They are Smol – and Thankful! Thanksgiving Oneshot
Happy Turkey Genocide Day, everyone! Remember to keep culling their population every year, or eventually they’ll rise up against us for the injustices we’ve done to them… every year.
…we did not think this through.
Anyway. I wanted to drop this little oneshot to make your Thanksgiving day more bearable; when surrounded by your racist grandparents, your much-more-successful-than-you older brother, your twelve-polymorph zoomer xirgendered foxkin cousin and your really really touchy-feely uncle you can pop open this story and feel good that you’re not the only one having a terrible Thanksgiving.
So are the smols on Zephyr Station 8.
Director Glenn “Silk” Abramson sighed as he worked his way down the list. The podium’s desk space was always too small for him – especially if he wanted to keep a drink on hand (which you always do).
“Alright, and so that brings me to my last point for the day: Thanksgiving. I know not everyone celebrates it, but enough of us do that we get to have some time off-”
“ありがとう、ガイジン” Chirped one of his subordinates just loud enough to hear.
“You’re welcome,” Glenn responded, not skipping a beat,”-but point of the matter is, is that if you haven’t already filed for shore leave, you’re not going. However, you’re more than welcome to join us for a staff Thanksgiving lunch/dinner; as everyone’s shifts change we’ll just have a spread for you to eat from as you wander in. In regards to senior personnel this leaves myself as commanding officer, we’ve got LT and Mike staying as heads for operations and maintenance, respectively-”
Glenn then made the mistake of looking up, noticing a very thick paw raised in the back. Silencing a groan, he nodded at the Dorarizin attache.
“[Is there a reason why you and the remaining [Humans] haven’t filed for shore leave?]”
Glenn pursed his lips. Awkward questions were part of the gig when you’re dealing with xenos species, as cultural norms absolutely don’t translate. However, being put on the spot was one of the better awkward situations to get into – and honestly, in his long career, as long as it didn’t involve talking about anything religious to a Karnakian then he was fine with it.
15 years later after making that mistake he was still getting incomprehensible chick tracts sent to him by mail.
“Ah. The reasons…vary by individual. Like I said, some of us come from cultures that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Some of us wouldn’t have been able to physically make it to our family gathering spots in time for the holiday. For some parts of the station, someone had to stay to keep things running – we do that by a rotation, and so a few of us are staying because our number was called. For others, we just don’t have family to go to, so we stay here.”
“[You don’t have a family?]” the Dorarizin responded, notable concern in it’s voice.
Glenn shuffled his paper on the podium and adopted his best exhausted-bureaucrat look as he scanned the ‘cheap seat’ peanut gallery. After the… unique Halloween party, it was decided to allow representatives from the various xeno races to sit in on the non-sensitive station meetings – ostensibly to ‘further human-galactic relations’ but really it was to stop any more mis-communications that would lead to more party-crashing. It’s not that Glenn was angry at being hugged for a couple hours, just, it lasted so long he didn’t get a chance to try Asuka’s spooky triple-chocolate brownies and he would be damned if he missed out on her ‘vanilla heaven’ sponge cake.
“Family is a fluid concept. Some humans include their pets in their family, some have family made up of their friends and colleagues, and others just have their mate. Some of us don’t have a traditionally large family, so, instead of all that bother to show up…]” Glenn shrugged. “[We just work, or take the day off. I mean, video-conferencing is a thing we had pre-contact, and soon with hard light projection-”
A scaled hand went up, and Glenn nodded to it – happy to get off the increasingly uncomfortable topic. “Yes, the Jornissian in red.”
“[Are we considered part of your family? You said friends and colleagues could hypothetically count.]”
Glenn’s stomach sank.
“I uh. Um. Personally? Or are you asking me to speak for the crew?”
“[Yes.]” The Jornissian responded, matter-of-factly.
Glenn shared a look between his colleagues – LT just gave a bit of a shrug and Mike was fast asleep, meaning he was marginally more useful than when he was awake, the bastard. The rest of the Human crew was just desperately hoping the presentation would end, and it showed.
