It took ten days before the probes were finally able to come up with an accurate translation program. During that time, they had to fight off one enemy attack. The enemy fleet kept one ship that presumably recorded the entire fight before jumping back to the manufacturing plant. Just like last time, the only unique weapons used were the railguns.
After the translation program came in, Lucas set his plans into motion. One necessary part of his plan was for him to be on the ship to make contact with the jellyfish.
What he needed to do was to interact with jellyfish personally. He wasn’t sure how they would react to seeing him since they were aliens after all. What he could be sure of was that receiving a message would be far too impartial. At least, that had been the usual reaction from his dimension’s past.
Humans had imagined other life out there, and many alien civilizations had also imagined other forms of life. Receiving a message from an alien species without an image of the alien itself was often met with suspicion and sometimes outright hostility. The best psychologists of the the human species came to the conclusion that all species had an innate fear of the unknown.
Receiving a message with an alien’s body or face included was often met with, again, suspicion and mostly peaceful gestures. Of course, this was under the assumption one wanted peace. If you wanted war or subjugation, it would always be met with hostility no matter if you had a selfie included or not.
Lucas, of course, wanted peace. So, taking his species long history as an example, he decided to be onboard the ship when it made contact. Which was why he was in orbit around the jellyfish planet whenever his ship came out of hyperspace.
Activating the comms, he sent a message down to the planet on the same frequency as the battleship he’d tagged had. All the message said was ‘hello.’ The probes tracked one of the jellyfish closest to the comm relay station as it immediately took off. The probes had identified over two thousand comm relay stations, but this one was the only one they had a frequency for. The others wouldn’t pick up their broadcast.
The jellyfish arrived at the station and paused there for one minute. Afterwards, Lucas’ ship picked up an incoming response in the alien language which was automatically translated. “Who call us? The messenger left ten units.”
Lucas opened a video link to the relay. Upon opening it he saw a blob with one large eye floating in front of the camera. When the blob-like jellyfish, saw Lucas, it recoiled in shock. It floated a good four feet from the camera before slowly swimming back.
“You are alien.” The alien’s response was a statement. Lucas had no idea what to make of that.
“Yes, I am an alien. One that is being invaded by a fleet composed of robots.” Lucas decided to be blunt. He really didn’t have time to be wasting.
“Robots informed us of threat. Are you threat?”
“I believe so, yes.”
“The robots not ours. Once were, no longer.”
Lucas frowned. “Are you saying that you built these robots?”
“Affirmative. Once owned, no longer owned.”
“These robots are rogue? They are destroying species on their own?”
“Robots ordered to explore and destroy threats. Interpret wrong. Threats include all intelligent life. Try to stop. Interpret order as threat. Order ignored.”
Lucas immediately recalled the Gu’tloop. They were a species that hadn’t reached FTL capabilities and instead built robot probes. These probes were ordered to explore the universe and eliminate threats to the Gu’tloop existence. Four hundred years later, the Gu’tloop had reached the stars but couldn’t find any neighbors.
They eventually found out that the robot probes had followed their orders to eliminate threats. Unfortunately, the order meant that any life form could eventually become a threat to the Gu’tloop and therefore must be eliminated. As a result, life in all forms around the Gu’tloop had been wiped out. Luckily the robot probes ran into humans who had promptly destroyed all traces of them through viruses designed by their AIs.
Comparing that situation with the one they were in, there were many parallels. Apparently the jellyfish had created robots since they themselves couldn’t explore the universe.
He decided to ask the jellyfish some more questions. “Would you like the robots to stop?”
“Robots stop satisfactory. Extreme joy if done.”
“If I could do so, would you warn the robots?”
“Negative. Robots never harm creators, robots harm invaders. Robots’ watchers know of invader. We warn invader danger. Robots coming soon.”
After Lucas puzzled through that sentence, he immediately accessed the probes still in the manufacturing plant. Right as he did so, a fleet of two hundred cruisers suddenly vanished as they reached jump range. They appeared, two seconds later, all around Lucas.
Lucas looked around at the cruisers surrounding him. “Great. This is one party I wish I wasn’t invited to.”
Lasers ripped into Lucas’ ship, causing it to vanish in a large explosion. The jellyfish below had multiple ripples flow through its body, appearing to shudder as its comm with Lucas’ ship suddenly vanished.
A robotic voice came from the comm relay in the jellyfish language. “Intruder has been dealt with. Further contact with invaders is prohibited. Making contact with the invaders must be punished so as to prevent further threat to the Hulthan race.”
With that said, fifty cruisers fired their plasma cannons with robotic precision straight down at the planet. The combined might allowed the plasma to penetrate through the planet’s thick atmosphere, reaching the Hulthan that had been communicating with Lucas.
A shrill squeal could be heard for a brief second as the superheated plasma reached their target. The Hulthan exploded as its flammable interior was breached by the star-hot plasma. A trail of fire from where the superheated plasma had penetrated the atmosphere could be seen.
The hydrogen and methane gas in the atmosphere had lit on fire from the heat of the plasma passing through it. A couple seconds later, the freezing temperatures of the gas giant and the helium gas put out the fire, leaving not a single trace of the pitiful Hulthan as it attempted to correct its species’ atrocious mistake.