“Pardon me Human Friend -”
Human Friend Helen emitted a harsh bark of sound and staggered away from where she had been threading some fiber through the slats of solar radiation shielding.
“My most sincere apolo-” Feeling the Joy of Generosity began as contrition rippled through his mass, shaking out more than a few dried blades of grass.
“Not-”Human Friend Helen gasped out, “no prob-” she hissed in another breath, “please don’t- I just-really focused you know.”
The human have a wry laugh and obviously pulled her awareness inward to balance her reactions. Feeling the Joy of Generosity politely shifted his center of mass down to indicate that he was patiently waiting for her to center herself. He was well aware that this gave him an appearance that humans considered pudgy and amusing, but given that he had clearly startled this human that was probably not a bad thing in this case. Human Friend Helen finally drew in a deep breath and shook out her body.
“I got to focused on this,” she indicated the work she was doing with a wave of her hand. “You heard the measurements for the blinds were all wrong when they arrived? Anyway you made plenty of noise on your approach, I was just too internalized, so there’s no need to apologize.”
“As ever thank you for your clear explanation of the social element Human Friend Helen,” Felling the Joy of Generosity said, making sure to use the tones human associated with sincerity. “In that case may I use sorry in an expression of compassion for the fight or flight surge you experienced?”
The human blinked at him as she mulched that over and then she smiled and the harsh tank of mammalian panic hormones that filled the room was softened by the pleasure and relief pheromones that washed out of her.
“Sure thing Feels, and thank you.” She said. “Now, what did you want?”
“I am looking for Human Friend Gavin,” Feeling the Joy of Generosity stated allowing his tones to shift to display his cheerful intent.
It was so very important that humans got signals of your benign intentions, otherwise they were reluctant to provide location data for others.
“He was doing touch up work in the rafters of the north collaboration hut,” Human Friend Helen stated with a wave to indicate the direction of said hut. “He’ll probably still be there. Installing vents in dead-wood structures is fussy work.”
“Thank you,” Feeling the Joy of Generosity said. “I wish you pleasant work integrating the radiation shields.”
“Oh, it’s fun enough,” Human Friend Helen said as she bent back over the worksurface.
Feeling the Joy of Generosity shuffled out of the room and headed towards the location of the new north collaboration hut. The structures were an experimental space meant to welcome all seven species at the University branch in a more natural outdoor environment. There was a humanity grade roof, strong enough to take the full gravitational load of winter snow as well as tight enough to resists the highest of winds. The underside was shaped with curves and foils that were designed to redirect the force of the wind blasts to prevent them from lifting the structure off of it’s main supports; wooden posts, just over two meters tall, and below that sunk deep into the soil for strength and stability at each of the ten corners. There were sides that could be lowered and raised at will to deflect or welcome solar radiation, wind, or even the small streams that meandered through the structure to meet at the small pond in the center.
Just designing proper venting around all those elements was a feat in itself for a deadwood structure that could not change or adapt naturally Feeling the Joy of Generosity mused as he shuffled towards it. Actually manually applying those designs would be ‘fussy’ work as Human Friend Helen had put it. His musings were interrupted by a sudden tremor that ran through the ground and then the air. Something large must have fallen to the ground and from the direction of the sound waves it had fallen in the structures he was approaching. Feeling the Joy of Generosity’s tendrils stirred uneasily within his bio mass. He knew of nothing that should have been falling to the ground at this stage of the construction, and now he noticed that some ambient noise had ceased. He was not sure which however. He found himself wishing he had brought his movement tray, but he had gotten so efficient at mimicking walking in this form that he rarely even disturbed the humans. However running was quite out of the question if he wanted any sort of biomass cohesion. So he continued to shuffle one foot in front of the other until he came around one of the lowered walls of the structure.
Feeling the Joy of Generosity paused a moment to take in the scene. From the flowing of the air around him it was clear that half of this side of the structure had been vented. A human class, non powered climbing device was propped against the wall. On the leaf litter scattered floor Human Friend Gavin lay on one side. One hand clutched a blood stained scrap of natural fiber cloth to the other. His eyes were open, but even Feeling the Joy of Generosity could see that his irises and pupils were not visible.
Feeling the Joy of Generosity digested his options and shuffled forward to the human’s side. Mammals could not lose much internal fluid by mass. He lifted the damaged hand and examined it. It had not seemed to loose more than a few cubic centimeters of blood at most. The injury appeared to be a small, rough hole going entirely through the flesh. Feeling the Joy of Generosity spotted a small powered drill not far from where the human had fallen and an extended tendril detected particles of blood and flesh on it. However the injury had not lost much fluid and was rapidly sealing. Still Feeling the Joy of Generosity carefully repositioned the cloth which seemed to have absorbed the majority of what blood had escaped over the injury and secured it there with several of his own smaller structural vines.
As the vines gently cinched down Human Friend Gaving began to stir and let out a groan. His eyeballs rotate in their sockets and his eyelids rapidly blinked as his irises flexed to focus on Feeling the Joy of Generosity. The Gathering carefully prodded the interior of his own face with active tendrils to made sure all the elements were properly in place to present a comforting image to the human.
“What are you injuries Human Friend Gavin?” Feeling the Joy of Generosity asked.
The human blinked at him a few more times and then his face grew red as his blood vessels dilated.
“’M fine,” the human slurred out as he made an attempt to roll into a more vertical position.
Feeling the Joy of Generosity felt a sympathetic ripple run through him. It seemed that Human Friend Gavin was having trouble generating non-distressing tones himself due to the minor loss of mass.
“I’m fine,” Human Friend Gavin managed to enunciate as he finally managed to get up, onto his hands and knees, and then stagger mostly upright.
The red color drained out of the human’s face leaving him pale and dim once more. The human lurched sideways until he came to rest against the wall. Once propped against the structure he squinted down at the cloth now tied to his hand and frowned. He picked lightly at the vines in confusion, then his glance shifted to Feeling the Joy of Generosity. He blinked a few more times and then managed to smile.
“Thanks for the wrap Feels Dude,” Human Friend Gavin said.
His tones were more human normal now but still weak.
“May I escort you to the medical office?” Feeling the Joy of Generosity.
The human flushed again and bit his lower lip as he considered this.
“Nah,” he finally said.
“I would probably be too slow,” admitted Feeling the Joy of Generosity. “You should set out then.”
“What?” The human blinked at him again as he gradually shifted into a more upright position. “Ah, I see what you mean. Nah, you can come with me if you like, but this,” he waved his injured hand, “this lil’ perforation? Not worth a trip to the mammal doctor. I’ll just go and rest and run the deep tissue disinfectant over it.”
Feeling the Joy of Generosity pondered this as the human began teetering around to gather his tools.
“How is losing consciousness and falling off a climbing device not worthy of a medical visit?” he asked, making sure to put plenty of skepticism in his tones.
From the annoyed look Human Friend Gavin shot him he suspected he might have overdone it.
“Only fell off the last step,” the human protested, “and it was a controlled fall too! My brain’s fine!”
“Why did you fall then?” Feeling the Joy of Generosity pressed.
The human sighed and lifted his toolbag with his uninjured hand. He swayed a moment, swayed far outside of normal movements in a human and then braced a shoulder against the wall again.
“Look,” Human Friend Gavin finally said, and his tones suggested he was admitting something shameful. “I got this low blood pressure issue. Can’t stand the sight of my own blood. I loose any at all and I just wobble and then keel over. I just need some rest and I’ll be right back to work. You coming?”
The human shoved off of the wall and staggered off towards his personal habitation. Feeling the Joy of Generosity followed him, uncertain if this situation called for a quick medical snitch.
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