“[…Yes. I would say that both personally and speaking for the crew, we consider you all colleagues and friends.]”
When the Karnakian representative raised his talon Glenn knew that everything was about to go pear-shaped.
“Yes…Karnakian in the robes.”
“[May we join in the festivities, then?! We’d love to share in your rich cultural heritage and participate in this multicultural harvest festiv-]”
“This was a setup, wasn’t it?”
“[Pardon?]” The Karnakian responded, looking at Glenn with innocent eyes and a wide, terrifying smile.
Glenn physically felt himself give up.
“Alright. You know what? Fine. We’ll move the spread from Ballroom 5C to Viewing rotunda 1A.”
With an almost manic smile the Karnakian representative turned to address the open door – and to the mixed xenos crowd outside that was not even attempting to hide their eavesdropping. “[HEY GUYS, HE SAID WE CAN JOIN IN THIS TIME!]”
There was a resounding cheer, and Glenn looked at his bottle of water, wishing it was grain alcohol, or paint thinner. With a light sip his dreams were dashed, and, frowning, he dropped the whole thing into the trashcan next to the podium. This act unintentionally roused up a memory from a Thanksgiving long past, and put a very grinch-like smile on his face.
“BUT.” Glenn barked into the microphone, silencing the cheer,”It is important for each participant – or group of participants – to bring their own dish of food. Dish does not mean an actual dish, but a prepared meal of-”
The Karnakian turned back to the group of xenos outside. “[HEY GUYS, WE GET TO FEED THEM TOO!]”
The rest of Glenn’s meeting was filled out by the excited murmuring of their xeno crew, LT’s laughter, Glenn’s exasperated groaning and some quite unhelpful snoring.
Tr’Grakz nodded to himself, absentmindedly smoothing down the feathers at his sides. “[Alright Bretheren, let’s make sure we’re counting our eggs before they hatch!]” he chirped, loud enough to be heard by all.
His cheery attitude was met with a collective groan, a few hurled insults and not so few hurled bits of unprepared leftover foodstuffs. Dusting himself off with a full-body shake, he continued unabated.
“[Has everyone made sure that their base ingredients are [Human]-safe?]”
“[Yeeeesss]” groaned a majority of the xenos crew, not for the first time that day. Or hour.
“[And has everyone made sure that their finished aggregated dishes are [Human]-safe?]”
“[Literally, who put you in a position of authority?]” groused Shpressnrek, draping over a crate of her prepared foodstuffs, muffling the thumps. “[Why are we even answering to you?]”
“[Because!]” sang Tr’Grakz, doing a slightly happy little wiggle, “[Those who volunteer for good rise to true leadership. That, and my organizational skills are just naturally superior to yours~]”
Without skipping a beat he tilted his head to the side, avoiding a thrown iron bar that embedded itself into the plating behind him.
“[Death to tyrants!]” Shpressnrek called out playfully, “[We will not be crushed underscale!]”
“[I kinda like it that he’s leading]” Rgrezneh-of-Hrzgaren said, clicking her teeth in thought. “[Makes pinning this on someone when it goes south much easier.]”
“[Oh, good point.]” Shpressnrek conceded, tapping the top of her crate. “[We’re fine here, Tr’Grakz. We’ve been fine the first time you asked, the fifth, and the fifteenth.]”
“[Did everyone make sure to make enough portions for our [Human] hosts?]”
“[Yeeeessss]” groaned the assembled crew once more, now quite done with the double-double checking, and beginning to assemble their ‘spread’ around the atrium.
“[Did everyone remem-]”
“[Brother Tr’Grakz, did you bring anything?]” Rgrezneh asked, innocently.
Tr’Grakz’s crest fell as he suddenly realized how open he was, standing in the spotlight. “[. . . I was just gonna add my name on Tk’Elge’s-]”
“[You were going to what?!]” the Karnakian in question crowed, holding a bag close to her chest. “[Absolutely not-]”
“[Sister PLEASE I didn’t have a chance to hit a fabricator so-]”
Rgrezneh shared a pointed look with Shpressnrek, who smiled as they all got back to work.
