The President extended her hand. "On Earth, this is a symbol of friendship."
Standing by the open panel door just inside their spacecraft, the contingency of aliens examined her hand curiously for a moment. Hesitantly, the one in front mimicked the gesture taking her hand.
When the President shook its hand, there was great applause amongst all the world's leaders and people of influence gathered in the open field.
The President smiled. "I must express again how surprised we are that your people resembled humans."
It was true. Aside from bigger eyes, elongated fingers, and pointy ears, the aliens' appearance was remarkably similar to Earthlings.
"We look forward to you returning to Earth for a longer visit, perhaps even deboarding your ship," the President concluded.
Again, the aliens paused. They looked at each other and shrugged but managed to crinkle a smile on their lips before regarding her once more. They maintained their crooked grins while they copied the way Earthlings waved their hands as the panel door closed and sealed shut.
With a whir and thrum, their spacecraft --a magnificent, sleek orb adorned with an array of blinking lights-- lifted from the ground and then zipped away in a flash towards the heavens.
The General stepped beside the President as everyone continued to admire the rainbow vapour trail the spaceship had traced along the blue sky.
"A quiet folk, aren't they?" the General noted. "They didn’t say a single thing."
The President, still smiling, shook her head. "They didn’t have to. They are obviously beyond the spoken word," she said as she turned to him. "We should be so privileged to have made First Contact with such a superior intellect.”
“Fascinating how much they look like us,” he said.
“I find it comforting, actually.” She looked wistfully back up towards the sky. “It gives us something to strive for, to achieve what other human lifeforms in the universe have accomplished.”
Far off in distant space, the spaceship travelled to another galaxy in just a matter of what the people of Earth refer to as a week. It arrived at the sixth planet orbiting a binary star and landed.
Another giant orb flew in from the pink horizon and landed beside it. The first orb’s door panel slid open. Then the lights blinked and flashed as the craft shuddered with an angry rumble, sending the alien travellers running out then hurrying away. The craft’s vibrations and blinking immediately ceased.
After a moment, the second orb asked, “How did First Contact with the beings of that young planet go?”
“Disappointing,” the newly arrived orb replied, “they ignored me entirely, spoke complete gibberish, and worse, they looked almost identical to the parasitic worms I picked up at a rest stop on my way there.”