Humans are Weird – Trophy
Fifth Cousin shifted the stack of bandages in her arms and clicked in annoyance as this new Third Sister examined a container of mammalian muscle relaxants with a critical curl in her antennas. This base, set on a mild agricultural world claimed by the humans was meant to be an easy position for a few years of civil service before Fifth Cousin returned to her Father’s garden and either rooted herself there or was sent to a Sister’s hive. The fruit bearing trees that dominated in this region were not so dissimilar from the vines of their homeworld and the humans who had claimed the world were famously peaceful. This strange Third Sister with her brilliant reds and rough outer membrane seemed the most dangerous thing the on the planet, though Fifth Cousin kept that thought to herself.
“We need more,” the medical rated Third Sister announced, tossing the supposedly insufficient container into the cart she was pushing.
“Throw those on top,” she indicated the bandages with a flick of her antenna, “and go set the synthesizers to formulate more. It won’t be done by the time the brawl’s over but it should be done before they really start to feel it. Meet me on the quad when you are done setting it up.”
Fifth Cousin curled her antenna in confusion at the rolling human word Third Sister had used but dutifully followed orders. If this Third Sister was one of the type who needed to keep her underlings skittering about preforming pointless tasks it was simply her place to obey. She dropped the bandages and trotted down to the main medical ward with all its over-sized equipment that looked more like a mechanical bay than a medical ward. She quickly had the chemical synthesizer activated and entered the required formula. She noted with some surprise first the volume that the machine’s records showed had been formulated, and second the odd pattern. For most of the local year there was almost no change in the amount required by the humans on the base, then, once a year the production rate spiked. Fifth Cousin noted uneasily that a full year had passed since the last spike and she wondered what the Third Sister knew.
She walked out to the quad, the wide open space between the various buildings of the base, far too open to be comfortable for a Shatar. However in one corner the humans had planted and cultivated a decent canopy and Third Sister was perched on a raised couch in its center, munching on a bright orange fruit and watching the odd behavior of a few humans skulking around the edge of the quad. Third Sister gestured her over and Fifth Cousin trotted over and leapt up onto the couch. Third Sister handed her one of the fruits and gave her frill a comforting flare.
“You will be safe up here,” she said in a more agreeable tone than Fifth Cousin had yet heard.
“Safe from the brawl?” Fifth Cousin hazarded and Third Sister looked pleased at her question.
“Do you see those humans?” she asked, indicating the now clearly hiding forms. “Do notice anything interesting about them?”
“They are all from the next base over the mountains,” Fifth Cousin said as she sniped through the outer skin of the fruit with her mandibles.
It made a pleasant squish sound as she dug down to the juice.
“And you note that none of them are from this base,” Third Sister pointed out.
“Except for First Botanist in her office none of them were here this afternoon,” Fifth Cousin observed with a suddenly perplexed set to her antenna.
“First Botanist requires plausible deniability,” Third Sister explained, “she couldn’t participate. Though I suspect that is just part of the tradition more than it is to protect her from legal repercussions, the whole tangle seems to be condoned.”
Third Sister’s words muttered off into a long sulky bite at the fruit and Fifth Cousin stared at the odd Third Sister feeling just a little unease flick at the edges of her frill. Third Sister was clearly weaving a deep pattern for her, helping her to see something of the surrounding forest that was hiding in the patterns of the leaves, but so far she had no idea what it was. The sound of the rumbling engines of the long distance transports drifted over the afternoon wind and the hiding humans grew tense with excitement, easily detectable as there pheromones hovered in the air.
Third Botanist, an absolutely massive human male, came bounding through a gap in the buildings holding something over his head and whooping in excitement. Fifth Sister tilted her head to get a better angle on the thing. It looked like a taxidermy sample of some sort, one of the furrier of the local mammals perhaps, but if that was what it was it was damaged far beyond recognition. Behind the lead human ran a laughing line of smaller humans.
“They called it Fuzzykins when it was alive,” Third Sister stated watching the running human near the hiding humans. “It was their first attempt at taming the local wildlife and it was highly successful. The humans got quite attached to Fuzzykins. This was before my time here but I got the information from the old Grandmother who was here before me. There was a very peaceful, but earnest competition to see which of the two bases got to house Fuzzykins while he lived.”
She dipped her proboscis into the fruit and reached out a firm hand to grip Fifth Cousin’s shoulder.
“Do not panic,” she said in that low, powerful tone that single digit sisters had.
“Why would I-” Fifth Cousin began.
Then one of the hiding humans leapt out and flung his entire considerable mass against the running human. Fifth Cousin did not panic. It was nearly impossible with Third Cousin’s fingers all but paralyzing her in their grip. Almost unbelievably the running human didn’t fall at the blow and maintained his grip on the battered form of Fuzzykins. Two more humans leapt on him and his thick knee joints buckled under the weight. Now the following humans arrived and threw themselves on the writing pile of mammalian limbs.
“They are fighting?” Fifth Cousin asked, proud of how steady she kept her voice.
“Brawling,” Third Sister stated in a resigned tone, “this is a brawl.”
More and more humans, both the hidden ones and the arriving ones joined the pile in a confusion of attempts to pry individual humans out or pin them in place. Third Sister seemed to judge her calm enough and released her shoulder to resume her story.
“After Fuzzykins died the humans preserved his body,” she said. “The organs were harvested for study of course, all but the skin which they formed into the basic shape of the animal. However with Fuzzykins death the desire to house him grew in intensity. This resulted in multiple attempts, both successful and failed, to steal him from one base and keep him at the other. As such things happen it soon became a game and rules formed around it.”
“It only happens once a year,” Fifth Cousin observed and Third Sister gave her a proud look.
Out in the quad a human howled as his leg twisted much too far for that joint. Moments later the human was up and staggering away with something clutched under his arm.
“I do not pretend to understand the rules of the game,” Third Sister stated, “but as it is not only entirely voluntary, but there seems to be no coercion I have not felt the need to intervene. I simply prepare my medical supplies and wait.”
“This base is rated as having the lowest levels of inter-human aggression in the working group,” Fifth Cousin observed with a question in the tilt of her head.
“The current working theory is that they vent all of it in this activity,” Third Sister said as one of the smallest humans sprinted up with the grace of a predator, leapt into the air and dragged the runner carrying Fuzzykins to the ground. “Now finish up your fruit, they are going to run out of stamina soon and once the endorphins wear off they will start feeling the damage and we will need all the muscle relaxant you can decant from the synthesizer.”
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What does it mean when your human friend says “Watch This?”? Why does this simple phrase seem to terrify any alien that has first appendage experience with humans? #HFY #HumansAreWeird #HumansAreSpaceOrcs #EarthIsADeathWorld #EarthIsSpaceAustralia
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