|"Donner Summit" |
Set in the Future
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
Louise Donner was the leader of the human expedition to meet with the Fofogos at the mid-point between the two species' home planets (about 65 light years from Earth). Her selection was after a long and rigorous competition that one Earthly wag labeled "Dancing to the Stars". The name stuck on Earth and after the reference was explained to the Fofogo, they began using the expression too.
Eventually Donner and her party were placed in cryogenic hibernation and launched to meet with the Fofogos. Because existing starship technology allowed for travel at only well below light speed, the trip took a long time and the populations of both planets forgot about it until the time of the summit approached. A space station for the first meeting was constructed by robots between the two starships and the day of first physical contact came. Automated shuttles were launched and live video was being broadcast to both planets.
The atmosphere on the space station was breathable for both species and while Donner felt warmer than comfortable while her counterpart Pahk Tschapp cooler, both could tolerate it without special equipment. The envoys met and shook hands and then touched palms Fofogo-style. Tschapp spoke first, greeting Donner in Mandarin Spanglish and Donner replied in Fofogo.
Unexpectedly, while many environmental factors were considered, the smell of each species was not. Tschapp smelled good to Donner and not just good but delicious. Imagine fresh baked apple pie, or roasting lamb, or lemongrass, or pizza. Then multiply that by a thousand or even a million. No wonder Donner lost control and clobbered Tschapp with a chair. She then began to uncontrollably eat him and found he tasted at least as good as he smelled. No wonder the Donner Summit was not considered a success.