Thursday, June 2, 2016

Coffee Break

So I thought I'd take a break from writing stories as transcripts. Also I had no idea how the Fleet would get this transcript.

“So I said, I said … salle-Captain with all due respect … that’s not what you would think it is … on a woman of your species,” Kzvita related as she prepped a cup of decaffeinated coffee in the Wanton Courtesan’s small galley and mess. It was a crowded space made all the more crowded when one person was a Tenebrian employing all four of her arms.

“And then …?” Talnerassa asked. Thal looked bored but then her species rarely displayed emotion in a way apparent to other species. Thal sipped her tea appreciatively. Kzvita was an excellent barista and engineer though her disregard of safety procedures had led to some tense moments.

“My ovipositors went off … salle-Captain got an egg-sac in the middle of each palm. I heard Bizgit got them all out … good thing for salle-Captain,” Kzvita applied about 20 centimeters of froth to her coffee and sat down.

“Well at least he couldn’t become impregnated,” Tal said.

Kzvita tried without success to keep from laughing and spat a little froth and coffee she managed to catch with some napkins. She had to use three hands.

Talneressa was momentarily sad her species seemed so alook and uninvolved to others. It made being a smartass especially unrewarding. People took your afttempts at humor for a simple faux-pas. She also regretted not getting to see Kzvita snort coffee out her nose. She silently berated herself for poor timing.

Thal’s further ponderings were interrupted by the salle-Captain of reference entering the mess with the Vole family in tow. Talnerassa motioned for Kzvita to leave and got up herself. The Tenebrian was already heading for the hatch on the far side of the room snapping a salute in passing. Thalnarassa followed suit.

Xamilcar Korsa glared at Kzvita’s sleek form as it retreated into the shadows of the corridor. His hands and more importantly his pride still stung a little.

“Get back to work you two!!” he hollered. He was pretty sure they and most of the ship heard him.

“What are their functions, salle-Captain?” L’rre, the Vole-child asked.

Korsa smiled at the little one. He smiled for her grace and her manners. The honorific of ‘salle’ she accorded him did not fall on deaf ears. In fact he liked kids. Just not his own.

“They are my engineer and science officer according to the manifest. What their actual function is … Gid only knows,” he finally answered. “Now go help yourself to some goodies in the fridge. Domo is Vole. His food stuffs are in cylinders. They are safe for you. Your parents and I must talk,” he said not unkindly.

“Thank you salle-Korsa,” L’rre said with a small bow as she went to forage.

“You are welcome l’chana-L’rre,” Korsa replied. He was in a what the hell mood and accorded her the honorific for a dutiful child. It was one that his species rarely used. “She is adorable.”

“Thanks. Not for sale,” Nok said.

“So salle-Korsa. What do you want of us?” M’ffe asked bluntly.

“What … just like that? No refreshments? No pleasantries?” Korsa said slightly offended.

“Large weather we’re having,” Nok ventured.

“I like the way your ship holds the air in. Good work,” M’ffe said.

“Well okay. So … we smoked three slaver ships and looted same. It was a good day for us. Thank you for your intelligence. I understand the Fleet seeks the reason these people were chosen for abduction. I would like to know it first. This could be of value to me and to you.”

“Not into money,” Nok said staring deadpan at Korsa.

“Are you into oxygen and continuing to receive the same?”

“We are. We just don’t know how to help you out,” M’ffe said looking pointedly at Nok.

“Fair enough. We can always just let Thalnarassa run tests on l-chana L’rre … achh acchhhh …” He tried to maintain composure. He was unsure which of the parents had grabbed him under the table. They remained unreadable behind their dark goggles.

“I have a weapon … “ he finally said steeling himself. The words were a struggle.

“You can only get one of us,” M’ffe said. “The other will end you.”

“Who said ... I’m aiming it at either of you … “ Korsa gasped. The pressure on the sensitive part of his anatomy ended. He sighed and quickly moved his chair backwards. He also showed the blaster in his hand.

“For what it is worth … on my honor I wasn’t aiming it at l’chana L’rre,” Korsa muttered.

“Sorry I caved,” Nok said.

“Understandable … husband. No blame,” M’ffe muttered. “We are not in a position to oppose salle-Korsa. We could kill him, true. No offense salle-Korsa but we outnumber you. He has brought us this far and treated us honorably aside from the false threats to L’rre,” the mother said in a calculating tone.

“You grabbed me by the gh-thtuka! Let us call it even.”

“Don’t know what you’ll say when you get grabbed by the gh-thtuka,” Nok allowed.

“L’rre, come. Xeche!” M’ffe said sharply.

L’rre returned with some vile condiment made from fungal masses on her lower lip. She waited quietly, a small frown on her face.

“Well?” M’ffe asked.

“He speaks as he thinks mother. He will treat us fairly for now. He feels the information might be important to his people and they will pardon his actions and allow him to return,” L’rre said slowly.

Korsa gritted his teeth.

“You keep L’rre’s name out of your dealings, on your honor?” Nok said.

“On my honor,” Korsa said without hesitation. “So she is a psi … the Videni are kidnapping psionically sensitive humans.”

“And Voles …” M’ffe corrected.

“No … just humans. I stuck her name on the list when I saw those names on your resident planet,” Nok said.

“It was a safe haven for psis … we thought. You what?!” M’ffe shouted.

“L’rre would tell you eventually,” Nok said.

“I am a big … I think ‘snitch’ is the word,” L’rre said solemnly to Korsa.