“Don’t you have to clear this with the ethics board before you do anything?” Forty-thee Trills asked as they perched together on one of the many arms of the communications array.
“Nope,” Tras’ktr replied as he adjusted the focus on the camera lens.
“But you are performing active scientific research on sentient beings,” Forty-three Trills pressed.
“No I am not,” Tras’ktr waved one of his free appendages in demonstration.
Demonstration of what Forty-three Trills wasn’t quite certain.
“How is this,” he gestured with his wing hook at the simple levers set up below them, “not a scientific study?”
“Be still if you can!” Tras’ktr instructed. “Human Friend Jameson approached the target.”
Forty-three Trills huffed at the implied insult but went still, quite still thank you, to watch the human. Jameson was strolling towards the outdoor drink dispenser. It was a simple refrigeration unit that kept added value nutrient fluids at optimum temperatures. Something that most species considered useful on warmer worlds but that humans insisted was absolutely necessary to moral. In front of the unit Tras’ktr had placed a contraption of serrated steel bands and various springs and levers.
“What did you say that artwork was supposed to mimic?” Forty-three Trills asked.
“The humans call it a bear trap,” Tras’ktr replied. “Now be still!”
Jameson had noted the mock trap and was frowning at it as he approached. He slowed to a stop and glanced around as if looking for some explanation. He attempted to reach over the device but found it exceeded his reach, leaving the drink unit controls just out of range of his fingers. There watched for several moments as the human tried various angles and positions before Jameson took a deep breath and stepped into the mock trap. The human gave one full body shudder and then let out a long breath when the device did not do whatever he had expected it to do. The human quickly extracted his drink before scampering out of the device. He stalked away glancing back at the device with a grin on his mouth but a nervous attention in his bifocal eyes.
“That was amusing,” Forty-three Trills admitted. “But how are you getting around the ethics board?”
“Something the humans taught me,” Tras’ktr said. “The principle is called the Savage Corollary. It’s not science if you don’t write it down.”