They are Smol – BBB Chapter 6: The smol fuckin dies lmao

The Germans – and of course, it would be the Germans – have a word for what transpired in Rrsn’sspri’s office. It’s a word for “to kill with cuteness; to repeatedly shoot a person in the heart with your feelings long after they’re dead; Oh God please stop already that’s enough”. It’s roughly four or five nouns smashed together with the edges sanded off, but since I’m American and can’t pronounce it to save my life, let’s just call it Smolsensnootsenboopsenshootzen and move along with the story.

“You get away from him!” Nate cried, accusingly pointing a finger at his coworker/rescuer/minder, Tiki looking around confusedly as she lowered her stiletto. What was originally going to be a smash-and-grab had turned into a hostage situation… but the Jornissian was the hostage. Whenever the Jornissian foreman, Rrsn’sspri, began to recover from the surprise, starting to get up-

Stay with me please I’m so sorry don’t go-” Nate wailed through red, weeping eyes, cradling the larger snake’s head against his chest. The act – either the cradling, the emotional plea, or the state Nate was in – caused Rrsn’sspri to double-over with chest pain once more, the Jornissian hissing through gritted teeth.

Tiki held up her hands in a pleading gesture. “[Let me just see-]”

NO YOU DON’T GET TO TAKE THIS ONE TOO-” Nate cried, waving away his savior.

“[HNNNNNNGGGHHHHHHHAAAHH-]” Rrsn’sspri added, writhing in physical, emotional pain as he made eye contact with Nate on accident. “[Ohhh, OWW, AARGH-]”

“[A-are you ok?!]” Tiki said, long since realizing that Nate wasn’t in any real danger at the moment and that an honest medical emergency was happening to the overweight foreman before her.

“Call for medical! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?” Nate hollered, waving his free arm frantically about. “A fucking written invitation?!”

Tiki trilled softly, lowering her body to seem less physically imposing. “[No, I’m waiting for you. Come over here and we’ll get out of the way to make sure the medics can come in, okay? Help should already be on the way-]”

“I don’t want to leave him, I don’t want him to be alone-” Nate whined, clutching the – and Tiki had to remind herself of this multiple times – the total stranger tightly, gently petting the top of the larger, and older male’s head gently.

Rrsn’sspri clutched his chest hard. “[C-Call an ambulance! BUT NOT FOR ME.]”

Tiki stared, flatly, as the Jornissian procured a very antique pocket pistol from his vest, pointing it in her vague direction. The foreman meant well, but it was obvious he hadn’t been to the range in a long time, and had never aimed his weapon at anything alive. Speaking of, the weapon was wholly mechanical in function; basically wire and a hyper-hardened alloy barrel tied to a trigger mechanism inside an aluminum frame. Cheap, no-maintenance, durable, nigh-impossible to jam and incredibly overrated. “[You’re… serious.]” Tiki deadpanned, pointing an open talon at the weapon. “[A FUD-2711? That looks like an older service model – where did you even find-]”

Rrsn’sspri frowned, scooting Nate behind his rising form. “[Two hundred world wars can’t be wrong, little missy.]” Nate disappeared behind the Jornissian, who stood proudly. “[And don’t try any funny business either – I know what I got, and I know h-Awh!]”

Tiki’s flick of the wrist was faster than the old snake could see, and was truer than his aim could ever be. The one major fault of the FUD-2711 (though there were, in fact many) is that outside of the barrel assembly itself the weapon was cheap, mass-produced formed metal, usually made of whatever was abundantly available and easy to process. This meant it was usually soft, or softer than the barrel itself. Tiki’s jet-black metal-ceramic composite stiletto pierced right into the weapon’s slide and out the other side, nicking the top of Rrsn’sspri’s thumb and index finger and neatly making the weapon totally inoperable.

Rrsn’sspri looked at his hand for a few moments, the realization that his weapon was now a trashed paperweight taking a few seconds to register. Eventually he looked up at Tiki with a pulled-back hood, a large frown on his face. “[Still good.]”

Tiki sighed, leaning to the far left to look around the distressed foreman and make eye contact with her human crewmate. “[Just… please, Nate, let’s go-]”

“[Wait.]” Rrsn’sspri felt two small hands clench at his back as the penny dropped in his mind. “[Wait, how did you know his name? You two know each other?]”