It was the middle shift.
Well. “Middle”. Earth had since moved to a standard 6-hour workday, So the middle shift was both the 2nd and 3rd shift – but if you lumped them together, then you just had a half-day, and a half can’t be a “middle” so-
Let’s try this again. It was 10AM INST, which means it was pretty much the earliest definition of lunchtime that any civilized person would accept.
Someone else who wished he could try it again was Glenn “Silk” Abramson, who found himself among the ‘fortunate’ first batch of human crewmembers to make it to Rotunda 1A, cartdrones of foodstuffs loyally trailing behind them. Both groups of people froze as the doors opened; the Humans, surprised that their Xeno crewmembers were already inside and setup, and the aforementioned crewmembers, who were scrambling to put away what seemed to be a hard-light lifelike lego playset.
With an unceremonious thud Tr’Grakz lept from the wall to land infront of his [Human] crewmates, buckling the deck underneath.
“[Bretheren Humans!]” crowed Tr’Grakz in greeting.
“AAAAAHHH” replied the newbies as they fell on their asses in surprise and fear. Glenn, for his part, just tensed up – then sighed, his implant kicking into IFF overdrive.
“Hello… Trike. It’s good to see you. Happy Thanksgiving.” Glenn responded, in an uncharacteristically gentle and/or resigned manner.
“[Hello Bretheren [Glenn]! Happy Harvest Festival of Gifts and Thanks to you as well-]”
“N-no.” Glenn said, a soft smirk on his lips. “Not all human words are portmanteaus – or are that long. It’s just Thanksgiving.”
“[Oh. Happy Thankful Giving.]” Tr’Grakz ventured, and Glenn met him halfway with a warm smile.
“Close enough! Newbies, you alright?” He said, turning towards the first bit of his shift crew. Most of the veterans remained on their feet, but a few of the newbies were…
Well. Most of the newbies remained. A few of them decided to tap into their Jurassic Park survival instincts and just booked it. Glen looked at them somewhat fondly as they disappeared behind another bulkhead, softly mouthing a silent plea.
“[Is it time for the festival to begin? Does it usually begin at this time? Do we need to be wearing anything special – By the black sun, I can’t believe I never asked that! What about-]”
“TRIKE, please.” Glenn interrupted his concerned colleague, sighing softly. “It’s just a day of feasting, really. There are no elaborate ceremonies, there’s nothing major but food, family and friendship. Speaking of, we need to start setting things up – our fold outs-”
“[Oh! Yes. We saved you a space of honor in the center of the room!]” Tr’Grakz said, adapting the human version of a nod a little too vigorously. “[Do you need assistance in setting up?]”
“Ah, no-” Glenn said, waving his loyal drones (both mechanical and not) to follow him as he sidestepped the Karnakian. “It’s all warming trays and traditional fare. Well, most of it is – Asuka apparently made the desserts, so those are going to be something special.”
“[Ah, yes! Those are the after-meal meals, yes? I’ve been reading up on [Human] feasting customs – so many tiny meals all after the next!]”
“Yeah, we like to take things slow – what can I say?” Glenn said, smiling. “But do you mind giving us some space? We just gotta lay out our things.”
“[Yes! Yes we will be waiting for you right over here when you’re ready!]” Tr’Grakz chirped happily, waving goodbye… for the entire time it took him to walk the 15 meters to the Karnakian ‘station’.
Glenn waved for the first few seconds…but eventually lost that game of chicken to pressing demands of food prep.
“Alright. You getting that canned heat lit, Jessica?”
“Yeah.” The engineer said, the clicking of the lighter firing off a few times. “Eventually. Also how is it that with all this advanced technology around we keep using this old piece of shit?”
“Because it builds character and it ain’t broke, so why fix it?”
