“Okay,” Quilx’tch said, angling his eyes to stare at the human who was crouched in the corner bent over his computer. Bill was wrapped in a blanket and his entire body was making a series of small sustained jerking moments. “Bill is ill. But why isn’t he resting in bed?”
“Eh,” the healthy human continued to boil the ‘chicken soup’ on the small camp stove. “Bill just is one of those humans who can’t sit still.”
“But sitting still is how you conserve energy to heal,” Quilx’tch said slowly, trying to find the point in this conversation that was keeping him from understanding the situation.
“Soup’s ready,” the cook said cheerfully. “Ready to take your sample?”
“Indeed,” Quilx’tch held up the sample container in his foremost legs. “And this ‘chicken soup’ has healing properties?”
“Maybe,” the cook shrugged. “It will make him feel better.”
Quilx’tch filed that thought away and skittered back to his lab. He had learned that sick humans didn’t always like company and he did not know Bill well enough to confidently offer it. He would do his own job in analyzing this foodstuff and would pass on this strange counterproductive behavior to the behavioral anthropologists.