“May I see what you find amusing Human Friend Mack?” Quilx’tch asked.
Survey Core Ranger Mack Dodge shifted his tablet up so the Trisk could see the screen and invited Quilx’tch to perch on his shoulder. Quilx’tch scampered over and settled onto Mack’s shoulder.
“Just enjoying a little schadenfreude,” Human Friend Mack said. “I’ve been mentoring this idiot for months and his gravitational chickens just came home to roost.”
Quilx’tch mulled over how little those sentences meant to him as Human Friend Mack reset the video play.
“Could you please adjust the blue range light?” Quilx’tch requested.
“Oh? Right Quick Bud,” Mack said as his fingers flicked across the screen at the end of his massive limbs.
The light from the screen muted and the image clarified. It was of a human in the uniform of a Survey Core Ranger. He was clearly setting up some sort of sensor or collection device in a fairly complex patter in the middle of a forest clearing.
“Told ya the brackets couldn’t hold in a planetary well,” Human Friend Mack muttered.
Quilx’tch pondered that as he watched the playback. It was fairly clear from context that Human Friend Mack wasn’t talking to him. The video was clearly pre-recorded and no note recording function seemed to be active on the tab. Did humans normally attempt to converse with non-responsive media? However the scene depicted soon drew his full attention. The energetic overload lights on the sensors began to flash and then one on the fringes began to smoke. The central sensor suddenly exploded in sparks and dropped like a stone, striking the human Ranger on his head.
Human Friend Mack burst into laughter, beginning with a hoot that startled Quilx’tch into standing.
“I told him he couldn’t by-guess-and-by-golly those repuslers,” Human Friend Mack said within his laughter.
“Human Friend Mack!” Quilx’tch snipped out in shock. “Are you indulging in sadism?”
“Huh?” Human Friend Mack glanced down at Quilx’tch out of the corner of one eye. “Sadism? No, why?”
“Are you not taking great pleasure in that human’s suffering?” Quilx’tch asked.
“Well, yes,” Human Friend Mack admitted as he flicked his fingers to play the scene again.
“Isn’t that sadism,” Quilx’tch asked.
“No, no,” Human Friend Mack assured him. “Sadism is enjoying causing pain.”
“Do you have a name for the enjoyment you are experiencing at his pain now?” Quilx’tch asked.
“Oh yeah,” Human Friend Mack said with a grin, “we call this beauty of a situation schadenfreude.”
“And how does it differentiate from sadism?”Quilx’tch asked.
“Because I warned the idiot!” Human Friend Mack spat out. “I must have told him forty times that you have to sync the gyros to the exact gravity or they’ll pop. I went over the procedure with him as many times. Like I said, chickens.”
“So this, schadenfreude,” Quilx’tch said. “It is taking enjoyment out of failing to instruct your friends in safety procedures.”
“Nah,” Human Friend Mack said as he played the loop again, “just means enjoying the suffering of others. The ‘I told him so’ bit is just icing on the cake.”
Quilx’tch counted up the number of colloquialisms and decided that perusal wasn’t worth it.