Third Reply From Planet X To Emissary
Your third rambling report received. No wonder your resources need frequent boosting. You use far too much power on pointless invective. We would have arranged extra facilities long ago, but you’d have frittered them away by sounding off. We know you are partial to equations, so please note that capacity for loquacity equals mendacity. Yes, we have been boning up – is that the right expression? – on English. In case you are as far adrift linguistically as psychologically, the observation implies that fibbers are inclined to smother their falsehoods under an avalanche of words. You will recall that your friend Dwinkles once went on a jaunt like yours and, in order to extend it, reported to us what we later learned was a tissue of lies. Though we are not suggesting that you are culpable of the same conduct at present, we advise frequent self-appraisal. Would it help if we were to dispatch a top shrink to give you a good going-over?
We were well aware of the dangers of sending you out alone, but couldn’t afford to support two voyagers at the time. We can now (even separately), so note that one way or another you must accept assistance. If you are not prepared to confront a psychiatrist, be aware that we have brought Dwolf out of retirement. You might well quail at the prospect of being hounded by the king of trackers, who – thanks to our new diversification plan – is also a partially qualified head doctor. Big D. will hardly need to put an ear to the ground in order to locate you. Did you really think that we would not have contingency plans for coping with a maverick? You are indeed irreplaceable (just as well), but you are not indispensable.
As for your allusion to treading on corns, the question of where you put your feet has caused disquiet here for some time. Permit us to suggest that one or other of them is usually in your mouth. We’re getting quite good at the funny stuff, don’t you think? Anyway, consider our point.
We have digested your comments concerning human beings. It seems that something must be done about these creatures, and you may rest assured that we are giving this matter the thought it deserves. Please don’t annihilate homo sapiens at this stage – the species might be useful to us.
Your appendices told us most of what we needed to know. However, we believe that the essential information could have been produced with far less toil on your part. Try to remember the old eighty-twenty business rule – 80% of the desired result is usually achieved with 20% of the available effort, while the residual 20% of a perfect outcome requires the remaining 80% of work. That game isn’t worth the candle.
Kindly send your next report soon, as our star has become very hot. It’s marginally comforting that we have no call for meat or fish, since every fridge on this planet is now on the blink. Do not lose sight of the fact that while we are largely in your hands, you are (thanks to Dwolf) more or less in ours. A stand-off.
Regards from your worried but still hopeful support group at Mission Control.
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