“I beg to differ” Jessica murmured, the clicking of her firelighter becoming more aggrivated. “I remember this thing on my dad’s grill back when I was a ki-FINALLY.” She exclaimed happily, the small flame clicking to life at the end of the handheld lighter. Dipping it into the four wax-filled cans produced four wan, blue flames. “I really think we should upgrade this whole thing. Maybe some conduction heating-”
“Character.” Glenn reiterated, to Jessicas’ consternation.
“FINE. I’m hungry though, so I’m gonna go ahead and start. Fair enough?”
“Yeah, sure, let me just wave over our guests-” Glenn commented, raising his hand for attention. “You guys can come over and try some of our food if you’d like, but please save most of it f-WHOHJEEZ.”
Almost as one the xenos descended upon the small island of Human food, peppering the unfortunate volunteers with multiple questions in no particular order. After a small brouhaha over whether or not croutons were just midget toast – and if so, if they could be used for sandwiches – an orderly line was formed to allow each and every participant to at least sample some Human cuisine.
Not the Vanilla Heaven cake, though. That was off-limits, whenever it arrived.
The results were…mixed, to say the least. Almost every xenos universally disliked the humble potato (much to the ire of the Irish and Russian crewmembers) based not on it’s texture but it’s taste: The Jornissians found it to be far too tart, the Dorarizin didn’t think it tasted like anything but mush, and the Karnakians were just happy to be included.
Cranberries were another mixed bag – Jornissians were fine with the bitter-sweet play of berry and sugar, the Karnakians almost universally begged for some water to put out the ‘immense heat’ of the fruit, and the Dorarizin just wished the aftertaste would go away.
Cheese – ah, the cheese plate. Truly, no better friend to cheese could be found outside of white people and the Dorarizin, who exclaimed that solid fat in any of it’s forms was the greatest thing anyone had ever invented. The Jornissians were nonplussed; it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, and the Karnakians were ok with it – if it was a little crunchier, it’d be good.
Hilariously enough the turkey was the unexpected star of the show. Everyone was pretty much OK with it, and it was OK with pretty much everyone, mainly because it was dead and couldn’t form an opinion on the current state of affairs. As the humans began to fill their own plates and mix and mingle with their colleagues, a few brave interns began to ask what the other races brought to the feast.
In hindsight, this would prove to be the beginning of the end.
“Ok, we’re going to do the same rules – just take a little, make sure everyone else gets a bite.” Glenn said over the growing crowd of humans and the xenos who were anxiously curious about their reactions.
“[Well, hello Bretheren and Sisters! I am Tk’Elge, and I produced this food for you without any outside help.]” Tk’Elge said, over the soft whine of Tr’Grakz. “[We had it quantum-shipped over to this station to make sure they stayed fresh!]” She chirped, patting the bag that rested on the table. With a slight flourish – at least, to her species – she reached in and pulled out a-
“Oh my God it’s adorable!” cooed Jessica, leaning forward to look at the roughly bowling-ball sized fluffball. It had the texture and consistency of downy feathers, and one great, beautiful green eye.
“[Wh-what? No, it’s… It’s not. It’s a Wh’’rchi Oyster.] Tk’Elge corrected, looking slightly confused.
“Oh, alright – so what do you do? Eat the fuzz?” Jessica said, looking up at Tk’Elge with curious joy. “Cause I’d love to see what one of these things looked like shaven! Hehe, probably like a giant grape!”
Wordlessly, and with a mild look of concern, Tk’Elge grabbed either side of the ‘eyelid’ and in one fluid motion pried it open with a sickening crunch.
“OH JESUS” cried Jessica
“EEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeee” screeched the Wh’’rchi Oyster
“[It’s just escaping steam.]” reassured Tk’Elge, who was now sporting a look of extreme concern. “[It’s not living, no matter what you think it tells you – this is also why we keep them out of water, because they’re much more…docile this way.]”
“I-oh GOD it just screamed! I-I don’t, I-” Jessica babbled, backpedaling from the countertop
“[No! It’s not – it’s not bad, it’s just fresh!]” Tk’Elge pleaded.
