Hobbes was standing on a large rock, while the alien machine had its feet planted in a dry river bed, and yet he still only came up to the middle of its chest. Still, he was amazingly nonchalant about the encounter, opposed to the soundman De Zufingia who kept throwing furtive glances at the the two other machines.
"...battery at 95 per-cent, directional mics are hot - whenever the two of your are ready."
"Thank you, no time like the present. Hello listners, we're live with...
"Boss we're recording - you can edit in the intro later, and we shouldn't keep armored people with laers waiting. I'm sure they had other plans for today beffore we showed up."
"Plans, thats as good a starting point as any. Question one my good man, er being - the one all my listeners, and myself - and probably Deiego are wondering - what are you doing here on Earth, and what are you planning to do?"
The machine dropped its elbows to its waist, then scissored its forearms, holding the palms upward, left hand over right.
"OK, and what does that mean? and if I might remind you, this is audio only."It repeated the motion, then the translation device kicked in with its usual mechanical stutter. "When you do not know or disMis the poss Ibil Ity"
"So its the the alien equivalent of a shrug?" Hobbes raised his shoulders, then dropped them to demonstrate."Yes"
"How can you come billions of light years, and not know what you're doing here?"
"TechNIcal problem with ships. I am not a [SQUEEL] [pause] repAir indIviduAl. I don't know deTAils. I just folLow ordErs.""Was that noise the untranslated version of spaceship enginereer."
"Do you agree with those orders?"
"No Opinion. Not my place."
"Surely you must have some thoughts on the issue. You must have come exceptionally far to just trust what everyone else says."
"Home World is place of many [Squeel] famIliEs and [squeel] close workIng groups. Many wars damAge planet a lot. New group trys to [squeel]...[squeel] [alien shrug] talk out probLEms. Puts war sciENce to good use to show good will by doing imPOsIble - sent citIzens to all three moons. Now helps most of home world"
"So your planet is run by a combination united nations and NASA - space program and world government.""They just help. Still DisagREements.Some of all factiONs on each colOny fleet. Small amount of REsources on each ship. CaptAIn full comANd to avoid waste and inFIghtINg."
"This is only one of many fleets?""SevRAl others. Most CloSEr to home. We are a little lost."
"Understatement of the year. But if you're just lost, why did you attack, rather than ask for help?"
"CaptAIn murdERed. Some think this is good sign this plaNEt belOng to us. Others belIEve we should avoid you. FightINg within fleet."
"So you're as lacking in unity as we are?""Yes"
"I take it since we're talking - and you listen to my show - that you personally don't mind humans?""Yes"
"Would you go so far as to help us rebuild?""I..."
"Is something wrong?""The othErs with me might disAgree with my answer."
"Ah, that divisive, huh? Well, I'll try to ask less pointed questions then. I prefer not to be in the middle of weapon backed arguments."
"Ok, well... damn it! So eager to start I overlooked the basics. Sorry. Should we need a follow up interview, what is you name?""[six note signiture whistle]"
"Is there a good way to find you?"
"We'll be here."