Humans are Weird – Not in the Lab
“How?” Thirty-Five Clicks demanded. “How did those lumbering idiots survive long enough to create FTL tech?”
Tsk’cht fought down the urge to punch the interrupting idiot who was currently gripping the sides of his head in those preposterous wing hooks right in his conveniently placed snout. All that tender mammal flesh just full of pain receptors.
“If I punch you I will spill my sample of floral oil,” Tsk’cht observed aloud.
Thirty-Five Clicks glanced swiftly between the mentioned sample and Tsk’cht’s primary eyes, then to each of the three legs that were free to strike, before letting go and fluttering just out of a Trisk’s deceptively long strike range to perch.
Tsk’cht pointedly turned his back on the Winged, hoping he took the full offense at the human gesture, and carefully placed the vial of volatile oils in the crucible. He deliberately took his time in manipulating the settings before turning back to the Winged. He studied the puffed out fur that Thirty-Five Clicks was rapidly grooming down with his wing hooks. Something had seriously disturbed the Winged.
“What did the humans do this time?” Tsk’cht asked.
“You wouldn’t believe!” Thirty-Five Clicks burst out, flinging his wings out.
“I cannot disbelieve what I have not yet heard,” Tsk’cht pointed out.
“He drank biofluids!” Thirty-Five Clicks declared.
Tsk’cth carefully brushed the guard hairs away from his eyes carefully as he considered this.
“Half of what humans normally consume can be classified as bio-“ he began.
“Not one like that!” Thirty-Five Clicks interrupted.
Tsk’cht folded his primary gripping legs and lowered his head into a glare position.
Thirty-Five Clicks huffed and crossed his wings back at him.
“Perhaps you should begin at the beginning,” Tsk’cht said.
“I was in the field sample collection lab,” Thirty-Five Clicks burst out. “Observing the new scientists to make sure they were aware of our safety procedures when I noticed that one of the sample containers was nonstandard. On further investigation I discovered that it was a, one of those, the humans call them mugs, of coffee. I didn’t know that any tests were being done on coffee and as I had thoroughly read the task list I was prepared to critique the new scientists on several violations when I noticed one new human reaching for a beaker of-“
The Winged shuddered and rubbed his lips near violently. Tsk’cht stiffened in distress at the gesture but Thirty-Five Clicks continued before he could ask any questions.
“A beaker of Shatar saliva,” Thirty-Five Clicks squeaked out in a tone that was only barely in Tsk’cht’s hearing range.
“Then, then before I could stop him. He lifted to his mouth and nearly drank some!” Thirty-Five Clicks burst out.
Tsk’cht stared in horror at the Winged, well aware that every hair on his exoskeleton was fully extended. Several seconds stretched out between them before Tsk’cht could formulate a reply.
“Nearly,” he finally burst out, just to end the silence, “you said nearly? Why-“
“Oh the human gagged and spat it back into the beaker immediately,” Thirty-Five Clicks, said with a dismissive wave of his wing.
“He followed that with spitting out a few profanities,” Thirty-Five Clicks went on, “demanding who had put that beaker there and then proceeded to perform a rinsing procedure with the coffee in the mug.”
“Oh!” Tsk’cht burst out in relief, “he didn’t mean to-“
“That doesn’t make it better!” Thirty-Five Clicks snapped. “Carelessness and disobedience to regulations is just as dangerous as malice.”
“Well I don’t see that it would be malice-“ Tsk’cht began.
“They knew better!” Thirty-Five Clicks went on, taking to the air in his frustration. “All the rest of the humans burst out laughing when they discovered his mistake and scolded him for breaking lab regulations before I could even bring it up. He just expressed more profanities at them! That’s when I decided to find a species that was more reasonable if not less annoying.”
Thirty-Five clicks caught a perch with his lower talons and hung there breathing heavily. For once he allowed Tsk’cht even more than the polite six seconds for reply.
“You say it was a mistake,” Tsk’cht observed. “But an opaque mug looks nothing like a clear beaker-“
“He reached for it without turning his eyes on it,” Thirty-Five Clicks interjected.
Tsk’cht stared at him as again seconds passed.
“I cannot imagine that Shatar saliva smells anything like coffee –“ he finally offered.
“Human smell isn’t directional,” Thirty-Five Clicks said.
