“I doubt the trade agreements will change much in the next two days,” Tra’sk said as he adjusted his perch on his human friend’s shoulder. “It is a holiday for the Shatar and the human offices are going to be focused on restructuring their computer servers.”
“You are probably right,” Damian muttered,
After this short response he went back to chewing gently on his lower lip. A fascinating habit that Tra’sk was glad he had a chance to observe closely. It was amazing how the gleaming opalescent teeth caused no damage to the soft flesh of the lip. Tra’sk noted another human approaching, Wilma he thought her name was, but neither she nor Damian had lifted their directional eyes to note the other’s presence. Tra’sk assumed they would not greet each other and returned the majority of his attention to the conversation.
“I think it is safe to say that,” Tra’sk began, but just as Wilma passed Damian she raised a fist.
“Yo,” Damian said, freeing one hand from the datapad he held to slam his own fist into Wilma’s.
“Hey,” Wilma replied.
The shock surged up Damian’s arm and jarred Tra’sk’s body. He gripped Damian’s shirt, barely remembering to not grip his claws into the soft mammalian skin beneath. Both humans continued walking without breaking their odd two-beat stride and without once raising their eyes to each other. Tra’sk flicked his attention back and forth between them in shock.
That couldn’t have been a display of anger, or any other passion. Damian’s pulse, so clearly visible on the flesh of the neck beside Tra’sk, hadn’t even changed its pace. How each human had even been aware of each other in the noisy passageway was a mystery. Their binocular vision was notoriously narrow.
“Tra’sk!” Damian called out waving his hand for attention. “What do you think?”
“What was that?” Tra’sk demanded.
“I said,” Damian replied. “So do you want to go to the deep forest with me?”
“No! I mean yes,” Tra’sk began. “I would love to go to the forest but what was that?” Tra’sk waved in the direction of Wilma’s departing back.
“That?” Damian asked with a frown, slowing to a stop.
“Your fists!” Tra’sk clarified, mimicking the action with his two primary manipulators.
“The fist bump?” Damian asked, ruckling his eyebrows.
“Of course you have a name for it,” Tra’sk said, slumping down onto Damian’s shoulder.
“That? Just a greeting,” Damian said with a shrug. “You know, for folks you’re cool with.”
Tra’sk pondered the complex calculations necessary to near instantly react to the raised fist of a friend glimpsed out of the humans’ narrow vision, the minutely controlled force required to not injure the other human, and the concentration needed to maintain their bipedal stride at the same time. He walked over to where the pulsing veins radiated mammalian bio-heat from Damian’s neck and pressed his primary eyes into the comforting warmth to dim the overstimulation.
“You okay Tra’sk?” Damian asked in concern.
“Oh I’m quite fine,” Tra’sk said waving one leg dismissively. “Yes, yes the deep forest sounds wonderful: just you me, and no other humans.”
“Okay,” Damian said slowly.
“Fist bump,” Tra’sk chittered. “How many of your greetings involve simulated assault?”
Damian chuckled but seemed to consider the question rhetorical; he shrugged and slipped the datapad under his arm before setting off whistling.