The Shamayan are a strange ancient species who claim (perhaps in jest) some relationship to humanity. They certainly watch a lot of old human movies. They are also the most prolific scholars in the Elysium Flare galaxy and will write a paper about almost anything. Where you or I might tweet or blog, a Shamayan will publish.
From the text:
We were drinking (well, those of us that drink were drinking) in an outpost cantina on Lisl 4, way out in the Stiff Whites, you know, not at the rim, really, but way out in the Manichaean arm. Well, suffice to say, far from the Hegemony but not so far that no one had heard of it. A horror story but not a genuine fear, let’s say. Anyway, a tough bar, and so everyone is on their guard, but a good bar, and so everyone is singing.
Well I’m six liters over my limit, very drunk, and everyone else always thinks it’s hilarious to see a Shamayan drunk, because they have this image of us as super brains and as aloof and seceretly most of them see us as the fathers of their species. There’s a kind of ancestor reverence going on even though there’s no real evidence any of that’s true. Anyway, after a few I like to push those buttons because it’s always a laugh riot.
So I stand up on the table with a little help from Rients and his family, and I raise both hands in the air in the traditional gesture of peace. I’m more than two meters tall and my arms are long and my fingers are long and the whole thing’s very dramatic, very “first contact”. The cantina owner spies what’s going on and helps out, dims, the lights except the one on me, on the table. So I’m standing on the table, arms out, silhouetted in the light which is reflecting six kinds of smoke and a million kinds of dust. I practically sparkle.
“You are all my children!” I say, and my big black eyes start to tear up.
Then someone pegs a two-liter jug at me and Dodge breaks a chair over the perp’s head.
I’m thrilled. This will make a great paper for *Advanced Specionomics*.