“Sound wouldn’t have been a factor,” Tsk’cht said rubbing his primary gripping legs together at the paws. “But humans rate below only the Undulates for tactile sensitivity. They don’t even rely on sensory hairs. Their skin itself is permeated with sensory nerves, especially at the extremities! How-“
“I don’t know,” Thirty-Five Clicks replied, wrapping himself in his wings, “I just don’t know.”
She has stood witness to a millennia of human live in a city that has been called the hub of civilization.
She had already witnessed ten generations of Parisians be born and die when monks carrying flowers in the pockets flung themselves at her alters to pray as the Black Plague stole a third of Europe.
She preserved untold knowledge while the world waited centuries for the printing press.
She stood at the heart of memory as Europe fell into darkness and then clawed it's way back into the light.
She watched monarchies, then empires rise and fall.
She watched the birth of modern warfare as Napoleon marched into Russia and crept back a beaten criminal.
She grew and expanded as times changed.
She watched war take to the sky in the War to End All Wars.
She watched the sky grow dim from smokestacks and then blurred from jet contrails.
She witnessed the industrial age and the space age.
She has remembered for us for near on a thousand years.
Now the world that she helped to birth must remember her.
Books are great. Books used to be one of only a few sources of entertainment. Books became popular a long time ago but only became commonly avaliable to the modern world after some dude in Germany invented a book making thingy. Books became cheaper and more avaliable to the masses. Soon however other entertainment mediums began to compete.
Books have some advantages. They are real. They have pages. They often increase in value over time. They smell like vanilla as they age.
Books have some disadvantages. They can get wet and moldy. Silverfish like to eat them. So do termites. Books can only be read by one person at a time. Books are fairly expensive to copy.
Over all most people think that books are a good thing. This author agrees.
Spring is back. The medicinal herbs are leafing out next to the cabin and the deep thrumming of the humming birds had returned.
On a side note does anyone else have a chest cavity that resonates with humming bird wingbeats? Just me?
Well when we think of our feathered friends we think of their delicate but powerful pinions or their gleaming red neck feathers.
But did you notice? They also have little white butt floofs behind their tiny footsies.
Humans are Weird – Because
For a species that held the record for the greatest centralized mass of any know sapient humans were sometimes extremely difficult to find. Rolls-slowly pulled out his data unit and pressed it into one of the communications nodes. He sent out the inquisitive hum and again received the negative reply.
“So the human,” Rolls-slowly said to no one in particular, “is on the base-“
“Or at least his data unit is,” offered a passing scientist.
“This world might not be as hostile to them as it is to us,” Rolls-slowly protested, “but Human Friend Steve is very cold sensitive. He would not have left the base.”
“Your only options are to wait for his dedicated nutrient ingestion time and catch him at the commissary node, or search the expanded vessels yourself,” offered a passing researcher.
“I suppose,” Rolls-slowly grumbled as he started swimming briskly along.
He rose against the gravity and nudged against the permeable area. The coral parted and he slipped out into the current that ran through the center of the vessels used by the human visitors. He drifted with the current, a ridge of appendages raised into the atmosphere to observe the human. He had searched nearly the entire enlarged area before he sensed the taste of a human in the water. He followed the chemical gradient, dropping his appendages to swim more quickly. So he saw the oddly lumpy locomotion appendages the humans used to walk dangling in the water. Rolls-slowly felt a flicker of nervousness as he realized that the humans scent glands were giving off stress pheromones. He surfaced and climbed up onto the shelf beside the human.
“What? Rolls?” The human’s voice was slurred with nutrient intake and his skin flushed with stress.
He had quickly dropped his hand back behind his center of mass in an odd gesture.
“Are you well Human Friend Steve?” Rolls-slowly asked.
“Well? Sure! Yeah! I’m great!” Human Friend Steve replied.
His lips peeled back revealing his broad, coral-like teeth. The gesture also drew Rolls-slowly’s attention to the biomatter smeared across the human’s lips.
“Very well,” Rolls-slowly replied. “There is something on your face.”
Human Friend Steve’s hand came up from behind him to brush at his face. Rolls-slowly noted the object clutched in the human’s hands.
“Human Friend Steve,” Rolls-slowly said in surprise. “I thought you had a negative reaction to foods bearing bovine lactate protein.”
