Humans are Weird – Call and Response
For one blessed day the shared data processing space on the integrated base had been calm, quiet, and in general an efficient work zone. The room was a massive dome to accommodate the bipedal members of the survey teams. Four gently murmuring streams divided the workspace into quarters that circled the central ponds. The ceiling was a network of exposed struts that contained and concealed the Winged’s offices. Certain patches, equidistant from the water, glowed comfortingly in the infrared spectrum.
It was on one of these that Observer Grisssk lounged. The warming stone might have been clawed specifically for him for how comfortable it was. His claws tapped lightly over the screen as he entered the rough data for the final observation he had taken. He still had to write a report for each of the bare-bones datasets, but at last, the neigh impossible task seemed manageable.
“It’s not easy being an Observer,” he growled to himself.
He took pains to pitch his voice to low for any of his colleagues to hear. He was no grumbling hatchling who needed a nice rub over his eyeridges to calm down. Given the humans were exceptionally good at that sort of thing but these were working hours and he had a professional reputation to maintain. Still one did need to vent their gasses before they turned to flame. His tongue flicked over the points of his teeth as he closed the file and leisurely stretched his tail.
Being an Observer on a base that contained seven separate species, living and working together was very trying. Every time he saw what he suspected to be a previously undescribed behavior he had to note it down. Hopefully one of the cracked-skulls at the University would be able to make a proper scientific study off of his notes. He ran a critical yellow eye over the busily working researchers. To his immense relief he noted nothing that he had not noted before.
He pulled out his datapad scored for continuing observations and rested it comfortably under one claw. There was the Winged nutritionist flitting off for his rest period. There was the Shatar linguist gently nudging her smaller mate out of their work space. There was-
“She turned me into a newt!” A human voice declared from some dark corner of the room.
Silence broken only by the soft lapping of the water followed and then in the same warped human voice but from a different corner.
“I got bettah’!”
Raucous laughter burst from the clawcluster of humans in the room and even the slim, male Shatar shook his antenna in mildly amused annoyance before walking off. The laughter died down and the humans went back to their work without another word. Grisssk rubbed his clenched claws over his eye ridges and gave a tired sigh. He pulled out the new reports section and sent out a prayer that the University would send him an assistant.