“Wing Commander!” Forty-fifth Trills burst into the medical bay at full speed and had to circle the room three times before he could reduce his speed enough to land in a mostly dignified manner.
“And what madness are the humans flitting about this time?” The wing commander asked.
He patiently waited for the young Winged to catch his breath. The excitable lad was inflating and deflating nearly fifty percent with each breath and his fur was positively fluffed. The idle thought that the humans of the base would find it quite ‘cute’ crossed the commander’s mind as he continued tapping at his report. Forty-fifth Trills finally managed to bring his breathing under control and began hopping around the desk surface in agitation.
“You know that they warned us to not let the humans get bored?” Forty-fifth Trills demanded in the mother tongue.
The commander would have scolded him for using a language that most of the other species of the base couldn’t hear, let alone understand, but he gathered that could wait until the end of the report. Forty-fifth Trills was now quickly summarizing the various reports they had been given of how odd humans were. He seemed to be circling over the concept of boredom. He finally wound up with a summary of human viral tolerances and crouched there gasping at the commander. The wing commander let a long half second drag out before glancing at the youth.
“And what exactly,” the wing commander asked, “does this general madness have to do with you bursting into my office at the present moment?”
Forty-fifth Trills stared at him blankly for a moment before rapidly brushing his wing-hooks over his horns.
“There is a possibility that one of the humans has a virus!” Forty-fifth Trills burst out.
The wing commander instantly fluffed with concern.
“Has the human self isolated?” he demanded.
“No!” Forty-fifth Trills stated. “The human insisted he was fine.”
“What makes you conclude he had a virus?” the wing commander asked as he hurriedly began to put his desk in order.
The only thing more wing-stiff than a healthy human was an ill human but usually a direct order from a ranking officer was enough to send them to rest.
“He vomited!” Forty-fifth Trills informed with with horrified resonances in his voice but fascinated ripples in his neck fur.
The wing commander immediately took to flight at that. Forty-fifth Trills took off after him.
“The humans are in the lower docking bay,” Forty-fifth Trills told him.
“What are they doing there?” the wing commander demanded. “Didn’t they notice that one of their own was evacuating his digestive tract?”
“I am reasonably sure that is what the rest were laughing at,” Forty-fifth Trills explained.
The wing commander hovered and rotated slowly to stare at him.
“The humans were not expressing concern over their comrade?” he asked carefully.
Forty-fifth Trill chirped a confused affirmative.
“Humans usually take far more care of their flight-mates than of each other…” he said musingly.
“Yes,” Forty-fifth Trills agreed as they set off down the corridor at a more sedate pace.
They reached the docking bay in question and were greeted by an encouraging chant. The humans were circled around an open space. There were two circles marked out on the floor in tape. In roughly the center of the circles was a human holding a broom, and spinning. Their head was bent over to touch the tip of the broom handles to their forehead and their feat danced around the broom and they spun their center of mass around and around.
Forty-fifth Trills noted one particular human who was a distinctly different shade of health than the rest and pointed him out with a chirp. They flew over to the human. One Junior Ranger Bryzinke, and chirped for permission to land on his shoulders. He grinned at them and held out his arm. The landed and crept close to his ear to be heard over the chanting.
“Are you well Bryzinke?” the wing commander asked.
“Pretty good,” Bryzinke said with a shrug. “I cleaned up the mess I made and drank some water. Fortunately most of them have stronger stomachs than I do.”
“What exactly happened,” the wing commander asked.
The human gave a massive snort of laughter.
“What usually happens when a human spins to fast,” he said. “The inner ear objects to the brain and the brain orders the stomach to punish the body until the spinning stops.”
The chanting suddenly reached a crescendo and the two spinning humans dropped the brooms and staggered towards a pair of towels, each holding the clutter of a disassembled personal projectile weapon. They fell to their knees and began groping at the parts.
“What are they doing?” the wing commander asked.
“It’s a timed competition,” Bryzinke explained. “I was disqualified for chucking but Reeds there had a real chance to win this. She says she was the base champion back in her cadet days.”
Reed suddenly doubled over and clutched her head with a groan.
“Course those were more than a few years ago,” Bryzinke said with a sympathetic wince.
“I would like you to report to the medical bay so I can scan the results of this game,” the wing commander finally said.
“Sure thing,” Bryzinke said with a nod. “Soon as we’re done here.”
Thank you all so much for your updoots and feedback. It gives me the will to go on. Want to see more? Think about becoming a Patreon.Tea refuses to buy itself and the more time one has to spend on a day job the less time there is for befuddled aliens.