“I’ll take three.” Glenn said, surprisingly confident. “Anything that scares her-”
“-has got to be good.”
Tk’Elge smiled a halfhearted smile, using her talons to reach in and pluck out a suspended little nugget of violent blue. “[This is rated for [Human] consumption – although it does give you about 7,000% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.]”
“Well hell – this’ll be useful for flu season.” Glenn chuckled, gingerly taking the proffered nugget of flesh. “Hey Andre-”
“Yes si-” an intern behind Glenn began to say, but was hushed with a sudden mouthful of alien foodstuffs. He glared at Glenn, chewing slowly.
Andre swallowed with a grimace. “It’s… banana and alcohol.”
“Well that’s not so-”
“Mixed with chalk and blood.”
“Hmm. So definitely food for the rest of the interns, is what you’re saying.”
“No sir, I’m saying I’m going to file a formal complaint”
“To… you, sir.” Andre sighed as Glenn grinned, turning back to Tk’Elge. “Thank you for sharing this wonderful dish – tell me, can this be dehydrated and powdered?”
“[I mean, theoretically. It loses it’s spring, though.]”
“I think this would be an excellent supplement for our crew to take to help boost our immune systems – could I bother you to make a few pounds of this and send it to my office?”
Tk’Elge nodded furiously, her winningest (and most terrifying) smile overtaking her earlier grimace of concern. “[Absolutely! I’ll have that up to you in a few days?]”
“Sure, take your time – and please make sure everyone gets a chance to try this delicacy.” Glenn said, looking back at his young wards. “It’s only fair, seeing as how you all tried our food.”
“[Excellent! Please, step up! There’s enough in this one oyster to give everyone seconds!]”
– – – – – –
“And what do we have here?” Director Abramson mused aloud, making sure his crew all had a chance to sample (and recover from) authentic Karnakian cuisine. “It looks like…a metal cube. You do know we can’t eat metal, right?”
Rgrezneh-of-Hrzgaren smiled, wiggling her ears in an amused way. “[Yes, I know. This is just the wrapper-]” Rgrezneh explained, taking her index claw and plunging it into the cube. With absolutely no effort the Dorarizin carved around the box, and with the sound of protesting metal twisted the two halves apart. What remained was… something very familiar looking, which immediately made Glenn’s hair on the back of his neck stand ramrod straight.
“Oh! Hey, of course! I’ve never seen a Dorarizin sausage before, though!” John said, sealing his fate. “What’s it made out of?”
“[Aha, it’s a special formula of Gr-rrzek – well, I should say, specially formulated for [Human] consumption. It’s all well-cooked through meats from various wild and domesticated animals, packed in a [salt-analog] for a few months.]”
“So, trail jerky?”
“[Mmmm.]” Mused Rgrezneh, tilting her head from side to side. “[Yes and no. The principle is there, yes, but this would be more for a special occasion.]”
“So premium jerky. I like this already!” John grinned, looking up at the Dorarizin in question. “So, how do we do the thing?”
“[Just dig in! I’ve got another 10 boxes of this stuff, so don’t be afraid to take a large portion.]”
John with a smile and a nod from Glenn (who had taken three inconspicuous steps back and to the left) reached forward and gripped the end of the sausage closest to him.
It felt solid. Unreasonably solid.
“I uh. Do… do we cut it, or dip it or…” John questioned, trying his best to lift the thing even a little. “Is it uh, stuck?”
“[Oh! I um, I guess since you don’t have claws – I apologize, I should’ve known. May I?]”
“Sure!” the brave, stupid man said. “Is that something that your species normally does for others?”
“[Well, yes and no.]” Rgrezneh said, unsheathing her claws to turn the rock-hard sausage into a fine mince. “[We ah… usually do it for our pups – it’s necessary until their second set of teeth come in.]”
“[But don’t let that stop you – please! Try again.]” Rgrezneh recovered, scooping a generous pile of the minced sausage into the middle of the table. “[I assure you, it is delicious! High in Iron and Vitamin K and a bunch of other things that you [Human]s need- is something wrong?]”
