Richard: So what is it made of exactly?
Clark: We aren't... sure exactly. It has not been cooperative with our attempts to get a sample.
Richard: Not cooperative? You've had it here for a week, and it's just a big round ball of nastiness. How is it that you weren't able to get a sample?
Clark: You see that thing there that looks like a beak?
Richard: That there?
Clark: No, that. The little orifice with the sharp points.
Richard: Right ok. What about it?
Clark: That is sort of like a beak, but it's actually attached to something like a tentacle behind it. A prehensile tentacle, much like an octopus.
Richard: Alright, so you're saying a beak on a tentacle has prevented anyone from getting even a small cellular sample. I mean, just distract it and have someone come up behind.
Clark: Oh we've tried that. If we send in two people, one of them gets bitten, the other gets smacked by the tentacle before we can do anything. It's quite crafty with that thing. The Gogli has never actually injured anyone seriously, but it's come close to taking off a finger or two.
Richard: Ok, send in three people then.
Clark: Our attempts so far indicate it is being "nice" as long as we aren't too insistent. With one person, it will gently bat away our hands. With two people, it becomes a bit nippy. We sent in a robot once...
Clark: It snipped the robot's arm off. Cleanly, surgically, and without hesitation.
Clark: Right. Now you see why we aren't trying to force its hand, or tentacle as the case may be. It knows exactly what it's doing. And I'd say it's a fair bet that it knows what we're trying to do.
Richard: Well, what do you know about it?
Clark: Ah! We know that the beak is made of some very dense metal, possible some kind of exotic metallic polymer.
Richard: How did you determine that?
Clark: The robot's arm was made of titanium coated in carbon fiber. It's designed to withstand explosions and the like, so we're fairly certain the beak is made of something much sturdier.
Richard: Wonderful. That's very useful information...
Clark: So what--
Richard: Have you been able to communicate with it?
Clark: --Oh sorry. No. All attempts at communication have failed. It doesn't seem to have any facility to intentionally emit sound. The only noise it makes is the occasional gurgling of its lubrication orifices.
We're ninety percent confident they are not attempts at speech. They seem to have no correlation with our efforts to communicate with it.
Richard: What's next?
Clark: We're having a specialized FMRI built that will be flown in next week. The Golgi is two meters in diameter, so no existing machines were useable for the task. This should allow us to get some idea of what's happening inside it without coming in range of that tentacle.
Richard: I guess that's something.