From an unpublished science-fiction novel by
Irving Vanderblock-Wheedle.

The Hive sat sphinxlike on things that might have been haunches if such things as haunches had ever evolved in their world, which as far as we know they never did, but what we know about exobiology could be written with a jumbo crayon on the back of a matchbook, if we still had matchbooks, which we don’t because they were very sensibly banned four hundred years ago by the First Terran Union, which also banned crayons at the same time, and we get along without them just fine. They—that is, the Hive, which is what we were talking about before we got on to the interesting subject of crayons and matchbooks and how we have never seen either of them in our time and no one alive has any memory of them, so that really it even seems counterproductive to use them as an illustration, as if we were writing this narrative for people in past centuries who still knew what matchbooks and crayons were—they, for there were multiple entities in that singular body, which makes verb agreement one of the most difficult aspects of the science of exobiology, were sitting on their things that we shall call haunches for lack of a more scientific term, and they were thinking. They were thinking as many thoughts as there were beings in that agglomeration of agglutinative life forms, or rather that agglutination of agglomerative life forms, but the general tendency of them all was that they were bored and wished they had something to do.

“Oh yeah?” said Drox Hathaweg, the morose but appealing telepathic half-human half-V’qil space pirate sitting next to them. “Well, wait till you see what happens in chapter three.”