present for your review the recorded translation of the Un-Kin individual response to my introduction of controlled vibration reproduction into their immediate environment.

I am ready to retract my theory of individual intelligence.

UN-KIN (translated): Walker! Get out here! The ant-eater’s talking!

Shh Toc Ket Learned Speaker