The voice sounded from around the wall of the office and the nutritional anthropologist clicked out a response absently. The speaker fluttered into the room and came to rest across from the consol where three of Quilx’tch’s eight legs were rapidly tapping away at the screen.
“Quilx’tch…” the Hellbat began, his fur flat in some uneasy emotion.
Quilx’tch twitched in irritation and raised his primary eyes to focus on the base safety officer.
“Can I aid you Five Clicks?” Quilx’tch asked.
He had more experience than most at fighting the instinctual fear his species had of the Hellbats but it was still uncomfortable to be in the same room with one.
“How did you know that I should not have approved the cultural display today?” Five Clicks demanded in a rush, his sensory horns dull with inattention.
Quilx’tch paused and pondered the question.
“I did not know exactly,” he said carefully. “I simply noted that the humans were ‘grinning’ and ‘snickering’ and ‘giggling’ all together.”
“Those are supposed to be an indication of pleasure and comfort!” Five Clicks hissed.
“Indeed,” Quilx’tch said, backing up a bit. “However my personal observations have indicated that if all three of those factors occur simultaneously that the possibility that the humans are involved in some form of dangerous mischief is high.”
Five Clicks gave a whistling moan and covered his sensory horns with his wings, giving the horns an absent rub.
“There is also an informal rule I found in a cache of human documents,” Quilx’tch continued. “At the time I assumed it was a jest but perhaps it was in earnest after all.”
“What rule?” Five Clicks asked without looking up from under his wings.
“If the thought of something makes an adult human giggle for more than fifteen seconds it should not be allowed.” Quilx’tch replied.
A sudden explosion rumbled through the base and Quilx’tch gripped the consol in fear.
“What did you let them do?” he demanded when Five Clicks didn’t respond to the noise with anything other than a full frame shudder.
“Fireworks,” Five Clicks hissed. “They are displaying fireworks.”