“Pardon me, Commander,” Seventh Sister began as she approached the central data processing center for the base.
The Trisk Commander was busily collecting and analyzing the many data points the researchers had brought in that day. Seventh Sister waited patiently for the Trisk to notice her greeting and respond. Finally the small alien turned his body so his primary eyes focused on her. His appendages, which had been busily working away at the console grew respectfully still and curled under his body.
“How may I serve your needs Seventh Sister?” the Commander asked.
“I am concerned that the humans are engaging in an argument in the recreational room,” she said, working the concepts out carefully. “They are consistently increasing their volume.”
The commander slumped and brushed his primary eyes in what she assumed was a sign of frustration.
“Let us look into the matter,” he said.
“I believe the security cameras will be sufficient to view what is occurring,” Seventh Sister offered as he turned to one of his screens.
“That probably won’t be necessary,” the Trisk said as he pulled up a schedule. “Yes, there it is. This should explain the situation.”
He altered the light projection so it fell fully into her range and indicated a scheduled group activity that was currently unfolding in the recreational room. Seventh Sister leaned forward and considered the information. Her mandibles clicked and her neck frill twitched uneasily.
“It says that it is a theoretical discussion,” she observed.
“Yes,” the Commander said. “Do note the topic.”
“If I am reading this correctly,” she said. “It is in regards to a…non-existent species, and they are debating the capacity of said non-existent species to engage in mêlée combat with humans … using primitive weapons from a past era.”
“You have summarized the situation well,” the Commander said. “Now do you understand?”
She stared at him for several long moments, tilting her head from side to side.
“I do not,” she finally confessed.
“Neither do I,” the Commander said waving his main gripping appendage dismissively. “However the human who organized this discussion assured me that these aggression displays are normal and security is not to intervene unless their internal fluids start to escape their external membranes.”
“Is there truly a chance of physical altercation resulting over a theoretical discussion?” Seventh Sister demanded.
“Why did you come in here to report the situation?” the Commander asked.
“I was concerned about the levels of aggression displayed,” she replied. “I see.”
They stood in companionable confusion for several long moments. Finally the commander spoke.
“I am monitoring their vital signs,” he assured her, “and I will intervene if the situation, ‘comes to blows’, as they say, but when this particular cadre of humans arrived I was informed that situations like this would occur from time to time, and while altercations would be frequent actual physical violence would be rare. If you wish to educate yourself on the behaviors in question I could give you the search terms that the central University sent me.”
“I would appreciate that,” she said, her frill relaxing in relief.
“Apparently,” the Commander said as he gathered the data to send to her. “These are a sub-species of humans known as ‘geeks’.”