“Gust incoming!” came the distant shout from one of the humans down the massive canyon.
Gst’ck paused in her lecture and tucked her body close down to the lichen covered rock she and her cluster of graduate students were perched on. The group fell silent as the ever present canyon wind suddenly increased from it’s constant whispering to a brief roar. Gst’ck felt the resulting pressure difference pushing her up and clung to the rock. It was highly unlikely that the wind would lift her mass but she had to set a good example for her students. The cluster likewise twitched and the wind surged over their fuzzy heads. It finally died down leaving their auditory membranes ringing with lingering vibrations.
Gst’ck was about to resume her measurements on the teal lichen that she was considering for domestication in their colonies in the roots above the canyon when one of her graduate students clicked an absently polite inturption.
“Yes Tsc’ss?” Gst’ck asked without really turning her attention away from the lichen.
“What are the humans doing?” Tsc’ss asked, holding up a clairifier in the direction of the mammals in question+.
Gst’ck fought down a massive shrug of annoyance. As she expected everyone of her graduate students was now turned to focus down the canyon towards the docks where the humans’ submarines surfaced to the their crews out for light and air. Gst’ck didn’t know what the humans were doing. She quite frankly didn’t care what the humans were doing. Their researches into the mining potential of the canyons and caverns were no doubt productive for the colony and the system in general, but had no effect whatsoever on her own work. Still, the web like all encompassing curiosity of a fuzzy young grad student was something to be harnessed and trained, not suppressed.
“What do you observe?” Gst’ck asked without looking up from her sample.
“The humans are gathering at the end of the wave riding bridge,” one stated, taking the clarifier and studying the situation.
“They all look very excited,” another offered.
Gst’ck was about to inquire how they determined excitement in a bipedal mammal but another student interjected.
“Their large motor movements are faster and shorter than usual,” he said, “and their voices have risen in pitch and frequency.”
“It is only the dock crews,” another clarified. “There are no subs docked at the moment.”
“They are arranging themselves in some specific order.”
“They are flexing their muscles. That means they are preparing for sudden movement, not bracing for impact.”
The careful observations broke down into chitterings of stress and excitement that finally suceeded in pulling Gst’ck away from her work. She stalked over to the student holding the clairifier.
“Do remember that these humans are trained professionals and will not stupidly endanger themselves,” she reminded them as she took the device.
There was an uneasy chitter of agreement as she studied the situation. The wind-bore was indeed seeming to menace the humans on the dock. The high wind-gusts in the canyon, coming on top of the steady, constant breeze created a long series of tall wave-crests that bore down the canyons. It was thanks to these unpredictable and powerful surges that the Trisk science teams had to limit themselves to these high ledges, far from the water’s edge.
The humans, sturdier and more endothermic had simply built their docks to withstand the bore waves and trained to work around them. On of the modifications they had insisted was necessary was one wave-riding bridge from one dock to another. This bridge consisted of individual floats that were connected with cables and rested on the water’s surface. The design did indeed negate much of the stress caused by the waves but the design had always struck Gst’ck as impractical. She could not conceive how the bipeds, always on the verge of falling over, could hope to use the bridge during the bore-waves. It looked like she was about to get her answer. The humans were clustered at the end of the wave riding bridge. Her students had described the situation well. The bore wave struck the end of the bridge and the structure began to undulate. With a resounding whoop from his massive lungs the leading human rushed out onto the bridge. He made it nearly a quarter of the way across before falling off into the cold waters of the canyon.
Frantic chittering broke out from her students and Gst’ck raised a griping appendage sternly to silence them.
“How are the other humans reacting?” she demanded.
There was a long pause as her students considered this question.
“They are laughing,” one observed.
“Another human has already replaced him on the bridge.”
“She fell into.”
“None of the other humans are offering to aid them.”
“The fallen ones appear to be laughing as well.”
“They are swimming for the soft dock.”
“The first humans is running back to the main cluster.”
“They have formed a queue.”
“Not all of the humans are participating.”
The cluster fell silent to mull over these observations and Gst’ck handed the clairifier back to it’s owner with a profoundly fatalistic shrug. Below them human after human was hurtling themselves across the undulating wave riding bridge in what appeared to be an utterly futile attempt to get across it. It was obvious that this was some bizarre from of play behavior. There was nothing at the other end of the bridge to tempt them and their dingy was conveniently docked beside the main cluster of humans.
Gst’ck knew very well that her own cluster of highly educated University graduates was not going to achieve anything more practical than processing this display of hubris and endothermy on the part of the humans. She might as well pack up her tools and return to her mobile office while they observed the cacophony on the docks. She had several grant proposals to write, and something productive might as well be accomplished.
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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
Hey! The books are moving well on Amazon and now have 180 reviews and ratings! If you bought the book and enjoyed it, it would really help me out if you leave a quick star rating on Amazon. A review would be great but just stars would be a huge boost *****!
QUICK NOTE: RE: everyone who asked. The book is avaliable in Amazon regions US-UK-DE-FR-ES-IT-NL-JP-BR-CA-MX-AU-IN. HOWEVER The above link only takes you to the US Amazon site. The one indicated by the .com ending. If it says "not avaliable in your country" that just means that you need to click over to your Amazon region.
Of course if you want a signed first edition you can email me at the email on my website and I can ship you a signed Author copy of the first edition for the same price as the crowdfunding campaign $35 domestic and $60 overseas. I'll do that until I run out of extra books.