bcao

Expedition to Sol2487-3 Pt.4

“This is the weirdest ride of my life” noted Xato Nexgrra. I could only consent him. Our platoon of eleven, sitting in a CARDBOX, big enough it could have been a scouting ship, attending to our incapacitated member while being carried by a foreign race’s pup, which had the size of a legitimate skyscraper, stomping through the endless plains. Each step of the tremendous creature echoed in our heads and brought us dozens of IFPS standard steps ahead. With our improvised vessel in one and the smaller vicious gazing beast - a cat, as Dr. Proaxl could tell us after touching the giant pup’s mind - in the other hand, the giant crossed the lands in an astonishing swift manner.

“So exactly how is this giant going to help us?” I asked Dr. Proaxl.
The doc, while easing Loxxar Kraes’ pain by mental attendance as best as she could, answered to me.
“It’s taking us to its home, where we will find shelter, food, medical equipment and - so all your religious deities are at our side - the support of its family. For this it would be great if we all could communicate with them. Mindtouching is really tiresome and I don’t want to translate between you as our leader and this world’s inhabitants the whole time, so… Üprrkl, how’s it going?”
The annoying Pjörecian scientist had gone silent for a while now and hatched on the task Dr. Proaxl had ordered him.
A brilliant move of her, both shutting him up and giving his undoubtedly enormous brain something better to do than analysing the non-existing chances of our survival.
“Not bad, the data you collected from the pup’s mind are feeding our intercom’s translation codes. They are fragmentary, and at first glance I would say this specimen does not understand its own language’s grammatic rules quite well - or those rules are so broken and arbitrary I for myself can’t wrap my brain around their structure - but its quite the basis. Some rudimentary communication with natives should be possible at least, until you are able to widen the database by mindtouching a - let’s say more experienced - specimen.”
“OK, then let’s try it” I said and formed with my forelimbs a funnel before my mouth. “Hey! You!” I yelled towards our ride.
“It’s name is Max” filled Dr. Proaxl me in.
“Hey! Max! Can you understand me?!”
“YE… I… UN… U…!” The roaring voice echoed in our whole bodies and stressed the intercom’s abilities.
“Maybe I should build in a filter that pitches the tune up and the volume down” suggested Üprrkl. “Wait a moment.” He manipulated his own intercom and shared the changes to the others. “Now.”
“I’ll try again, Max!” I shouted again. “We couldn’t understand you! Say something, please!”
“CAN YOU UNDERSTAND ME NOW!!!?”
We flinched under the noise.
“You aren’t too quit, you are too loud! Volume down, please!”
“Oh, sorry. Better?”
“That’s it. Good work, Üprrkl. Ok, Max, we can understand you now. How far is it to your home?”
“Why? We’re here!”

Due to the sunset and the speed, we hadn’t even noticed the sudden difference in the scenery. We entered some gigantic building and the reddish yellow light of the sun changed to the cold blue shining of electric lights. Of course this building had to be gigantic, given the fact the giant carrying us - Max – was only a pup, the house of its family must have been astronomic to our standards. It was just reasonable. But nevertheless we were struck speechless, for this building was for real taller as you could see.
Max brought us in through a huge gate – or was it a simple door? It was archaic, moving around a pivot without any means of electromotoric assistance. Then he brought us upwards by stairs into his room. Beside the electric lights there were no proofs of advanced technologies. At least those giants seemed to be far away from space travel and so they posed no threat for the IFPS for now.
“Wait here, I’ll get some food and medicine. What do you need?” asked Max, the giant.
“Something to prevent inflammation and a narcotic against pain” answered Dr. Proaxl. As a bodyless being, it was only natural for here to ignore the offered food.
So I added to her request: “Some water and something filling and easy to swallow, please.”
Max showed quite the troubled face, but nevertheless left us alone in his room. Thank Xaleates he took that “cat” with him, wouldn’t have wanted to be left alone with that.

After a short while we heard those gigantic steps approaching again, but this time it seemed to be four legs.
“Please Mom”, we heard Max’ voice from behind the door, “just promise me you don’t freak out!”
“Maxwell, I dare you, if you took in a spider or a snake, you’ll sleep in the garage tonight!”
The door swung open and a way taller giant came in, the head covered in lots and lots of those swirly filaments nearly every living thing here had – hair, as Dr. Proaxl told us.
The bigger giant glimpsed at us.
“Quick!” insisted Dr. Proaxl, “Wave one of your forelimps and bare your fangs! It’s a gesture of greetings.”
We did as she told us – but…
“AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…!!!!!”
My eyesight went blank, my hearing broke down, my intercom went sparkling and – I admit it with disgust – I had lost control of some of my digestive organs for a moment. When I regained my senses, I found more than half of my men on the ground, struggling for breath. And even Dr. Proaxl, whose nebulous body usually shimmered in a sparkling yellow white, now smouldered in a nauseous looking green.
“WHA… THE… HE…HA…!”
My hearing was still burrowed under a constant screaming noise, but I registered the muffled rough roar coming from the gate. And through my limbs I felt the tremors of a vast approaching third giant.
Just when would this superlative end? The third one was even taller than the second, by at least two heads. And I mean their heads, not mine. It gestured to the second, the second to Max, and Max gestured to us. And all of them made those annoying roaring noises. My head went numb.
Then finally, the biggest one made a wide gesture and the noises stopped. I remember the face of that giant coming nearer and nearer until it filled all of my field of vision. Then my mind went black.

When I came to my senses again, the biggest giant was talking to a still green shimmering Dr. Proaxl, but I couldn’t follow their talking, so I interrupted them.
“How long have I…?”
“Just seconds, captain. Don’t worry.”
“Oh, you are the captain?” asked the gigantic giant. He oppressed his voice with one of his limbs and tried to be as quiet as he could. Plenty of noise still, nevertheless. “Nice to meet you.”
“This is Captain Bcao Kjuk Mrra, Leading Officer of our expedition ship, and this here is Dr. Smith, Max’ father and biologist of this planet the natives call “Earth”” introduced Dr. Proaxl.
“I apologize in behalf of my wife” began the giant. “Our voices must have quite the destructive force to your bodies. We intended no harm to you, we were just… overwhelmed by your appearance. I mean, it’s just natural, that someday, eventually, someone from out there… I mean now, that after all this time finally…” The giant began quiet, but unknowingly it got louder and louder, like a little boy who couldn’t hide his joy about a new toy. Then Dr. Smith coughed slightly and got quiet again. “Ahem… my apologies. Let’s concentrate at the task at hand. Max said, one of your group is injured?”
“Yes, Loxxar Kraes. He got wounded by a … hamster is what Max mind called it” answered Dr. Proaxl.
“Oh you encountered a field hamster? God, you’re lucky the crop’s plenty. In spring, when it’s their season and the food resources are scarce, they go savage for any intruder in their yard. Some fairly random facts the least of my people knew, but for someone in your… position… it would have been crucial intel. Ok, I see. That breastplate absorbed most of the impact. Some sturdy material you got there. The wound is… what’s that?”
“A force field to keep the wound steril” answered the misty Doc.
“Fascinating” mumbled the giant Doc.
Two in their element. I decided to leave them be. Then the giant Doc asked.
“How do you stand alcohol?”
“For disinfecting? Isopropanol should do…”
“No, no, I mean, how do you stand drinking ethanol?”
Did that monster just say “Drinking ethanol”?!?!