Human Friend Steve’s eyes twitched and various shades of irritation and shame washed up and down his face.
“I am,” he finally said with a long exvent of his lungs.
“Why are you ingesting something you know will harm you?” Rolls-slowly asked in shock.
Human Friend Steve fixed his eyes on Rolls-slowly without blinking as defiance flushed across his skin. He deliberately lifted the nutrient solid to his lips, placed it in his mouth, and took a bite. He slowly masticated the nutrients and then swallowed. When he finally replied his voice was already husky with a buildup of protective mucus.
Your regularly scheduled posting is delayed because Travel Oregon is at it again. I think it really says something about their depiction (and the reality) of Oregon that the cafe scene filled with mythical creatures only made me think.
"I've been there and the other patrons were way weirder than that."
Also we now have the identity and location of the jerk responsible for Daylight Savings Time. I propose a road trip with explosives!
Humans are Weird – Colonel
Twenty-seventh Cousin stared at the datapad in front of her and laid her dusky orange frill tight down against her neck. She rattled her mandibles together and finally leapt up from her crouch. She would simply have to find a human. She stepped out of her office and flicked her frill in companionable frustration at the other Twenty-seventh Cousin stationed in this one small college. She returned the greeting with her green frill.
“Have you seen any humans?” Twenty-seventh Cousin asked, fluttering her frill to indicate a very recent time frame.
“Second Brother is repairing the ground transports in the mechanical bay,” the other Twenty-seventy Cousin replied.
“Gratitude,” Twenty-seventh Cousin bobbed her body respectfully and stepped out lightly.
She found the human exactly where she had been told. Bent in a nearly Undulate manner into the engine compartment of the boxy green ground transport. She was about to greet him but caught a glimpse of his base defensive covering and clicked in annoyance at the stitched markers on the arm guards. Humans did not use the same naming system they did. That is why she was here after all. She pulled up the translation screen and readied the sound file she needed. She waited until his head was out of the metal chamber before tapping her talons lightly on the concrete floor.
“Hey!” he glanced over at her and his strange, fleshy face contorting in that hilarious motion called a grin even as he wiped his stubby hands on a bio-fiber rag. “Tenth Sister right?”
“I am Twenty-seventh Cousin,” she said, lowering her frill in disapproval at the attempted flattery.
“Right, right,” he said. “Which one now?”
“The linguist,” she replied. “And you are Private Grimes.”
“I never denied it!” He said with another grin.
She paused a moment, tilting her head to the side as she parsed her question.
“Are you capable of aiding me with a matter of translation?” She finally asked.
“I can speak English pretty good,” he said.
She tried not to leap back in shock when his primary arm attachment joints suddenly shifted up several inches. Were humans even attached under that pliable skin? She shook off the discomfort and held up the datapad.
“How do you pronounce this word?” She asked.
He leaned forward and his strange internal eyelids compressed.
“Colonel.” He said firmly.
She lowered her frill in a clear sign of aggravation that he actually responded to. Stepping back with a sudden change to a clearly defensive stance. She forced herself to relax.
“You have not offended me,” she quickly informed him. “I have simply reached an impasse in my work.”
“Ah,” his head bobbed loosely on his thick neck. “So what’s the problem?”
“Where is the,” she pressed the recording so that the sound she could to enunciate played, “sound in this word.”
He gave a laugh and started to point but the sound and the gesture broke off mid way. His face contorted and his eyelids blinked rapidly. The flesh flaps covering his teeth opened and closed several times and he slowly withdrew his indicating finger.
“I don’t know,” he whispered in confusion. “Where is the ‘r’ sound in colonel?”
The art funding gremlins over at DeviantArt have set up a scholarship fund of sorts to encourage creators to actually get off our collective sitting ends and do something.
I submitted my own small effort to the mix and asked for funding to edit and print.
"Humans are Weird" the anthology.
The book will have actual editing by a real editor. Illustrations of all the various species by an actual artist, and some amazing cover art.
My application needs to catch some attention from the judges so if any of you who have a DA account want to pop over and leave a comment under my application comment here. That would draw some much needed attention to my application and increase the chances of senpai noticing me.
Just be perfectly honest and short. I want to make and book and anyone who wants an actual edited book let them know!
Remember to hit the reply button below my comment so they know which one you are referring to.
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.