Amazon.com: Humans are Weird: I Have the Data eBook: Adams, Betty, Gibadullina, Adelia, Wong, Richard : Kindle Store
“Are you quite sure that the harness crates are within the human’s lifting tolerances?” Fourth Click asked, his wings twitching a bit as he settled himself on the perch beside the base commander.
“They are far under the tolerance levels for even the weakest human,” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks stated with a curt tone to his voice. “When I suggested bringing in a lift the human nearly had a fit laughing.”
Fourth Click didn’t respond but let his eyes track the human who was currently organizing the storage compartments. The planet they were on was shifting into what the humans called a monsoon season. While the storage compartment was rated for the wing ripping force of the winds the design involved a bit too much flexibility to allow for storage on the outer surfaces when the walls started pulsing to the windsongs of the planet. Therefore all of the storage shelves along the walls were being disassembled and restructured for extra structural support and their contents were being distributed throughout the base.
Of course the humans were an unspannable aid in this process. They could have never gotten it done without their help. From everything they heard the human’s own base construction had taken a different tactic. The outer shell of their base was completely rigid, several wingspans thick, and reinforced with several layers of rock that had been pulverized, suspended in liquid, then sprayed over the framework. It was a style of construction that would only apply to creature with the humans’ rock like bones he was sure.
Finally Commander Fifty-seven Clicks noted his deliberate silence and glared over at Fourth Click. In reply, Fourth Click shrugged and aimed his eyes on the human. Commander Fifty-seven Clicks gave an almost petulant growl and followed his gaze. The massive human was just then approaching the shelf where the crates of harnesses were. One massive arm swung in a steady rhythm to provide balance. The other arm was clutched to his side as if he was carrying a datapad but there was no datapad to be seen. The human reached the rapidly dwindling supply of crates on that wall. That near the edge of the compartment the human’s thick hair nearly brushed the ceiling. The human reached up as if to grab the box but just before his hand made contact the human paused and grunted in what was very clearly pain. It was a short moment, no one would have noticed if unless they happened to be looking at the human at just the right moment.
“What human nonsense is this?” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks demanded with a distinct clicking together of his teeth.
“Mustn’t grind your teeth,” Fourth Click reminded him gently, only to get a rather sour look in response.
The human had reached the box and lifted it down to his center of mass with another pained grunt. Commander Fifty-seven Clicks hissed at that and Fourth Click whistled through his teeth in agreement. Humans only bothered centering mass when it was well past the mass of the flight harnesses in the crates.
“I will investigate this,” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks said in a grim tone.
“What’s got you in such a flit?” Fourth Click asked in surprise. “Overloaded or mislabeled crates are hardly something to get fluffed over.”
“The crates are exactly what they say they are,” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks stated. “That human is concealing an injury.”
“What?” Fourth Click demanded. “That would be childlike foolishness!”
Yet when he looked back over at the human clutching the relatively small crate to his center of mass he had to agree that it did fit the observed data better than his theory.
“Probably a minor phlangie injury,” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks went on. “I’ve been told that such injures are considered so minor for them that essentially all medical intervention is either useless or counterproductive. The only thing to do is to completely rest the appendage.”
“So why isn’t he resting?” Fourth Click demanded.
“A quirk of human nature,” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks said with a wave of his wing. “They consider something that is such a small proportion of their mass important in direct proportion to its size. They take it as an affront against the nature of things that their entire mass could be rendered nonfunctional by a malfunction in such a tiny part.”
“How very human,” Fourth Click said with a wry chuckle as they took flight and swept over to where the human had just placed the crate on the hovering transport.
“Ranger Cram,” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks snapped out, dropping his voice so the human could hear him better and shouting. “You are to rest your injured finger, and if that means resting the whole of your body you will do it.”
The human jumped and looked up at them with a wide eyed expression before turning his head to the side, giving them a view of the freakish white area of his eyes interlaced with blood vessels. Fourth Click tried to hide his shudder. You could almost swim in those eyes.
“My fingers are completely uninjured,” Ranger Cram said quickly, holding up his hands and flexing them for the base commander to see.
They did appear completely functional.
“They what,” the commander demanded as he swept forward and landed on the human’s shoulder, “part of you is damaged?”
“Nothing is damaged,” the human insisted. “Not really.”
“Not. Really?” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks pressed.
The human heaved a massive sigh that seemed to be trying to rival the storm outside, and his arm folded around to rub at a point about halfway from his legs to his neck.
“Well one of my ribs is out,” he admitted in a grudging tone. “Hurts a bit and slows me down but it’s one of those things where keeping working is really no worse for me than resting would be. Best to just keep working around it till the chiro gets here in a week or two.”
“Please explain that adverb,” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks interjected. “What do you mean by your rib being out?”
The human paused and his face worked as he tried to explain what was clearly a simple term to him. Finally he held up his hands, made them into fists, and placed one over the other before flaring out his fingers.
“So one of my ribs,” he said slowly. “Slipped out of where it’s attached to the vertebrate and is off kilter-”
Both of the Winged let out horrified shrieks and darted into the air. The human winced at the sound and glanced at them uneasily as they darted around.
“Your. Spine. Is. Miss-aligned?” Commander Fifty-seven Clicks finally calmed him self enough to confirm even as he gave a discrete wing signal for Fourth Click to contact the human commander.
They were going to need backup on this issue no doubt. The human groaned and raised his hands to rub his face.
“Look,” he said. “It’s not a big deal for us. I’ll just be in a bit of pain until-”
“Sit down!” snapped the base commander.
The human heave another sigh and gave a longing look at the half empty shelf before slowly lowering his massive frame onto the hovering transport.
“It’s not a big deal,” he muttered in protest once more.
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