They're Made Out of Meat
Archive – Take it; it's yours (just tell me where it will end up).
Category – Humor, Parody, General
Rating – PG-13
Warnings – Transformers see us in a different light.
Summary – After receiving Bumblebee's report, two Transformers decide to re-evaluate their plans of immediately launching for the Earth.
Review – Greatly appreciated.
Disclaimer – Any money-wise profitable aspects in regard to this movie certainly are not affiliated with me.
Author's Note – This story can be viewed as a follow-up of the original Terry Bisson story, the brilliance of which led me to seek out his permission to expand it. This story also tries to solve/accentuate some of the movie's loopholes. Also, since it's been half a month (as of this writing) since I sent him the email asking for the permission and Terry hasn't replied to me, I would take his silence as a "permission granted". Hey, Terry, if you are reading this and are not happy, send me an email and I will promptly remove this article.
Author's Second Note – First of all, thank y'all for your fantastic reviews! Second, the word "Transformers" has been replaced by "Cybertronians". Thanks, Minnra!
"If this is a joke, Lieutenant, it isn't funny."
"No, this is no joke, or at least not one as far as I know. Bumblebee's report is thoroughly consistent with all the data we have so far acquired regarding the designated planet; hence, unless the agent is unaware of how seriously we take his report, the probability that his statement is truthful approximates 96.7 percent."
"So it's true, then."
"I'm afraid so,"
"There's no question about it,"
"Are you sure he landed in the correct sector?"
"Okay, so let me get this straight. Uh, when are we launching for Planet B-294555 again?"
"Four Cybertron cycles from now."
"So that basically means, four Cybertron cycles plus forty Cybertron cycles of traveling later, we will…land on Planet B-294555, which, according to Bumblebee's report, is dominated by…meat."
"Correction: a native race, which is made out of meat."
"That's ridiculous. Meat can't dominate a planet. I trust that the concept of meat that you have in your core processor can be recognized as mine?"
"Mostly, yes, except that you are refusing to accept the possibility that meat might be more important than we want it to be."
"Bah! Am I presumed to believe that there is thinking meat?"
"Prime, you know as well as I do that there is one kind – the only kind – of thinking meat in this face of the universe – the meat that sent in radio signals then that creepy disk thing! The meat that has consciousness, self-awareness, and emotions. The meat that might as well be loving meat, raging meat and happy meat."
"Good Primus, you mean that meat."
"Precisely, that meat. That curious meat."
"This is…a most disturbing development. I thought that we were spared contact with it for good – apparently not."
"Not only that, it looks like we will be forced into direct communication. Do you have any idea of the meat world and the life of meat?"
"…Make it quick."
"First, being a primitive creature, the meat is technologically backwards to an excessive degree. Their meat capacity allows them to access only a very shallow depth of logical process, which means they are pretty much irrational and unable to cope with any matter of higher level of atomic composition."
"How high are we talking?"
"Let's just say that to them, making a normal radio requires their entire wealth and billion years of research and several technological revolutions. As a matter of fact, they don't even have the elementary technology to produce copies of themselves. Another limitation placed by their meat status is their inability to sustain any real damage to their soft and fragile meat. Self-transportation of any relevant distance is also unthinkable for them, since they deactivate immediately once their meat moves too much."
"Really? Then how do they manage to get around, then?"
"They do have this special meat container, like a ship or an aircraft. The meat usually puts some other meat onboard when it travels; some of the meat it carries is meant to be company, and others, to eat."
"Meat-eating meat. Okay, fine, I know some Cybertronians scrap other Cybertronians just to repair themselves (an act that I NEVER approve of), but this is too much. Meat that eats meat? Why does it do it, anyway?"
"A meat system is unable to generate energy for itself. It just isn't self-sufficient."
"Gross. Well, tell me what they can do, then."
"They can make machines – a lifeless robotic life form, so to speak – in the very loose sense of the word. Bumblebee sent us holograms of randomly chosen samples of the structure of meat-made machines, and Ratchet concluded that the meat invented the machines by means of studying the structure of Megatron, which makes them inherently evil and naturally inferior."
"Meat dominance over machines! What an atrocity. Now, I don't love Megatron, but the poor thing would probably die of spark failure if he encounters this…machine-wielding meat."
"I agree one hundred percent."
"But that doesn't explain how they got to dominate the planet. They just don't seem to be capable of accomplishing that."
"Well, while various factors influence the meat dominance over the planet, none is so persuasive as their ultra-expansionist, mass-production nature."
"I thought you said their technology is too primitive for them to produce copies of themselves."
"Oh no, of course they can't. Not in the way we are familiar with, anyway. But while they don't have the technology, they do, however, have the natural mechanism. You see, that's the thing with meat. According to Ratchet's research, they create copies of themselves by, well, direct contact. With a very specific part of their meat. Which involves a very specific kind of fluid. Which, Ratchet infers, is also part of the meat and vital to the meat-making-meat process."
"Oh my Primus, meat that makes meat with meat."
"Why yes! Also, it appears that the commencement of this process isn't spontaneous. Although sometimes external communication, almost always a message that involves uncovered meat, can stimulate another very specific kind of fluid, which is instrumental in prompting the process, a great amount of contact, direct or indirect, prior to the process is definitely required, even though a successful production will not necessarily follow and often results in permanent deactivation of the meat system. Strangely, according to my research, although the process is both painful and dangerous, the meat is obsessed with it."
"Obsessed meat! Next you are going to tell me all about passionate meat."