“[Yes. We’re crewmates, and I’ve been looking for him for the past 30 minutes-]” Tiki said, shaking her head slightly. “[I’ve followed his tracker to your office, and I thought this was a hostage situation, so-]”

“[So…]” Rrsn’sspri turned slightly, reaching behind to gently pull Nate out from his defensive position. “[So you would’ve been fine if we just sat tight. But the memory loss-]”

“[Memory loss?!]” Tiki said, startled before the gears started to turn in her head. “[What… what kind of memory loss?]”

“Itwasnothingserious-” Nate mumbled, trying to scoot his way back behind the Jornissian.

“[Nate. What did you do.]” Tiki demanded, closing the distance between them quickly.

“[He said he didn’t remember anything recent – that he didn’t know his crew, home, or ship name.]” Rrsn’sspri innocently and honestly asked, turning his head to study his newfound friend with different eyes. Because he averted his gaze he didn’t see the visible click in Tiki’s head, and her eyes went wide.

“[All this for the name, Nate?]” Tiki growled. To Nate’s credit he made it about 3 feet towards the safety of the foreman’s desk before he was outright tackled by his teammate, and all he knew was feathers, warmth and disappointment.

= = =

Tiki bounced slightly at the blows to her undercarriage, shifting her weight to pin down her unruly charge. The rest of the security team had shown up for “groceries”, but as the entire escapade was live-recorded for the benefit of the ship’s crew, by the time the emergency-response team had shown up the feeling was less “let’s save the human” and more “the audacity of this cheeky bastard”. He hadn’t done anything technically illegal (save for minor property damage), he wasn’t technically breaking curfew or ship’s laws, and he wasn’t technically hurting anyone.

However, he had caused a mad scramble by the crew and definitely put himself and others in potential danger. So, it was widely agreed that the little human needed to be put in his place, and there was no better way to do that than by public embarrassment.

“Let me gooooooo~”

“[No.]” Tiki said, shifting her weight so the human’s head was momentarily drowned out by a plume of feathers. “[Now, how are you feeling, Rrsn’sspri?]”

Rrsn’sspri, for his part, bounced back pretty quickly once he was given some proper medical attention. “[Better, though, I’m impressed by the little guy – he really got lost in an open cargo bay? Like, nothing physically in the bay at all, still got lost.]”

There was a muffled wail under Tiki’s feathers, and she laughed softly. “[Oh my yes. This was back before he memorized the shapes we had painted on the door frames, so he just stood there for a good 30 minutes trying to figure out the difference between the mess hall and the engine room – and he could’ve just asked any of us, but he wanted to be independent!]”

Relatively tiny fists struck out and against his captor, and were ignored completely. “[Then there was the time he got into the maintenance bay without supervision – ate through a half a roll of decking insulation-]”

The Jornissian rumblehummed, scratching at his neck. “[Impressive. Though isn’t it highly hydrophilic before it’s treated?]”

Tiki leaned forward with a conspiratorial smile. “[Oh, yes. Not only did our little hero have to drink a gallon of water, but, he had to figure out how to pass the solidified mass.]”

Rrsn’sspri laughed a deep belly laugh, his inhalations punctuated by Nate’s muffled and high-pitched whine. “[Oh NO! The poor guy! I hope he learned his lesson-]”

Tiki gave the Jornissian a look, and Rrsn’sspri stopped laughing, mouth hanging open. “[No. No.]”

“[Three times. Not just insulation, mind you, but all sorts of things – most recently coolant. Reactor Coolant, Rrsn’sspri!]” The two xenos, now fast friends, shared a hearty laugh. The rest of the response team had spent the past thirty minutes taking some time to help tidy up the place and share stories – and pictures – of their own.

Tiki sighed, before being pinged by her implant. She gave a little wiggle of her head, and Rrsn’sspri held up an understanding hand.

+)[USER ACTIVITY]

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[BIG_SISTER]: “|What’s up?|”

[ADMIN_CAPTAIN]: “|As much as I love reminding Wigglenap that his actions have consequences, we’re going to have to move him soon. Tr’’ro’koi has already brought our decoy home and the crowd’s dispersed.|”

[BIG_SISTER]: “|Yep. We’ll get him moved in the next 5 minutes.|”

Tiki shifted her weight again, letting Nate’s head pop out from her underbelly.

