The humans on the base were excited. No one was particularly concerned about this fact, yet. The planet they were on was mild even by the standards of the Undulates who found a mere two degrees of temperature drift uncomfortable. The base was well build and meant to provide comfort and protection in equal parts. Most importantly the base commander was a Shatar with half a lifetime of experience dealing with human madness. All factors considered the inhabitants of the base were interested and watchful.
Gr’ska had not yet determined what the humans were excited about but the general emotional expressions were smiles and laughter and light steps so he was hopeful that it was to be a pleasant surprise. Still hope was one thing, evidence was another. Which was why he had sought out the apparent source of the expectation.
“Friend Helen,” Gr’ska called out as he skittered up to her, all six of his motile legs working overtime to keep up with her bipedal stride. “May I speak to you?”
“Sure thing Grits buddy!” Helen called out.
There was bright energy in her voice and Gr’ska felt his own spirits lift at the sound. He leapt eagerly into the hand she proffered and perched there as she brought him up to her face.
“What do you want to know?” She asked.
“It has been noted that the humans seem to be expecting something,” Gr’ska pointed out. “I would like to know what you are anticipating.”
“Well Grits!” Helen said, her voice interrupted by a giggle. “We weren’t sure it was going to work out so we didn’t say anything but my request for a new pet finally came through.”
“Ah,” Gr’ska said bringing his primary manipulators up to his mandibles. “A pet is a companion animal yes?”
“Yep!” Helen said brightly. Her head nodded eagerly and her brilliant gold head covering bounced entrancingly. “We don’t dare bring any Earth creatures to this world. They would muck up the ecosystem pretty bad so one of the domestication crews went out to the southern seas to look for something pet-worthy. Well they found a nice little warm-blooded lizard thing that fits all the criteria and because it needs to be tested out on-planet before they go off world this base and me!” Her voice rose and she skipped a little, “gets to test out the first pet-forms!”
“And this creature is arriving when?” Gr’ska asked cautiously.
He knew what humans considered suitable pets.
“Now!” Helen nearly squealed out. “The crate is landing now.”
Gr’ska realized that Helen’s steps had taken them to the transport bay and indeed there was a carrier drone approaching with a crate about the size of an Undulate. A low hiss came from the crate as it settled onto the reception platform.
“Uppsie!” Helen called out as she set Gr’ska on her shoulder. “I can’t wait to see my new baby.”
Gr’ska watched as she opened the crate and tenderly pulled out a horrifying creature of the abyss. Twin pairs of forward facing hunter eyes blinked at him. At him. It seemed to be ignoring its new master as she cooed over it. It’s well defined, human like muscles tensed and relaxed under its shimmering opalescent skin. The scales that covered the skin gave the beast a dark blue coloration that shifted as Helen stroked her hands over it.
“Isn’t he adorable?” Helen crooned.
“Adorable,” Gr’ska automatically agreed.
The animal flicked a forked tongue out of his mouth and pulled its lips back to reveal dozens of razor sharp teeth.
“Adorable,” Gr’ska whispered as he slunk back under Helen’s hair.