Humans are Weird – Coming Out
With a frill tingling crack the massive tree snapped and began its loud fall through several layers of canopy to the ground. Human Father stood at what he considered to be a safe distance from the base, holding the chainsaw away from his body, round head tilted to observe the tree, thick legs poised to run. Swathed in the protective layers required for this task the normally large mammal looked massive, and glowed in colors that were natural on no planet and offensive on most. The added crush trauma shell the humans wore to protect their already nearly invulnerable skulls was at least a soothing blue. The massive trunk of the tree settled to the forest floor with a final thump that shook the ground around them.
Second Father watched the human’s posture relax and felt his own joints loosen as the forest around them erupted in the protesting chattering of the various creatures that responded to sound and other vibrations. The human walked around the base of the trunk, the trauma shell magnifying his consideration as he tipped his head this way and that as he looked for mysterious signs of danger. Finally satisfied he pulled off the trauma shell, shook out his hair, and removed both the ear and eye protection before waving towards the Shatar.
“She’s good to go!” the human roared out into the now relatively silent forest. “Don’t you spindly little sister try to take out anything larger than my wrist and you’ll be fine! Mind the tension on the lower branches!”
“We are aunts!” snapped on particularly wide frilled Second Aunt who had quite readily responded to Seventh Sister only a few weeks ago.
The human took the snappish response with a laugh and gave a wave that probably meant something in human body language, but the majority of the hive’s able bodied females were now swarming the tree with a mix of collection baskets, saws, and winches.
Second Father felt his psudo-frill swell with pride as they descended on their various tasks with not a word of coordination needed. Their outer membranes gleamed with radiation shielding salve where it peaked out from their own protective layers and still they moved with grace and precision. His sisters and cousins did honor to the ancestors who had left their home hive. Human Father wandered back to the main staging area for the tasks of the day, slowly peeling off the many layers of trauma and piercing protection needed to wield a took capable of bringing down such a large tree.
“That’s the last of the sick trees?” The human asked as he dropped the preposterously heavy ‘chaps’ from his legs and tossed them with casual power onto his transport.
“The last of the ones that we require you aid to bring down,” Second Father said, “and they are not quite sick, the fungal load just makes them a danger to our gardens.”
The human bobbed his head in a human gesture of politeness as he pulled off the final layer of gloves and reached over for his bottle of water. Second Father took the chance to cast an eye over the bandage count on the human’s hands. Human Mother had extracted a promise from him that he would report any new injuries, especially if it appeared that Human Father had forgotten to report or treat them. To Second Father’s relief there were actually fewer of the thin bandages that humans used like some sort of second membrane to keep damaged areas clean. Human Father noted his attention and grinned.
“Nothing new to snitch about today!” the human said cheerfully. “In fact-”
The human cut off as he reached over with the hand holding the water bottle, shifted it to his three smallest digits in another impressive show of strength, and grabbed the edge of the adhesive bandages between two fingers.
“I think this one is just about ready to come out,” the human muttered, ripping off the bandage and then poising his fingers as if to rip again.
“Out?” Second Father asked, “I thought that ‘off’ was the applicable prepo- what are you doing?”
Second Father’s voice broke into hissing clicks of the Mother language as Human father used his cracked and stubby nails to peel off a layer of healing membrane with a satisfied grunt from those giant mammalian lungs.
“Just a scab,” the human said, tossing him a reassuring grin. “Now a little squeeze..”
The human used his two free fingers to pinch on either side of the now hole in the membrane of his arm and ‘out’ popped what some reasonable part of Second Father’s mind was able to identify as a broken off fragment of one of the local thorns. The human’s two free fingers plucked the thorn from his flesh and brought it up to examine Second Father presumed. He was much to fixated on the millimeter wide, centimeter deep hole in his friends membrane that was leaking some light colored puss.
“Took its own good time working it’s way out,” the human commented, setting the thorn down on his chaps and reapplying the adhesive bandage.
Second Father was aware that he was probably a sickly color but his attention was suddenly gripped by a realization as he identified the species that particular thorn must have come from.
“We haven’t been in the blackvine section of the forest for five days,” he managed to click out in human range after some effort to uncurl his antenna.
“Yup,” the human agreed tossing back a swallow of water.
“That thorn was,” Second Father caught on the concept and tried again. “Was inside your membrane for five days?”
“Yeah,” the human replied. “I tried to dig it out at first but it was too deep in and too small, but you really just have to let it fester a bit and the skin pushes it out, no harm, no foul.”
Second Father jumped up on the transport and grabbed the human’s ears to force a direct communication.
“There is a hole in your arm!” He managed to click out.
Human Father finally seemed to notice his horrified pallor, blinked, and burst into laughter.
“It’s not a problem Second Father buddy,” Human Father said, gently lifting him off the transport and setting him on the ground again with the arm with the hole in it. “But I can see that you are not going to take that as an answer from me. So you just to snitch to my better half and let her explain it.”
With that the human tossed his water bottle back onto the transport and turned to begin maintenance on his tools.
Second Father stood, opening and closing his mandibles for several long moments before darting over to where he had left his datapad with the good radio built in. From his confidence Human Father clearly thought that Human Mother was going to approve of this behavior and while Second Father didn’t doubt that they had a good understanding of each other and Human Father was probably correct...he had a hole in his arm!