“Pardon me Human Friend LaChance?” Twistunder began as he approached the human at the edge of the joint recreation pool.
The sound was listed as *general recognition of non-threatening disturbance-continue to communicate-repeat previous communication attempt*. It was quite a lot of meaning to imprint in one tone and Twistunder was rather fascinated with the idea but he was here for a different, and potentially more offensive set of questions.
“Pardon me Human Friend LaChance,” Twistunder began again. “May I intrude on your meditation time?”
“My what now?” LaChance asked, his face twisting into perplexed and relaxed confusion.
“You are reading and meditating over the thoughts in that book,” Twistunder indicated the woven mass of rustling lanolin.
“Yeah,” the human said as he examined the book and his face smoothed over in surprise, his stripes flushing alternating colors. “I guess that is what I am doing…what was your question?”
“I asked,” Twistunder repeated, “if I may intrude.”
“Intrude away little buddy,” Human Friend LaChance said cheerfully.
Taking that as a full invitation Twistunder quickly scrambled out of the water, onto the rock the human was sitting on, and up into the twin broad mobile appendages. Twistunder marveled anew at the tightly bound masses of muscle under the thick and rough outer membrane. It was easy to believe that a human could race across the ground at a fantastic six unds per second. Human Friend LaChance let out a rumbled from deep in his chest that was called a chuckle as Twistunder settled over his primary appendage joints.
“I have a question,” Twistunder began, making sure to angle his primary gripping end at Human Friend LaChance’s face. “It is a question that might be offensive.”
“We’re both scientists,” LaChance replied, twisting his face to reveal his broad, enameled teeth. “I doubt I’ll be offended.”
“I wish to ask the meaning of that physical word you just used,” Twistunder replied.
“I used a physical word?” Human Friend LaChance in surprise.
“Yes,” Twistunder explained.
“So what made you think it was maybe offensive?” Human Friend LaChance asked.
“It was very similar to the poem prayer,” Twistunder answered, displaying the motion with one appendage.
“Well not offended but very much not Catholic,” Human Friend LaChance said with a laugh. “And I certainly wasn’t praying just now. Can you show me what I did?”
Twistunder bobbed his primary gripping end eagerly up and down in confirmation.
“You did this,” he said.
He arched his body up, gripping Human Friend LaChance’s kneecaps for support, and stiffened into his best approximation of a bipedal form. He lifted one primary gripping appendage and lightly tapped first the top of his ‘head’, then his ‘face’, then his ‘chest’. Human Friend LaChance burst out laughing so hard that Twistunder had to drop back down and grip both legs to avoid falling off. When the laughter subsided Human Friend LaChance reached down to pat him in a friendly gesture.
“Not meant to be communication Bud,” he said cheerfully. “It is more of an internal reaction to circumstances.”
Twistunder drooped in disappointment and Human Friend LaChance patted him again.
“But I can translate it for you as communication anyway,” Human Friend LaChance assured him.
He stiffened in the first gesture.
“Hey! I need my glasses!” He said. “You know what glasses are right?”
“Artificial light focal point generators made from various crystalline substances,” Twistunder replied.
“Yup! So then,” he touched the top of his head, “are they on my head? No? Well maybe I already put them on my eyes and just forgot.” He touched the wide bones over his eyes. “Nope? Well maybe I hung them on my neck?” He touched his chest. “Nope. Guess I left them at home. No biggie.”
The human ceased the explanation and smiled down at his friend as he patted him.
“That explain it for you Bud?” He asked.
“It is an external diagnostic,” Twistunder observed.
“Pretty much,” Human Friend LaChance said with a shrug.
“Thank you Human Friend LaChance,” Twistunder said.
The Undulate settled down on the human’s legs as LaChance leaned back and resumed reading. Thinking about human behavior was fine and all but sunning on top of a warm mammalian muscle mass was something worth doing too.
Thank you all so much for your updoots and feedback. It gives me the will to go on. Want to see more? Think about becoming a Patreon Tea refuses to buy itself and the more time one has to spend on a day job the less time there is for befuddled aliens.