“Yes, you’re definitely on the right mission to learn about the genius of human scientific questing,” Vizzini enthused, and around him, the scientists of the Inconceivable nodded vigorously.
“I do not see how,” Fle’ek deadpanned, and Ellie choked daintily on her drink.
Captain Vizzini gave him a smile that was almost fatherly – which is to say, patronizing. “Let’s walk you through this. How many cockamamie experiments has the human race performed?”
After asking the ship to define “cockamamie,” the Logic science officer immediately replied, “Since the first contact between our two species, five hundred and ninety-seven, counting only those experiments that were conducted with our knowledge.”
“And how many led to findings that changed the course of science?”
“Two. The attempt to unlock telekinetic abilities in humans led to the emergence of neurothread theory and the discovery of midichlorians.”
Doall sighed, “Too bad midichlorian threads were linked to narcissism and bad judgement. Telepathy would be so tactically useful.”
Fle’ek nodded in acknowledgment and continued, “Second, the tesseract distilling process, which results in biofuels that burn at 302 percent efficiency and inspired the field of tesserchemistry.”
“Oi!” Lt. Commander Dearly protested. “Don’t be forgetting the 90-degree polarity reversal.”
The Logic gave him a small bow. “I had not. Large-scale applications have not yet been found.”
“Ach, ‘tis a handy little trick, though, isn’t it Jardin?” Deary asked as he swigged back a thimble-sized drink that nonetheless seemed to kick him like a mule. The tesseract distilling process didn’t just make potent biofuels, after all.
“There’s more than that,” Doall chimed in. “Sheb Wooly-Mendelson’s attempts to prove that the unicorns of Magihapi had in fact been violet instead of pink changed everything we knew about the evolution of creatures on that planet.”
Fle’ek raised an eyebrow in strong protest. “His attempt to unlock the color gene cause a mutation that resulted in monocular vision and carnivorous appetites.”
“Yes! And flying. We had no idea they were apex predators. Well, until they ate Mendelson and his team, but it changed our understanding of life on that planet.”
“It sparked an accelerated devolution of the entire ecosystem. It was a spectacular failure.”
“But we were the first species to prove accelerated devolution was even possible,” Ellie countered, and the science officer of the Rational Plausibility had to pause in his argument. Jeb hid his smile behind his drink. All those lunchtimes she spent arguing with Lieutenant LaFuentes were starting to pay off.
The Inconceivable’s captain chimed into the silence. “Exactly my point! Failure is just advancement in a different direction. So, are you learning anything?”
“Yes,” Fle’ek replied slowly. “The human capacity for rationalization is unfathomable.”
They all had to drink to that.