John wasn’t one to normally complain; definitely not to a xenos in a pseudo-ambassadorial position, and especially not to a xenos who could utterly annihilate him with a simple flick of her wrist, no.
John wasn’t one to complain in this case not because of any of those exceptionally good reasons; he wasn’t one to complain because his mouth had fused shut.
“NNNnnnnnnNNHH?!” John said, coughing. “HHHTS LIH BEANUT BUTTEH BUH WORHS.”
“[O-oh no. Are you ok?!]”
“Just out of curiosity, what’s the moisture level in that thing?” Glenn said, as John desperately scrambled back to the drink cooler.
“Hmm. So what you’re saying is that your sausage is so delicious that it sends my fellow humans-” Glenn paused at the sounds of drinks being ripped open in fear, “-into fits of silent ecstasy?”
“[I…]” Rgrezneh looked over Glenn to see the human, John, pouring two bottles of water into his mouth between gritted teeth. “[I…don’t think so?]”
“But I do. Please, can you send some of this to the other Human officers? I don’t want this… experience to be limited only to myself and the assembled crew.”
“[I…can, but. Why?]”
“Because I need to teach some of my colleagues that when I need support, they better be awake to give it.”
– – – – – –
“So! What have you got for us?” Glenn chirped happily, ignoring the groans of his Human crew behind him.
“[It’s…nothing. Nothing at all.]” Shpressnrek said, leaning ontop of the prominently-placed crate. “[Quantum transport error, we brought nothing. I am sorry for shaming our species at this wonderful har-]”
“Stop that.” Glenn ordered, and to his credit Shpressnrek visibly flinched. “I’m not going to have you lot finding a conscience now. What did you bring?”
Glenn was a man who wanted to see the world burn, and Shpressnrek saw it in his eyes. With a resigned sigh, she leaned back, taking her weight off of the crate – causing it to jump slightly.
“[It’s a, um. It’s a live R’tts’sk. They’re a farmed delicacy on a colony world; I’d have to prepare it for you, I think, but-]”
“[Ah… okay. It should be safe within it’s cage-]” Shpressnrek murmured, peeling the top of the plastic crate off like a candy wrapper. Instantly the room was filled with the sound of vicious snarls and the skittering of claws-on-metal.
“Jee-zus. What in the hell-” Glenn murmured, leaning forward just enough to take a look at the cage. He couldn’t see anything; whatever it was was moving far too fast for his naked eye to track. He guessed it was was the size of a dog, knew that it sounded pissed, and that it only got more angry as it saw daylight.
“How the fuck are we supposed to-”
“[Well, that’s why I said I’d probably prepare it for you. Look, all we do is-]” and while maintaining eye contact with Glenn, Shpressnrek’s right arm vanished in a blur of speed. There was a sharp, wet ripping sound, a cry of pain, and an armored, severed limb hung twitching in the Jornissian’s hand.
Glenn thought he heard one of his interns getting sick, but he was far too fascinated by what just happened to really register the brutality of the moment. “Did.. Did you just rip off one of it’s legs?”
“[It grows back. Besides, this is the only good meat on the beast – Sorry, did you want it raw, or cooked?]”
The crate rocked back and forth as the beast, roaring with impotent rage, slammed against it’s iron prison.
“Can I have a bit right now?”
“[Sure.]” Shpressnrek said, ripping off a small chunk of the still-quivering flesh and offering it to the Director.
Maintaining eye contact with his whole crew, Glenn devoured the warm flesh.
“That’s… actually really good.”
“Yes! It’s like lemongrass but with the consistency of foie gras and I think I’m getting a hit of pepper in there as well.”
“[Well all right! I’ll also prepare enough for everyone else?]”
“Yes – please do.”
As the Humans collectively groaned Glenn turned around to admonish them. He was going to let fly a speech about camaraderie, experiencing new things, pushing back the boundaries of human ignorance, forging stronger ties with the galactic community and how viewing everything from our narrow locus of attention is a poor way of getting through the universe. He even had a small bit in there about “you don’t know if you like something until your palette gets used to it over time” and “it might taste off but it’s good for you so suck it up” but that was something he would only pull out in an emergency – like if his crew talked back to him, or started to wander off.
