Twistsfirmly closed the final file on his display and gave his body a vigorous shake. He had spent the day researching the fascinating array of medical issues that humans faced when involved in long periods of intellectual work as opposed to physical work. He had gained a fair working knowledge of the subject at university but he always found it good to refresh his mental threads and resound the waters as the seasons changed. Now he scrambled over the side of his work tank and let himself tumble down into the main channel of his office. From there he swam to the portal and through it out into the corridor.
In the main current the eerie singing of the crystal forests hummed as an undertone and Twistfirmly felt more than a current of discomfort. The wind played over the upthrusting branches making each organism in the forest vibrate with resonance from tip to deepest root. The waters that flowed through the ground caught that resonance and reminded all but those in the most insulated pools that outside the world was not currently friendly to sapient life.
“Time to cuddle a human!” Twistsfirmly announced to no one in particular as the thought of that massive reef of mammalian bio heat lured him to the common area.
Yes his own quarters were very comfortably insulated but let the water moan as it liked if you had your appendages on a friend.
He was delighted and surprise to find Human Friend Freddy sprawled out on a couch with a mug of hot drink in one hand and the fluffiest of the blankets around her. It looked like she was seeking companionship and warmth too. He popped out of the water, made sure he was acceptably dry, and scrambled over to her.
“Human Friend Freddy!” He called out.
“Neck,” she interrupted curtly. “Back.”
Twistsfirmly waved in understanding and felt a rippled of concern. Now that he was actually sounding her and not just her lovely aura of warmth, he noted that Human Friend Freddy was flushed with the colors of exhaustion and irritation. He climbed the couch and slid with delight into the pouch afforded by the hood of her personal insulation layer while wrapping himself around her shoulders and neck.
Here was not just a chance for warmth and socialization, here was a chance to extend an appendage to a distressed friend.
The powerful muscle fibers under Human Friend Freddy’s outer membrane were far tenser than her duties could explain. The stripes on her skin pulsed with what he had come to understand as self directed anger. Her bifocal eyes were glaring out the window, watching the electrical discharges dance through the crystal forest.
“What has you so tense Human Friend Freddy?” Twistsfirmly finally asked.
The human grunted and brought her drink up to her mouth for a sip of the hot liquid. She waited so long to respond that he was going to ask again when she heaved a sigh.
“I have a massive report to get done,” she said. “It’s taking way longer than I expected and I want to have it done by the time the Shatar trader ship comes through.”
Twistsfirmly gave an encouraging hum as he started pressing her tight shoulders.
“I thought I’d put in a few extra hours a day,” she went on, “get it done with time to spare.”
“There are still many days until its expected arrival,” Twistsfirmly observed.
“Yeah,” Human Friend Freddy agreed, but her tone was far from happy as she took another sip. “it’ll be done, but I’m still ticked off. I had to quit earlier than I wanted to today. My brain just couldn’t take it any more.”
“Why does this make you angry?” Twistsfirmly asked.
“I’ve never gotten too tired to work from doing brain work before,” she growled out. “It makes sense when I’m out with the work crews. Your body just goes too hard and let’s you know and that’s it, but I was just sitting there, entering data and thinking, and then I was too tired to do it anymore!”
Twistsfirmly went on massaging her shoulders, wondering when she was going to explain why the new experience of responding appropriately to mental exhaustion had made her angry at herself, but Human Friend Freddy only grunted and changed the subject as if she had fully explained the matter.
Science Fantasy Adventure Story
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Audio Narration and Animation-https://youtu.be/5o0fkhZFqjQ
Humans are Weird Books