} <camera pans down a dark, slime-soaked corridor, lit only by a dim
} yellow light. an armored door hisses open and the POV enters the
} room to be confronted by two reptillian monsters, each with seven
} appendages and no visible eyes and huge, drool-slicked fangs. one
} alien is puffing on what appears to be a neon-pink hookah.>
} Alien 1: Bah wheep grannah wheep, ninnie bong...
} <cue dubbing>
} Alien 1: ...just don't know anymore. I mean, what does it all really
} Alien 2: What the hell are you talking about?
} Alien 1: No really, since we gained space-faring capacity twenty-seven
} solar cycles ago, we've visited, what, twenty, thirty civilized
} sentient species? And we've conquered and eaten all of them. Sure,
} it's a great life, but is this all there is to it?
} Alien 2: Whoa dude, I think you should just pass me the pipe man
} because that's enough for you.
} Alien 1: C'mon. You can't tell me you haven't thought about it.
} You've heard the creatures crying out to invisible beings before we
} eat them. Didn't you ever wonder why?
} Alien 2: Insanity is the predominant trait among sentients. We're the
} exception, you know that.
} Alien 1: No, listen. I've been running some of the tapes through the
} computer and I'm pretty sure they believe in some sort of all-mighty
} spirits. They believe these spirits are their creators and protectors.
} Alien 2: What?? The Universe exists in a black hole created in another
} universe from really dense matter defecated by a dying Fthnargian
} Carrion Bird. It's been mathematically proven.
} Alien 1: But what if we're wrong? What if there is a creator? How can
} so many species believe in a higher power if it's not true? Take this
} planet we're surveying now, they've got over 1100 seperate religions!
} I've been translating their communications!
} Alien 2: What?! You're nuts! For all we know that species could be
} insane and their madness could be contageous!
} Alien 1: No! They're not mad! They have many powerful deities!
} They have Jesus, and Buddha, and Regis, and Ghandi, and something
} called the Inter-collective Computer Network Oracle...
} Alien 2: Look, all those "deities" are probably nothing more than
} glorified politicians. I bet most of them are just war heroes elevated
} to an honored memory.
} Alien 1: You think so?
} Alien 2: I'd put money on it. I bet this Ghandi person was ruthless
} tyrant who conquered and slaughtered billions.
} Alien 1: Wow. He sounds great.
} Alien 2: Besides, we're scheduled to descend on this planet in two more
} cycles. They'll all be eaten and you'll forget about this whole thing.
} Alien 2: I guess you're right. But, when we descend, I got dibs
} on "Regis."
} <the aliens chuckle and refill the hookah>
} You owe the Oracle an anatomical digest of the green chicks from
} Star Trek.