Captain Seventh Click gave his wings a luxurious stretch and spent several moments just enjoying the light tingling of the local star on his sensory horns. His ship was safely docked and tucked into the storm shelters the local star-base offered. His cargo of medical devices was offloaded and the payments from the local merchants had come in without problem. His flight had all remembered to actually request shore leave before spreading their wings and darting off into the crowds of sapients who had arrived for the local agricultural festival. Most of them had even remembered to file itineraries.
Seventh Click gave a content sigh and flopped himself over to sun his belly. He reached out with a winghook and pulled his datapad closer to him. He hit replay on the last message he had received and tilted his sensory horns to catch the sounds.
“Greetings Seventh Click my friend!” Bronson’s deep voice rolled out from the speakers. “The clearance came through for my leave and I will have the entire festival free. Second Sister Havata Hive will be preforming my duties as traffic controller and I will be formally putting on my show. I have secured the main platform and look forward to seeing you there!”
Seventh Click let the deep, soothing tones work with the solar rays to ease him further into a restful posture. He had a decent wing’s breadth of time before he was supposed to meet his friend and he fully intended to spend the majority of the time lounging in blissful lack of responsibility. However there was always the chance that blissfully lack of responsibility could be found socially and well as individually. He ran a speculative eye over the list of entertainments offered and felt a thermal of disappointment. Most of the events listed; Shatar musical stylings, Trisk acrobatics (always fun to to and heckle the leggy jumpers), and human cooking demonstrations didn’t start for several local hours. His friend’s show wouldn’t be until near the end of the day. The only actual presentation going on was a safety lecture on the dangers of radiation given by a local Fifth Sister. Seventh Click almost defiantly spread his wings out a little further to catch the solar rays.
His disappointing musings were cut short by a deeply resounding human whoop of excitement. Seventh Click perked up and glanced around curiously. A lone human, male from the breadth of his shoulders and the depth of his sound profile, was riding one of the local flightless avian species through the milling crowd of sapients and their domestic livestock preparing for the festival. The human wasa wrapped in layers of brilliantly colored silks, some of them shaped into proper clothes, but many of them simply bands crossed and woven over his trunk like body creating an oddly colorful patchwork and displaying the shape of many of the humans massive muscle groups. The avian moved quickly and carried the human to the curved trunk of a tree. The human leapt off the beast with a halloo and darted up the curve of the tree with the avian following at his heels.
“Sisters! Aunts! Clicks, Trills, and tsk’tsk’tsk’s!” The human sang out with a flourish of his tree-like limbs. “You are one and all invited to a presentation of the ancient human art of messing about!”
The human’s voice dance lightly through the crowd, calling attention and feeding delightfully frenetic energy into the audience. He knelt on the tree and scooped three heavy sacks out of his pocket. These he proceeded to toss into the air and catch.
Seventh Click watched the spinning sacks in fascination. Their behavior suggested that they were full of some hard, rounded material. Perhaps seeds or beads. The avian steed behind the human was attempting to snatch them out of the air and the human turned with a cry of mock frustration to remonstrate with the creature. Seventh Click idly wondered if they, the crowd were supposed to assume that in the fictional presentation the avian was assumed to be sapient, or if they were to assume the human was mad. He knew that human performers enjoyed presenting both possibilities as an absurdity for the audience. His human friend had mentioned being particularly fond of this kind of challenge of reality in his own shows.
Seventh Click watched the human switch to a mock fight with his avian companion and wondered that there would be two shows so similar in what was after all, a relatively small festival. The thought occurred to him that this might be some companion of Bronson’s, perhaps an assistant his friend had hired to increase interest in the crowd before the show. He gave his wings a leisurely stretch and took off, lazily circling the waves of frenetic sound coming from the human. Gradually the human’s presentation wound down and the small crowd that had stopped to watch him began to wander off.
Seventh Click dropped down into the human’s visual range and cleared his throat to speak in the absurdly low tones needed to get a human’s attention.
“Greetings performer!” Seventh Click called out. “Do you work in a wing with my friend Bronson?”
The human glanced up a him, the trailing bands of silk that wound around his head flaring almost like wings, and his face contorted in confusion.
“What ho!” the human sang out, accompanying the words with a small dance that the avian followed. “Know ye not whomist I am good fuzzy sir?”
“When you mangle your grammar it makes it quite difficult for those of us who speak it as a third language to understand,” Seventh Click pointed out.
The human laughed and tossed his balls up in the air.
“You know me!” the human sang out.
Seventh Click felt his sensory horns tingle with embarrassment as the meaning sank in.
“Did Bronson introduce us during one of our communications?” He asked, circling the human closer and trying to get a good look at his face under the trailing silks.
The human burst into merry laughter and then suddenly stilled. He stood straighter, more firmly. Even the avian calmed down and glanced at Seventh Click with mild curiosity. When the human spoke again his entire sound profile had changed. It was deeper calmer and Seventh Click darted away in shock at the sensation of suddenly being faced with an entirely different human being.
“Dude!” Bronson, for it was now unquestionably him. “It’s me!”
Seventh Click darted around him in shock, noting the distinct nose, the large ears, and the brilliant green eyes that marked the physical nature of his friend. Bronson laughed, his normal, deep slow laugh.
“I’m not wearing any makeup yet,” he said holding out a hand for Seventh Click. “How could you not tell it was me?”
“Your voice,” Seventh Click sputtered out, “...your, your everything! It was different! Just now, that wasn’t you!”
Bronson threw back his head and laughed, and has he laughed his sound profile changed again. When he spoke it was no longer in the deep soothing tones that directed the space traffic of the system, but in the frenetic tones of the showman.
“That is acting my good fuzzy friend!” he sang out. “Now, I need to go drum up an audience the next section over! Follow along and watch!”
The human leapt up onto the patient avian and they darted off. Seventh Click stared after him a few wing beats then shrugged. So a human could have more than one sound profile...that simply meant he should probably recount how many friends he thought he actually had, especially if he knew them mostly by their voices over the comms.
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