“I heard you had a long and heated talk with the human cartographer,” Thirty-two Trills observed as his second in command fluttered down onto the branch he was hanging from.
“You could call it that,” Three Clicks said with an expressive sigh as he settled down beside his commander.
“Did you write it up?” Thirty-two Trills asked. “It sounded land graph related.”
“I took many notes,” Three Clicks said, running his wing hooks over his sensory horns in an absent grooming gesture. “I do plan to make a full report.”
“Well do, and don’t drag me into it,” Thirty-two Trills ordered him. “I have quiet enough human madness to deal with in my own duties.”
However from the way Three Clicks’s fur bushed out and relaxed he did want to talk about the issue. Thirty-two Trills was estimating the value of his tablet mentally, debating if he couldn’t risk dropping it and making a mad dash for freedom before his second in command gathered his wits.
“He argued that planetary equators are imaginary,” Three Clicks finally burst out.
Thirty-two Trills fluffed out his fur in shock and turned his eyes on Three Clicks.
“But I know they use that concept daily!” Thirty-two Trills exclaimed.
Then immediately regretted it. Not his job. Not his job.
“They do!” Three Clicks answered, gesturing dramatically with his wings. “They have the equator on their own world and a range of degreed lines as well. They simply insist that the equator is, and I quote, ‘an imaginary line’. A thing any child of any sentient species can see! A thing understood genetically by countless non-sentient species.”
“So,” Thirty-two Trills said slowly. “A thing that they use for scientific measurement and suborbital navigation on a daily basis, a thing that is clearly recognized on every spherical world, they consider to be imaginary.”
“Yes!” Three Clicks exclaimed. He spread his wings in frustration. “And you should have heard the argument he used. Things about having crossed the equator on a dozen worlds and never having seen one-“
However the added time and allowed the commander to neatly tuck his tablet into his chest pack and he sprang off the branch clicking a jaunty tune.
“I’ll see it all in your report!” He called out cheerfully.
It really wasn’t his problem.