Paxo's Progress

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By Mike3839
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    It began as an ordinary diplomatic sortie from the planet Paxo. The attaches, plump in their best feathery outerwear, had already selected a landing site near what was plainly a pre-industrial homestead. Pity filled their gizzards at the thought of their alien brethren eking out an existence in mud-and-wallow pens.
    At any rate their Oviater touched down on a grassy knoll. The pinkish nexus-lobe which hung across their faces would maintain a constant neural link to the ship, and transmit communications to the relay in orbit above the planetary atmosphere.
    The attache party had gone but a few meters when it was besieged by gigantic bipedal savages. They snorted and grunted and herded the stunned Paxons along with strange, three-tined metal implements. Before the Paxons knew what was happening they were bustled into an enclosure with the primitives.
    Slowly the truth began to dawn. Somehow these bipeds had gained the upper hand and enslaved their brethren. They were now the dominant half. This startling development was relayed to the ship. Afterwards, the attaches tried to incite a revolt.
    Captivity had apparently robbed the primitives of their senses, however. No matter how much the attaches bumped and pecked, all they could get out of them was an infernal "gobble gobble!" All attempts had failed when suddenly, it began to rain.
    The primitives jostled and turned their heads to the sky. At first the Paxons could not understand: what sort of behavior was this? They soon reasoned that the primitives were invoking some ancient deity. Thinking it advantageous to follow local custom, the attaches did as their brethren did.
    As a result, the entire diplomatic corps was drowned.

    The relay dutifully transmitted news of this disaster to the home planet, where an angry murmur was soon to be heard. To think that any race would resort to such barbarism--! in the Ruling Assembly of Meleagris, Tomas Gallopavo seized the opportunity to press for a war of liberation against the sadistic Earth scum.
    The leaders needn't have feared for volunteers. Thousands of young idealistic Paxons swarmed the recruitment posts, more than could possibly be used. The halls were filled with eager voices chanting like well-oiled machines the lament of the primitives: "gobble gobble!" It became a rallying cry that filled ten thousand throats. A raiding party was culled from the first recruiting drive. Within a month they were launched into a galactic sinkhole, to begin what was termed the Mother of All Battles.
    Gravity pressed the aeronauts into their specially-prepared seats with suffocating power. Their flesh was drawn tight. Within thirty pulse-beats the crushing pressure lessened as internal guidance systems adjusted to gravitational inertia. Sinkhole transit would slash their transit-time considerably and give the Paxon invasion force the element of surprise.
    They had neglected, however, to account for the space-time quotient. While they were able to compensate for spatial distortion and error, the historical implications were something else again. Witness...

    A group of men with stovepipe hats and stout demeanor trampled through the forest shouting hymns, and wondering where all God's bounty had gone to this fine morning. A ball of fire suddenly whooshed down, blasting the wayward pilgrims with the fiery breath of Satan. Leaves rushed past the men as, traipsing on tippy-toe they approached.
    The bushes rattled, and one of the men cried: "Heaven preserve us! Lucifer himself doth walk amongst us! Brethren, we are besieged!" The words had the desired effect. As one the men took aim in the general direction of the weeds and opened fire with their muskets.
    In an instant the Mother of All Battles became the Mother of All Retreats. Musket balls tore through the Paxons' ranks, and a score fell to the first volley. Hardly had the invaders regrouped to strike anew when a second volley shredded their forces.
    Disorganization now carried the day. The young recruits, green to the core, shambled back to the ship, shedding several years of plumage while they were at it. They didn't even bother with a  systems check. The ship lifted off in a plume of orange fire. The last thing the Paxons heard as they raced into orbit was the mad bipeds screaming: "Hosanna! Hosanna! Praise to the Lord!"

    The Paxons would never again suffer such humiliation. The Earth was branded a menace, to be avoided at all costs. Pilots were trained to recognize and elude bipedal incursions, while mothers spoke of Earth in whispers to frighten children into submission.
    And on that pleasant autumn morn in colonial Massachusetts, Miles Standish gave thanks for the wondrous bounty which the Lord had bestowed on their humble settlement.
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