"Ranger Mack Dodge! You venting system is quite fragrant today!"
Mack twisted around and peered through the gaps in the inner workings of the hover truck he was attempting to fix.
"My what is what now?" Mack asked.
The Undulate mechanic who hadn't yet chosen a verbal name proceeded to writhe his way up through the engine compartment only to pause just in front of Mack's face. The alien was the dusty maroon color that most Undulates turned when they were out of the water for any length of time. It was hard to get a good look at him as he twisted his vertebra free body through the small gaps in the engine. Mack resisted the urge to pull back as the swarming mass of pseudo-pods stopped just short of his face. The Undulate reached out with one gripping appendage and held it in front of his mouth like a microphone.
"Your venting system," the Undulate gestured at his mouth, "is quite fragrant today." the Undulate gave the portion of himself facing Mack a wiggle that suggested approval or pleasure.
"Oh, ah, thank you," Mack said. "Your, ah color, is a lovely shade of maroon today."
"Thank you for the compliment Ranger Mack Dodge," The Undulate said.
Mack blinked at him. "I guess I will get back to fixing this hover truck now." Mack said. Turning back to his work.
The Undulate wriggled out of the truck and Mack focused on clearing out the biomatter impacted in its undercarriage.
"How did your conversation with Friend Mack go?" The commander asked the mechanic as he swam back into the base.
"Oh quite well," the mechanic informed him. "You were correct. Ranger Mack Dodge is quite friendly. Hopefully I will soon be able to call him Friend," the young mechanic paused and wiggled happily. "And perhaps he will feel comfortable enough to engaging in the 'petting' ritual with me."
"Perhaps," the commander agreed. "Remember that humans do not communicate quite so much through touch as we do so you must give him time."
"I understand," the mechanic said. He twisted around as if to go further into the base but paused at the door. "Humans do give the oddest compliments though."