“As you can see we are thriving despite the advancing inclement conditions,” Second Sister said, indicating the wide common room with a flick of her antenna.
Inspector Flicksoddly made a gesture of assent as he absorbed the vibrations of the room. “He was drifting forward slowly on his hovering transport and the Shatar paced along easily beside him. The weak yellow sunlight from the three suns glared in through the windows that formed the north and east walls providing at least a portion of the ultraviolet needs of the various flora and fauna that inhabited the shared space. Vines from the Shatar homeworld, according to rumor gifts from the House of the Eldest itself, climbed up the walls and down trellises that formed corridor’s around the edges of the space. Small trees, gifted from Terra stretched up towards the ceiling and the artificial sunscapes that provided what the local stars couldn’t.
“Will Expounds Inevitably on All Subjects be going dormant this year?” Flicksoddly asked.
Second Sister brushed at an eye with her proboscis and glanced at some note on her data pad.
“An interesting question,” she finally stated. “The axis tilt on this planet is more than intense enough to trigger dormancy in a Gathering, however Expounds Inevitably on All Subjects has been making plans for myth exchange with every other member of the base and I cannot imagine how that can be accomplished in the time frame if Expounds Inevitably on All Subjects goes dormant.”
Flicksoddly spread his appendages and examined the Gathering who inhabited the central portion of the common area. With the approaching cold cycle Expounds Inevitably on All Subjects had recalled the vast majority of tendril mass into this sheltered building and was now visible as a mound of apparent organic detritus that filled the better part of the center of the shared area. There were paths through the mound for the walking species and various seats had been placed under the trees and vine clusters in an obvious attempt to invite conversation. Several of the chairs has been carved, or perhaps formed out of wood, into human comfortable seats and something distinctly non-organic was draped over them. It was an interesting set up all things told, but as it all seemed perfectly conductive to long term mental stability and interspecies harmony there was nothing in it for the inspector to note.
“All does appear to be in readiness for the storms,” he observed.
Flicksoddly felt his attention diverted as the energy in the room changed palpably. From where his transport now hovered he had a good range of perspective. The flights of Winged began rustling as if preparing for flight but none of them abdicated their perches. A cluster of Undulates began to poke there appendages out of their pool and some hauled themselves out onto drying ledges. Flicksoddly gestured to the movement around them, setting his body at an inquisitive angle. Second Sister noted his question and indicated the main doorway with her antennas.
“The humans will be coming off of their main research shift soon,” she explained.
“And they are that popular?” Flicksoddly asked in an amused tone as he noted the excitement filling the communal area.
“They are when the planet is at this angle,” Second Sister confirmed.
“How are those two items connected?” Flicksoddly asked.
“Through these,” Second Sister said.
She reached over and selected one of the non-organic items that had been draped over a nearby wooden seat. Flicksoddly accepted the material, it was quite light, and ran it through his appendages with an approving hum.
“Thermal insulation,” he identified it. “Fibrous and very pleasing to the touch. These would be very useful for the coming temperature drops. Did the humans gift these to the base?”
“In a manner of speaking yes,” Second Sister replied, “but not as you are thinking. The humans use them for their own purposes.”
“I can see how they would benefit the humans tremendously,” Flicksoddly said. “They must catch and diffuse much of their biothermal energy.”
“Put that back before Human Friend Susan gets here!” A voice so high-pitched that Flicksoddly almost missed it suddenly called out accompanied by the darting movements that indicated he was being addressed by a frustrated flight of Winged.
“This is Human Friend Susan’s blanket?” Flicksoddly asked as he passed the blanket back to Second Sister, who had the height to set the fabric on the human sized seat.
“It is the one she will most likely use today,” Second Sister explained. “Come, if we want to observe without interfering we should distance ourselves. I think you will understand better then.”
They moved over to one of the thin, triangular perches designed for Shatar anatomy and Second Sister began explaining the meal cycle of the cafeteria to him. He listened with half of his appendages while waiting for the humans to enter. He didn’t have long to wait, but the normally hasty humans certainly took their time once in the communal area. For the most part they were carrying either data pads, books, a thermal-insulated drink container or some combination of those items. They stopped to chat with individuals, flights, or to make comments at the seemingly dormant mass in the middle of the floor. Most of the wandered over to the couches in front of the windows and the ones who didn’t sit paused to take long, shallow drinks of their heated beverages before cycling back towards the more shaded seats among Expounds Inevitably on all Subjects’s piles.
One human, Human Friend Susan, Flickoddly supposed, finally detached herself from a conversation about the current temperature and wandered over the seat he had been examining. She set her drink on one “armrest” her book on the other and proceed to fold herself into the curves of the seat in a very nearly undulate manner. When she had reached some mysterious state of contentment she reached for the fibrous material and spread it over her body to trap the thermal energy she was radiating. This done she wriggled back into the seat, picked up her drink in one hand and opened her book with another.
That alone was an interesting enough spectacle but the fight of Winged who had spent this time very deliberately grooming themselves in the branches above her now seem to decide that some acceptable limit had been reached and descended on her in a flutter of membranous wings. Flickoddly assumed that they requested permission to land from the fact that Human Friend Susan waved her cup holding hand in a gesture of assent but the sound was lost to him in the rustle of wings. The Winged busied themselves finding spots to curl up against the soft fibers of the fabric that was now radiating the human’s thermal energy.
“A very tempting prospect,” Flicksoddly observed.
Second Sister gave a light trill of amusement.
“I cannot say that it is quite so attractive to me,” she admitted, “but then Shatar are less dependent on mutual touch for warmth.”
“And it is the increased cold that causes this behavior despite the interior of the base itself being climate controlled?” Flicksoddly asked for confirmation.
“That is correct,” Second Sister replied. “The psychological presence of the cold outside seems to drive this behavior in most species. The humans call it fluffy blanket season, for obvious reasons,” she finished, flicking an antenna at Human Friend Susan, now all but covered in contentedly grooming Winged.
"Humans are Weird: I Have the Data"
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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Hey! The books are moving well on Amazon and now have 117 reviews and ratings! If you bought the book and enjoyed it, it would really help me out if you leave a quick star rating on Amazon. A review would be great but just stars would be a huge boost *****!
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