What they want
Chapter One – the Brief
Tiresiasia swished through the tubular spaces of Zetnadov Inc. (translation: Market Psyche Analysis) its tentacles shimmering gently in the blue light. Its boss, Athenum, had summoned it for a special mission, and it did not want to be late for such an honour.
Athenum was crouched inside a polymer heat ball and its scale tone shifted gradually from mauve to deep pink during the consultation.
"Apologies, Tiresiasia, for having to address you from this. I am having a problem with the temperature drop – the annual atmosphere cleanse, always happens."
"No problem, my superior Equal. My mission?" It hoped it didn't sound too eager. Servility was not well regarded on Uranus.
Athenum went straight to the point. Tiresiasia was the best shapeshifter on Uranus and Uranus was having a little problem in a remote part of the solar system. Zetnadov's brand of intense depth psychology market research could well be the answer.
"It's the Earth. Humans. Their desire nature is becoming troublesome, Of course, we believe that everything in the system must receive its due. But give them one space cake..they want another and another…upsets the balance."
"Couldn't we just throw an asteroid at them, as with the dinosaurs?"
Athenum's scales took on a green tinge. This showed he was not satisfied with the rationality of its answer.
"That, Tiresiasia, was an accident. Uranus had nothing to do with it.
It waggled its tentacles in response, a sign of agreement. Non servile agreement, naturally.
"No, we need to find out why they want what they want -why they want so much andwhat is it they want they don't get that they want so much…"
Tiresiasia's tentacles quivered and stretched. It was confused.
"Um, my equal Superior, do you mean they don't really know what they want but if we find out what it is they really want we could give it to them and then they would calm down?"
Athenum was impressed. If that was how it thought when it was confused, there was no doubt that praise of Tiresiasia as an operative was not exaggerated.
"We have chosen a demographic sample for you to explore. Different genders, sexual preferences, class, ethnicity, education level – Athenum couldn't help a slight cough here – education level , temperament, physical fitnes; you do understand all these terms, don't you, Tiresiasia?"
"We did human difference in the first term, before Venusian pseudo unity."
"Yes, of course you did. Well..you are to go and…(another cough) interact with them in order to glean their depth motivation…Aphroditum is going to give you the more detailed briefing. Metta and Androgynehood to you, Operative Tiresiasia."
It was being dismissed although, on Uranus, this was referred to interaction closure.
Tiresiasia swirled back through the tubes, a certain unevenness in its bounce. Interacting with humans. Presumably it would have to take on the shape of one:be gendered, have generative parts and a brain with a lizard like limbic system. This was going to be existentially provoking. (translation: The mission stank.)