“It’s cool guys!” Sergeant Grimes waved up at the tree like plants that now hid two flights of the Winged.
A bright copper head about the size of a golf ball poked out of a cluster of mauve leaves and twin black eyes glared down at him from under ten sensory horns.
“If it is all cool,” Twenty-five-clicks demanded. “Then why did you just leap half your height into air and scream out a profanity?”
“There was a cable on the ground,” Grimes said pointed down at the ground.
He bent down and scooped up the length of cable, holding it up for the flights to see. Slowly more heads popped out of the foliage and glared at the item. Grimes stifled a laugh at the image of a tree full of angry berries.
“Why,” Twenty-five-clicks asked as he fluttered down to land on Grime’s shoulder, “did you display a fantastic leap, for a human, over a harmless piece of trash?”
“I thought it was a snake,” Grimes said with a shrug.
He shoved the cable into his backpack as the rest of the flights circled around him.
“That,” Twenty-five-clicks said, “looks nothing like the three other items that you claimed triggered this ‘snake response’.”
“Does to a human,” Grimes replied cheerfully. “And besides, there are lots of snakes. Could look like most any crawly thing.”
“Or it is a complicated plot to frighten our species away from this horrific planet full of snakes,” a voice muttered from the trees.
“No snakes in the north and south,” Grimes corrected as he started walking again.
“You mean the places that are constantly covered in ice,” another voice demanded.
“Look,” Grimes said with a shrug, “it’s a choice. You live where the air hurts your face, or you live where you might get a death bite by a nope-rope at any step.”
Twenty-five-clicks bit back a hiss and reminded himself that the human made them safer. He could put up with the false alerts so long as the human did spot the predators when they appeared.