“But why do the speakers produce different sound profiles?” Twistunder asked as he examined the earbuds in his grappling appendages.
“For directionality,” Mack Dodge answered without taking his eyes off the screen. “It’s why most interfaces have two speakers.”
“And what is directionality?” Twistunder asked, pressing the earbuds to his lateral core curiously.
Mack paused as he tried to figure out the question. “So I am watching the two-dimensional screen here,” he gestured at the screen.
“Yes,” Twistunder said.
“So the lion-deer comes onto the screen from the left,” Mack played back the scene. “Here at two-minutes-five, but you can hear him coming for about thirty seconds before that, right?”
Twistunder set the earbuds aside and waved his grappling appendages in agreement.
“So the computer knows to play the sound of the lion-deer from the left earbud so you know where to look,” Mack explained. “What direction it comes from. So that is directionality.”
Twistunder curled all of his appendages underneath him and sat there in what most of the humans on base called his ‘thinking loaf.’ “So humans,” he finally said, “can tell which direction a predator is coming from by sound?”
“Well, yeah,” Mack said. “Can’t you?”
“No,” Twistunder said simply. “Why would we need to do that? We can see where it is coming from.”
Mack leaned back and examined the perfect radial symmetry of Twistunder’s form. “You do have three-sixty vision,” Mack agreed. “But what happens after dark or when you are in murky water?”
“Remember that we see well into what you call the infrared spectrum,” Twistunder reminded him. “True ‘blackness’ or even darkness is very rare for our photoreceptors.”
“Huh,” Mack said. “So you just don’t get much directional information from sound.”
“And you use sound to avoid predation. This does explain some… if you do not mind me saying so… odd behavior of yours,” Twistunder said.
“Oh, really,” Mack said, leaning back with a grin. “Like what?”
“You wish to know what behaviors we find odd?” Twistunder asked carefully, his appendages shifting out of his thinking loaf uneasily.
“Yup,” Mack said with a grin. “Give it to me.”
Twistunder gave a low humming noise. “You… swivel… when the pressure alert sounds.”
“Yeah,” Mack agreed. “It is an annoying beep.”
“You have common names for specific wavelengths of sound dependent on duration and intensity,” Twistunder pointed out.
“Beep, boop, bleep,” Mack said with a grin.
“That!” Twistunder said, raising his grappling appendages eagerly. “You name sounds!”
“I guess we do,” Mack said. “What of it? You name specific wave shapes.”
“It is just strange,” Twistunder said. “Just a little strange.”