“Greetings Commander Seven Trills.” Third Sister flashed her frill in absent greeting as the Winged flew into the base decontamination unit. “It is good to see you safely returned. How was your recreation period?”
The diminutive mammal grunted and fluttered over to drop his personal items on the desk.
“It was very, very human,” Seven Trills replied.
Third Sister laid her frill against her neck but didn’t turn her head to put him in her sight range.
“Yes,” Seven Trills hissed as he turned on the disinfectant spray. “Very human.”
Third Sister pointedly began tapping faster on her interaction consol, however the Winged didn’t take the hint. He stalked over to the hot air drier and rubbed his winghooks through his fur vigorously.
“The transport ended up going to Azure Seventh-flap.” Seven Trills went on.
Third Sister was beginning to regret the social protocols that required her to show interest in the first place but there were social expectations to be met.
“What is there of interest on Azure Seventh-flap?” She asked.
“There is a human recreation resort,” Seven Trills explained. “Human Friend Helen informed us that it was a type of ancient, pre-mechanical age, sporting area that allowed humans to get as close to flight as their thick boned bodies allowed.”
“That would seem interesting to a Winged,” Third Sister murmured.
“One would think,” Seven Trills clicked out. “She really pressed for it, even after I pointed out that even on the equator the main bases existed below the freezing point of water for ninety percent of the local year.”
“Ah,” Third Sister flicked her frill in recognition. “Yes, that is the planet that nearly killed the Cold-blooded Ones when they sent an expedition. I saw the images at the University. Isn’t the surface constantly covered in crystallized water?”
“Yes, snow,” Seven Trills replied. “That is the main attraction. The unique surface tension and low density is what provides the conditions that allow humans to mimic flight.”
“But your body mass is so low,” Third Sister observed with a dissatisfied click, “that even with a proper internal thermostat you would lose your heat so quickly that you might as well be a cold blood.”
“Oh we knew it,” Seven Trills said with a grimace as he flapped up to rest on her shoulder.
Third Sister held out her frill in stiff indignation but Seven Trills seemed to only take it as a invitation droop against her neck. She reminded herself that he had been in the company of humans.
“Why did you not simply outvote her?” Third Sister asked.
“She was so eager,” Seven Trills explained with a tiny sigh. “And we thought we would be able to get some amazing data on the human flight neural circuit to sell to the College of Mammalian Psychology.”
“Did they accept the data?” Third Sister asked, her interest reviving again.
“We didn’t get any,” Seven Trills said pressing his sensory horns into her outer membrane.
“Was she unable to participate due to injury?” Third Sister asked in concern.
“She hates skiing,” Seven Trills informed her. “She always has. The activity not only holds no attractions for her, she actively discourages other humans from participating in it.”
“Why did she wish to go to a planet with no other form of recreation?” Third Sister demanded.
“Do you remember why the Cold-blooded Ones didn’t die on Azure Seventh-flap?” He asked.
“The human expedition saved them,” Third Sister replied. “Ah, did she wish to go for historical pride?”
“Do you remember how the humans saved them?” Seven Trills pressed.
“I do not,” Third Sister answered. “I am not a memory keeper.” She paused. “I think it had something to do with human having a superior transport device.”
“That was part of it,” Seven Trills confirmed. “The humans had sleds designed to run over the surface of the crystallized water. They were very effective but none of the high energy engines worked due to the unique electromagnetic fields on the planet, and no combustion engine would ignite in the atmosphere.”
“So how did the human’s solve that problem?” She asked.
Seven Trills flipped over and pointed a personal projector at the wall. He activated it and Third Sister clicked in surprise.
“I have seen those at the main University,” she said. “But never this variation. An entire species dedicated to transport. Fascinating, I thought them medical aids and message carriers at best.”
“Only this variation,” Seven Trills began, “this breed is dedicated to transport we learned.”
“But what does their presence have to do with Human Friend Helen going to a base with no form of recreation she enjoys?” Third Sister asked, getting tired of being a couch for the winged.
“She said,” Seven Trills said with a groan, dropping one wing over his eyes, “that she desperately needed a doggo fix and huskies would do as well as any other doggo.”
“Do you?” He suddenly took off and darted around the room at mad vectors. “Do you have any idea how much they drool?”
Third Sister began to back out of the room.
“Or how hard it is to get drool out of fur?” he demanded. “Human Friend Helen laughed but skin can be washed in cold weather! Fur-“
The rant cut off as Third Sister slipped into the corridor.