“I just came out here to have a good time and I’m feeling so attacked right now-” Nate complained, sighing. “I know I was a little shit, alright? But like, you have to admit that was good. I just, yanno…” Nate craned his head up a bit, giving a sheepish – if strained – smile to his snake-dad. “Didn’t think I’d make a friend along the way.”

Rrsn’sspri looked down at the human and rumbled thoughtfully, lowering himself almost to the floor to make eye contact with his ‘friend’. “[Nate, you lied to me, attempted to use me for your own ends, and through a misunderstanding could have created a whole lot of physical and emotional suffering.]”

“Well yeah, but-”

The older Jornissian tapped the metal floor, interrupting. “[I’m no stranger to playful hazing, and if you had just been honest with me from the beginning, I would have been more than happy to give you your answer and send you on your way. Instead, we almost had a tragedy here because you lied to me.]”

Nate’s expression softened a bit, as he attempted to continue his mea culpa. “I… well, yes, I admit that, but-”

“[Nate. My friend. I want to see you grow past this mistake, and learn from it – especially when you come to visit next time, and you’re always welcome to.]” Rrsn’sspri said, letting out a long and sad sigh. “[You need to understand – I’m not angry at you. I’m just disappointed in your choices.]”

There was a light thap as Nate’s forehead hit the deck, his entire body going limp. Rrsn’sspri leaned back and gave Tiki a look, and she nodded her appreciation. “[That was savage, old man.]”

“[47 children, little miss. You don’t keep order unless you use every tool available to you.]” Rrsn’sspri smiled, softly. “[Though, he seems like a wonderful basket-full though. You hear that, Nate? I know you can do better.]”

Nate, for his part, let out a pained groan, remaining completely limp. The two xenos shared a look between each other, Tiki gingerly standing up and stepping off of the defeated human.

“[It’s time to go, Nate. Come on.]” Tiki said, pawing lightly at her crewmate, who did not move. She shook him lightly, before letting out an exasperated peep and bodily lifting the limp human up and off the ground.

“Oww, my emotions.”

“[Well you should have thought of that before you decided to steal yourself.]” Tiki chastised, waving over Licorice. The jet-black Jornissian made his way over, carry-crate in his hand, and set it down on the ground entrance-up.

“I don’t wanna go into the crate-”

“[You have to go into the crate, Nate.]” Licorice said, gently but firmly taking his legs and sliding them into the opening. “[We had to destroy your suit to cause a distraction, so this is the only option for us to get you out of here safely and without incident. And it’s not a crate, and you know that.]”

“It’s demeaning, dehumanizing, and unnecessary!” Nate pouted, not fighting but not helping as he was bodily lowered into the secure container. To call it a human-crate was the derogatory, if slightly true term for it; The official designation was a “emergency self-contained human habitat module with snacks”.

The snacks were always that off-brand crap, though.

“[Are you okay in there?]” Licorice asked. He was rewarded with Nate’s head popping up out of the entrance to the cylinder, looking directly at Rrsn’sspri.

“Uh, Renny, about… well, everything.”

Rrsn’sspri smiled softly, resting his arms on his lower coils. “[I know, my little sunny spot. I know. But don’t you worry – we’ll hang out once you come back to the station, alright? Your ship, which I will not name for you, is a long-hauler, right?]”

Nate nodded.

“[Well, that means you’re most likely pass through here again on your way back home-home – to Mars, was it? So you can always swing by once you’re a bit older and wiser, and I’ll still take you to all those places we’re not allowed to go. Sound good?]”

Nate nodded again.

“[Listen, I’m only saying this because the Captain has stopped recording everything,]” Tiki lied, reaching down to gently pat/push Nate’s head down, “[But this was a good plan. Flawed, relying on luck, slightly dangerous and totally half-assed, but. Good plan. You’re still a little shit though.]”

Nate hummed softly as he sat down in his container. “Fucking budget cuts.” Nate murmured as he cracked open a package of ‘goldenfish’ brand snacks. His complaints were soon muffled, then snuffed out as the lid was screwed into place, the airlock-style seal magnetically clamping shut before the recirculated air began to cycle.

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  1. “Two Hundred World Wars can’t be wrong.” and “I know what I got.” The two lines that fuckin broke me, A+ on the Fudd jokes.