“The humans are a terrible influence on the Undulates!” Forty-Seven Clicks spat out as he fluttered to a landing beside Quilx’tch.
“Oh really?” Quilx’tch asked as he adjusted his foot coverings over locomotion legs for the fifth time that day. “I hadn’t noticed.”
The Hellbat glared at him though narrow eyes.
“How can you not have noticed!” Forty-Seven Clicks hissed out. “I know for a fact that those contraptions are for keeping that surfactant off of your skin!”
“Exoskeleton,” Quilx’tch corrected him. “And I was attempting to use sarcasm.”
“Oh please don’t,” groaned the Hellbat. “I don’t think I can stand any more human madness spreading to other species today.”
Quilx’tch didn’t bother apologizing. Both he and his colleague were all too aware of the general rule that strongly dissuaded them from actively discouraging play between the species after work and there was no doubt that the humans and Undulates were having a blast playing with the new toy the humans had introduced.
“I am going out to observe the situation,” Quilx’tch stated grimly. “Do you wish to assist me?”
“There is no way,” Forty-Seven Clicks hissed. “That I am going out there until this is over. You land-bound folk cannot understand.”
Quilx’tch whished for a moment he could roll his eyes. Having eight of them would no doubt make the gesture even more meaningful but satisfied himself with bristling his hair and stalking out. It was a fairly long walk from his office to the ponds where the Undulates and humans recreated but long before he got there the foot coverings were serving their purpose as he avoided the sticky patches on the ground. He flinched back as his eyes caught and magnified the glistening ‘bubble’ that floated over his head, but he soldiered on gamely. Soon the sound of laughing and trilling met his ears and he hurried forward to the safe tree that had been set up near the ponds for his use. The grips were mostly sticky with the residue of the humans’ game but he managed to find a secure perch as he observed the game in progress.
A few of the humans stood at one end of the pond using the directional force of their mammalian lungs to ‘blow’ atmosphere through soap covered loops. This formed the ‘bubbles’ that drifted on the wind over the pond. In the water the majority of the Undulates were frisking about at their maximum speed chasing the bubbles. A few Undulates had taken up the bubble wands and were vigorously waving them over their bodies in an attempt to form the bubbles. The crowd rumbled with every known sign of delight and pleasure for the two species.
Quilx’tch shuddered and crept closer to the trunk of the tree as one of the bubbles drifted close to him. He saw his own eight eyes reflected in an opalescent ghost and fought the urge to flee in panic. Understanding differences is why I am out here instead of with my home swarm, he reminded himself firmly. The humans are enjoying themselves and I will figure out why.