"I thought we already established that."
"Fine. Anything else worth noting?"
"Well, I suppose I should inform you of some of the most important aspects of meat culture, which they believe to be the driving force of the meat society, even though it's just really material resources. Which they believe to be given by an invisible being, a so-called 'God', who created them in his own meat image, and they have a very special place in his core processor, and placed them in the center of the universe. Curiously, this belief is without any proof or evidence, but the meat established it and believed it strongly. Even today, sometimes meat is quick to dismiss the existence of other intelligent species simply because it challenges this belief."
"How boastful and vain for a race that is made out of meat! But…what about some other meat? You know, the kind that we got that disk from?"
"It's not unusual that some meat is more inclined to find other intelligent species than other meat, as it suspects – and rightly so – that intelligent beings are not impossible simply in virtue of physics and mathematics. However, as I reported, the meat is by nature distrustful, suspicious and against anything different, and for some meat, extra-territorial (i.e. ultra-different) species are naturally evil but can be dealt with by some exceptional meat. Which is why I discouraged contact when we first got hold of the disk."
"You did quite the right thing. Seriously, who would want to make contact with arrogant and infuriating meat? But, now that for all we know the cube might be in the meat's slimy limb extensions, what are you proposing?"
"Well, as the Lieutenant and culture analyst, I propose we immediately launch and reach the sector as soon as possible, to get the edge we might need against the Decepticons. According to my research, meat easily panics (usually manifested by meat strains) or fumes (usually manifested by vibrations of a disturbingly high frequency) over the existence of robotic life forms unconventional to their perception of reality, especially when attacked by them. Unfortunately, the meat's fury and fear does not lead to better defense, as one would assume, but rather heated internal and/or physical conflicts among the meat themselves. In other words, the fragile civilization that is known as meat will crumble by itself even before the Decepticons unleash their full-scale attack."
"I see; what are the stakes?"
"For one, without meat in their way the Decepticons will acquire the AllSpark perhaps sooner than we have estimated. Uh, and perhaps the consequence that our race is partly responsible for the destruction of meat, which is a little sad."
"Right…right… Uh, what does Bumblebee think of all of this?"
"While he is the sole secret agent on Planet B-294555, I'm afraid his opinion won't amount to much."
"Why? Was his logic circuit damaged when he crash-landed?"
"No, nothing of that kind. You see, Prime, when we received the transmission, besides the holograms and instead of a coherent text message, it was a number of lengthy audio files arranged in a seemingly random order."
"Meat sounds, to be exact. The sort of noise you would hear when you flap or flip meat, or squeeze air through a meat hole. I have to assume that's what meat communicates with."
"I'd say he is overly excited. It's as if he's mightily impressed by meat."
"I regret my decision. He's now tainted. He is always so impressionable, susceptible to such meatly influence. He's always been too quick to love anything un-Cybertronian. I should have known what I was getting when I dispatched a robot that once bonded with the seed of a ferocious robot-eating plant then fell in love with a black hole 'on first sight'."
"It isn't your fault, Prime. After all, he was the only Autobot who had free time on his hands."
"Well, I hope that mother of his will think along the same lines. Pit, I'd even appreciate it if she doesn't tear down our office like she did last time. So, our secret agent sent us a bunch of meat sounds?"
"A wide variety of it. It took us a good seventeen Cybertron cycles to sort out, decipher and extract information from those sounds. Hence, I'm proud to present our meat sound database, a complex, multi-dimension translation tool with which any Autobot would be able to sound like meat and even engage in an intelligent conversation with meat. An idea that I'm not particularly fond of, I might add."
"Okay, fine, so we've found the way to communicate with meat because we are supposed to talk to it. Brilliant."
"Oh, of course, when asked of how we came to speak meat sounds by meat, I advise us not to alert it of the above development. It would be too complicated for it to understand, so instead, according to what we can find about Bumblebee's transmission, we should lie that we have learned meat sounds via the Internet."
"A primeval, extremely meatly version of a solitaire program."
"How strangely appropriate. But what if some meat meets us as soon as we land? Will that be too quick for the meat to believe that we already have accessed the Internet?"
"This is meat we are dealing with, Prime. As I stated, their meat capacity limits their comprehension of facts to such an extent that it will not allow them to notice the glitch."
"Yeah… Uh, are you sure of accuracy of the information you just presented?"
"As far as meat goes? I'm afraid yes."
"Right…right… Okay. I've made my decision: We are not leaving for Planet B-294555. Instead, we will land on the dark side of Planet B-294555's moon."
"Why? Aren't we going to fight for the AllSpark?"
"Of course we are going to. But we will wait till Bumblebee gives the next signal."
"But he doesn't give the next signal until he spots a Decepticon! There can be many casualties between the time when the first Decepticon actually arrives on that planet and Bumblebee finally spots him!"
"Oh. But what about 'Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.'?"
"That would be a contradiction in terms, Jazz. Meat isn't sentient; things with metallic central processor units are sentient. Since meat can't have metallic central processor units, it can't be sentient."
"Fine. Look, I'm not spending any time more than necessary with meat and I will try to avoid meeting meat as long as the circumstance permits."
"Hmm. Not that I care for the meat, Prime, but are you sure this is wise? I mean, our delay could cause us to make the meat-infested planet our permanent home."
"Of course it won't. I mean, even though we do lose the AllSpark to the Decepticons, why would I stay on the Earth? Well, unless my logic circuits are damaged by meat, of course…"