“So this is what Human Steve has been saving up his printer time for,” Twistunder observed as he ambled over the polymer surface.
“Do you have any idea what it is?” Thirty-five Clicks asked from above.
“No,” Twistunder replied as he reached on end and draped his gripping appendages over the pointed tip.
“Then why did you request permission to inspect it?” The Winged asked.
“Human Steve was giggling while he made this,” Twistunder explained.
“And what does that have to do with the density of midges over the water?” Thirty-five Clicks asked.
Twistunder mused for a moment before replying.
“Oh yes, you’re new,” the Undulate said.
Thirty-five Clicks bristled in affront but as the Undulate simply continued his minute inspection of the human creation the Winged released the load of irritation and fluttered over to him in curiosity.
“I think it looks like a floating colony pontoon,” Thrity-five Clicks offered. “But larger.”
“It is very broad for such a function but on reflection I must agree,” consented Twistunder. “And what do you make of these protrusions?”
He indicated the three triangular forms that rose out of the blunt end of the thing.
“Stabilizers,” the Thrity-five Clicks said with confidence. “To reduce rolling. Not all species have no concept of up you know.”
“We have a concept of resisting gravity,” Twistunder protested. “It just doesn’t mean all that much to us.”
“Sure, sure,” The Winged landed between the protrusions and experimentally nudged one with a wing claw. “Strong but small in proportion to the rest of the float.”
“Indeed,” Twistunder said.
“Odd that he printed it just now,” Thirty-five Clicks observed. “With that wind coming in from the great water we certainly can’t fly and even you swimming types have declared the best hunting estuaries unsafe.”
“The force of the waves on this world would crush us,” Twistunder affirmed. “I doubt even the famous internal skeleton of our human friends could withstand the blows.”
“So why now?” Thirty-five Clicks asked with growing uneasiness.
“I was concerned,” Twistunder admitted, “but your observation on the inadequate size of the stabilizers offers an unclenching explanation.”
“Unclenching?” Thirty-five Clicks asked.
“It relieves my tension,” Twistunder replied. “This is no doubt only a component of a larger craft. Human Steve is no doubt building it in sections as he saves up enough to print out all the parts.”
“That makes sense,” Thirty-five Clicks replied. “Consider me unclenched.”
“That is not how that word is used,” Twistunder said with some affront.
Thirty-five Clicks was about to reply when the human sound of joy (that was far too similar to an emergency alert klaxon) tore through the base. Human Steve burst into the storage room his bronze skin gleaming; all several square meters of it. Thirty-five Clicks stared in wide eared shock at the masse of nearly imperceptibly furred dermis. Human Steve was wearing nothing but a small pair of undergarments as he swept up the float. Twistunder had somehow found the speed to slip off the side before this and seemed less shocked than Thirty-five clicks as they watched the human disappear out the door with the giant float balanced on his head as if it were nothing.
Twistunder never stopped moving. He prodded the stunned Winged as he shuffled by.
“I will contact the medic,” Twistunder said. “You get on the cultural database and find out what in the name of my mother’s colony ‘Surf’s Up little dudes!’ means.”