You’ve all been waiting for it. Ray and Maxima will meet soon.

Sydney isn’t a lazy person necessarily, but it’s probably easy to imagine that when confronted with a frustrating job, she might gradually start putting less and less effort into it. Aster was an extreme example of how Earth is truly not ready for alien immigration, but there aren’t any languages on Earth that use the “Extended Galactic” alphabet, which accounts for the linguistic needs of about 85% of known space faring races. The difference between that and what Sydney can input into her tablet is like the difference between ASCII and UTF-8. Which is to say 128 characters vs. 1,112,064.

That’s the long winded way of saying that even the aliens who communicate in phonetic languages might have funky names. Sure, Glurbglorb might be easy to almost spell correctly in English, even if it’s really pronounced Ǫ̈lᴞrbglӛrb̈. But if the alien walks up and says, “My name is Glurb(click)glorb, Sydney probably doesn’t know how to get to the ǂ key on the tablet, so she’s going to start coming up with nicknames. Not out of spite, she just has a line of twenty aliens to get through.

The same thing when she asked someone their gender, and they said “quintflim,” and Sydney was like, “Come again?” and then the alien explained that “xers” race has five biological sexes. Sydney then discovered that none of the 58 genders available to pick from on her tablet really dialed in on quint-sexuals, so she started picking “pangender” for everyone who wasn’t obviously male or female. Again, not out of spite. She just wasn’t given the right tools for the job.

She also knows that while accurately cataloging all these tourist would be an unbelievable gold mine for scientists in a number of professions, she’s smart enough to know that’s probably not what the motivation behind all this cataloging is, and she’s happy to half-ass those results the same way her tools were half-assed.

I’m mad at myself for not thinking to name the previous comic “Scent of an alien woman” but, eh. I post these late at night and sometimes the brain isn’t firing on all cylinders.

Double res version will be posted over at Patreon. Feel free to contribute as much as you like!