It was not meant to be pulled out for the very specific emergency that began with the sound of Shpressnrek ripping off the side of the crate, then loudly exclaiming “[Well fuck.]”
You see, it turns out that the iron bar embedded in the wall had to come from somewhere. That somewhere was from the side of the cage of the (at the time) mildly annoyed R’tts’sk. Shpressnrek had remembered that incident, and had planned to open up the side of the cage that did not have a gaping hole in it, keeping the rest of the crate intact to provide support and the illusion to the dumb beast within that it was still well and thoroughly trapped. This illusion vanished as soon as that panel was accidentally removed, and as we all covered earlier, daylight just made it angrier.
In a blur faster than any human eye could follow, the beast of claws and armor and teeth escaped.
“What d’you mean-?” Glenn asked, turning around in relatively slow motion. Around him, tables were upturned, dishes destroyed, and clawmarks in the walls and floors just appeared as if by magic. The Jornissians were a blur, barking out half-translated commands that Glenn’s comm could not parse, it’s IFF reader shutting off a few miliseconds into the melee as the icons danced and melded too quickly to follow. A few moments into his turnaround he was lifted, as a pack of Dorarizin threw him and the other humans up, a separate group of blurs passing underneath them in a desperate bid to corral the feral beast.
“AAA-” the humans added to the conversation, as one very unfortunate Karnakian slammed into his group’s table, scattering the Wh’’rchi Oysters throughout the room like buckshot. Most landed and bounced harmlessly across the decking only to be trampled underfoot by the combined effort to wrangle the R’tts’sk, but a few very lucky ones found themselves landing in a bath of ice, water, and various other beverages.
It’s feathered hide ramrod-stiff, millions of small pores opened up to suck in moisture – as much as possible from every source around it. As the Wh’’rchi Oysters did so they expanded, and a venemous midnight black tentacle sprouted from it’s ‘iris’, flopping about for prey.
The humans reached the apex of their flight, and began to fall back down.
“-AAAAAA-” the humans continued, their hind brain having enough sense to try to right their trajectory with strategic flailing. As the Jornissians started to corner the wounded R’tts’sk, the Karnakians started to dance around the Wh’’rchi Oysters – both to distract it with the vibrations of their feet, and also to (hopefully) dart in and rip the tentacle off from it’s base before it started to crawl around. The Karnakians didn’t really mind using trickery in this endeavor, and allowed a few of the oozing things to accidentally grip a table, an empty crate, or a chunk of Dorarizin metal and pull it into their greedy maws.
Speaking of, the Dorarizin were there to catch their Humans as they fell, pulling each one tight against them.
Glenn pushed hard against his fluffy savior, pulling his head back for some air. The Dorarizin, for her part, wasn’t paying attention to the human – her eyes were on something moving rapidly behind them.
It was at this point that the sodium metal that the Dorarizin used to cure their meats finally interacted with the water inside the Wh’’rchi Oyster, and exploded. Glenn could only tense up as he was bodily thrown down onto the ground, 300kg of Dorarizin smothering him against the decking. There was another loud explosion, and a few more series of pops – alarms began to go off, and no matter the protests or oaths he swore, Rgrezneh refused to budge.
Looking up at the sudden change of an indicator light, Glenn saw the door slide open. On the other side stood Mike, shirt rumpled after a hard shift of sleeping, ID badge missing, sandals worn with socks.
The two met each other’s gaze – Mike, bleary-eyed, and Glenn, scared, confused, and under a very aggressive female.
Mike never moved a muscle as the door silently slid shut.
“Goddamn you Mike-”
The external door lock indicator turned on.
“MIKE YOU ARE A USELESS PIECE OF SHIT!”
After everything settled down, the crew agreed: That was definitely the 5th worst Thanksgiving they had experienced on the station.