Humans are Weird – Demon
The low slung couch in the command office wasn’t the most comfortable perch in the base, but the general homey ambiance of the place certainly made up for it Subcommander Grist mused as he munched contentedly on a loaf of perfectly aged bread. Commander Pulp was just getting to the best of the gossip. The really fermented stuff about the breeding, or non-breeding pairs in the settlement colony. Subcommander Grist kept one ear on that while his eyes roamed contentedly over the paw-wound sheaves of grain that lined the walls in artistic patterns. The main lights were turned down to mimic the night cycle rapidly falling outside, revealing artfully placed fleck-lights glowing green in mimicry of their home world’s bio-luminescent insects. While the rest of the base needed to be comfortable for a ranger of species. This space Commander Pulp did, and could make comfortable for their own reptilian tastes.
Adding to the whiff of home was simply the friendly, non-technical conversation. It wasn’t often that SubCommander Grist and Commander Pulp had a chance to really ease down on their scutes and just grind out the mill together. The whole point of having a subcommander on an agricultural research base was so that the hybrid science-art of extracting food from alien soils could continue without pausing for sleep. Therefore their shifts were very deliberately opposed. In order to have any socialization time at all they needed to carefully schedule it. So now they sprawled, each on a reasonably comfortable perch, in a perfectly comfortable room.
“She is hardly one to talk about over guarding ones nest!” Commander Pulp was saying with relish. “Her husband-”
The comfort of the night was suddenly disturbed by a muted thump on the wall and Subcommander Grist lifted his snout, half the loaf bulging out of the side of his face. Commander Pulp stopped his story and flicked his tongue uneasily in the direction the sound had come from.
“Is there any reason for a random thump in a well populated base to be that disturbing?” he asked.
Subcommander Grist gave a groan around his loaf and gingerly extracted his teeth from it, carefully pushed it out of his mouth with his tongue, and placed in on its tray.
“Not in the least,” he said as he regretfully slipped off of his reasonably comfortable couch. “It might be any number of things. There is no reason to assume it is a problem.”
“No, no,” Commander Pulp sighed out, joining him on the floor. “You are just coming off shift and I am not a complete hatchling now. Let me.”
However Subcommander Grist still followed him out into the corridor. Another faint thump came and neither was particularly surprised when they traced it to Grime’s room. They trotted towards the humans door, it might be an emergency, but was probably not and paused uncertain if they should enter. The two sounds of movement suggested the human was awake, but they had long since learned the folly of making assumptions. Commander Pulp dropped his snout and sniffed delicately at the base of the door.
“So do we have enough evidence of a problem to invade his privacy,” Subcommander Grist mused aloud.
Commander Pulp lifted his snout with a sigh.
“We have two gas bubbles in our main guts,” he said.
Subcommander Grist was about to reply when a truly scale warping sound came from the room. It was something of a groan, something of human speech, and something of a gurgle. Commander Pulp’s eyes went back as his pupils dilated and he literally threw himself against the door. It swished open and the rushed in to find Grimes’s lanky human form contorted on his bed. His face was slack but the whites were clearly visible and his pupils were dilated. The arm under his body was thrust out towards where he was looking, and the other was behind his back against the wall. His throat contracted and he gave another of those awful sounds.
Commander Pulp rushed forward to offer what help he could to the human and Subcommander Grist darted over to the space the human was looking at. He scented the air, felt the temperature, and pawed a the wall, but there was nothing there to attract the human’s attention. Still he felt his tail twitch uneasily. This was hardly the first time someone had witnessed Grimes acting as if he could see things that they couldn’t
“-thou behind me!”
The wordless sounds of the human suddenly burst into clarity and the human sat up gasping. Commander Pulp would have been thrown to the floor had Grimes not instinctively snatched out with his free arm and pulled the commander to his scuteless chest. Subcommander Grist slowly approached the clearly stressed human, wondering when it would be polite to speak. The human’s eyes were darting around the room frantically as he clutched the commander. Commander Pulp was murmuring soft soothing grumbles and gently patting the human’s thigh with his tail.
“Where did it go?” Grimes finally demanded.
“Give me more data,” Subcommander Grist demanded, so the human had been perceiving something after all. “I wasn’t able to detect anything. What was it?”
“I,” Grimes gasped out. “I didn’t see it clearly. Shadowy-”
“That is logical,” Commander Pulp murmured. “It was very dark in this room.”
“Tall,” Grimes gasped out. “It was tall but, hunched over.”
“So it was bipedal?” Subcommander Grist demanded.
Grimes looked at him for the first time and nodded slowly. The human shifted in the bed and grasped Commander Pulp with both arms as his breathing slowed.
“Six limbs,” he muttered. “Bipedal, two arms, so long, they dragged down. Wings, dark wings. I, it had no face. I couldn’t see the face. Claws. It was hostile.”
“What hostile actions did it take?” Commander Pulp asked, his tail twitching with concern.
Subcommander Grimes understood that gesture. A hostile being loose on the base capable of hiding from at least their senses was a terrifying matter.
“It, just stood there,” Grimes breathed. “I couldn’t move. It didn’t let me move.”
“How did you know it was hostile then?” Commander Pulp asked.
“I could, I could feel it,” Grimes breathed.
The human suddenly started and glanced down at the commander. His soft mammalian skin flushed and he muttered an apology as he set the commander down on the floor.
“Subcommander Grist,” Commander Pulp said, “go alert the large predator security that we might have some sort of … psychokenetic, telepathic predator loose on the base.”
Grimes gave a weak laugh.
“It sounds,” he glanced fearfully at that spot on the wall. “It sounds crazy when you put it like that.”
Commander Pulp spun on him with a fierce glint in his eye.
“It might have been a product of your mind,” he agreed. “But I just witnessed you, wide awake and utterly paralyzed reacting to something. This at the very least bears investigation.”
The human’s face twisted up into a weak smile at that and Subcommander Grimes trotted out, fully understanding the subtext of Commander Pulp’s orders. Yes, he was going to bring Doctor Drawing into the matter, this might very well be a mental quirk of the giant mammals. However the chances that such a primal reaction as they had just witnessed was not rooted in something very real and physical were slim, more than slim enough to warrant setting the base security cameras to a wider range of detection.
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What does it mean when your human friend says “Watch This?”? Why does this simple phrase seem to terrify any alien that has first appendage experience with humans? #HFY #HumansAreWeird #HumansAreSpaceOrcs #EarthIsADeathWorld #EarthIsSpaceAustralia
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