Aliens do not understand our idea of fun and they just don’t know what to do with us when we’re bored. I mean, come on, we do some pretty bizarre stuff when we’re bored. I’m not talking balancing-things-on-your-face weird (don’t lie, we know you’ve done it.), I’m talking straight up strapping-knives-to-a-roomba-and-promoting-it crazy. Aliens quickly learn that a bored human is one of the most terror-inducing things in the galaxy.
En’thaar was going to his quarters for a bit of rest before evening-meal. It had been a busy day. He had finished analyzing the results from the tests on Veshra, summarized the results and wrote the exploration report for the captain. He even got a chance to read some of the updates in the fleet. En’thaar had just passed the central commons when he heard shouts. Immediately recognizing the source, he tensed up and doubled back. Bracing himself, he walked through the door… and froze.
“…wha?” was all he could manage.
A group of humans had gathered in the middle of the room, sitting in a rounded shape on the floor. In the middle of the group was one of the ship’s mobile cleaning units. En’thaar’s upper limb muscles relaxed a bit when he realized it was the same as any of the other cleaning units on the ship, except for a stack of small papers on top of it, or at least it appeared to be. Word had spread throughout the fleet about a group of humans on one ship that had taken a cleaning unit and attached knives to it. None of the stories said for sure which ship it was. En’thaar wasn’t sure if the stories were true or not. Honestly he thought it was too crazy to be true.
‘But not too crazy for our humans to try.’ He thought to himself, shaking his head.
One of the humans looked up. “Hey Enth!” He smiled, half-waving.
“Greetings, Human-Max, everyone.” En’thaar nodded. He looked around the room at the others. Cassie, David, Ana and Max’s twin brother Ben all smiled and said hello.
“You’re just in time to see David lose!” Max grinned mischievously.
“Yeah, yeah, get on with it already!” David rolled his eyes, an action En’thaar learned humans use to express annoyance or exasperation.
“Truth or dare?” Max asked, barely able to contain his glee.
“Truth, obviously. I’m not taking a dare from you again after that incident in Shar’lan’s quarters.” All the humans turned to look at Shar’lan. En’thaar hadn’t noticed her standing there earlier. She did not look pleased.
“Uh, right.” Max cleared his throat, awkwardly. “So, we all know how you met Cassie. it was your first day on the ship, you were soaked, aliens didn’t know as much about humans, etc.” Maxed waved his hand. “So, my question is… when you first met Cassie, how did you really feel about kissing her?”
The group broke into a chorus of ‘oohs’ and laughter. En’thaar noticed a slight pink hue to Cassie’s cheeks.
“You win.” David glared at Max, picking up the top paper from the cleaning unit as it rolled by him.
“Mix two parts hot sauce, three parts habañero juice… and six parts kunjar nectar.” He shuddered then glared at Ben.
“The habañero juice is for flavor.” The chemist smiled cheerfully.
En’thaar closed his eyes, imagining the flavor such a formula would have. He had never tasted hot sauce or habañero juice, but he had heard plenty about them from the humans. As for kunjar, he was more familiar with the plant than he would have liked. The humans compared it’s scent to that of rotting meat that had been sprayed by a skunk then soaked in rotten eggs.
“If I may interrupt…?” En’thaar asked hesitantly.
“Sure, what’s up Enth?” David asked gratefully.
“What are you doing?
“Playing truth or dare.” Ana answered.
“It’s pretty self-explanatory, but I can tell you about it later.” Cassie added. Grinning, she turned back to David. “Cheers.”
David looked at the mix in his hand and sighed. En’thaar winced as David drank the gruesome concoction.
“Ok Cassie…” David started. His torso jerked and he quickly covered his mouth. He closed his eyes for a second and swallowed, shuddering. “Truth or dare?” He choked.
“Oh no you don’t. I pick dare.” Cassie replied, hands on her hips.
“I dare you to kiss Max or Ben,” David said, regaining his composure. A small, weak smile played on his lips as he glanced over at the brothers. “Whichever one you want, there really is no difference.”
“Hey!” The twins protested as Ana laughed.
“I’d rather kiss a grogin!” Cassie snorted, grabbing the mix from David and downing the rest of it in one go.
En’thaar watched in horror as he moved closer to Shar’lan. “What… why are they…?” He whispered.
“I gave up figuring it out space hours ago.” She replied. “I just know they find it to be fun.”
En’thaar pondered this for a moment then imitated a human shrug. “I suppose it could be worse.”
Shar’lan agreed. “Yes. They could be putting knives on it.” She gestured at the cleaning unit.
“Wait…” Max froze, holding Ben in a headlock in one arm, a new batch of the revolting drink in his other hand. “Putting knives… on a roomba?!” Max’s eyes widened.
Ben broke free and grabbed the cleaning unit. “Beat ya to it!” He yelled, running out of the room.
“Hey!” His brother shouted, right on his heels. The rest of the humans laughed.
Shar’lan shrank sheepishly, smiling at En’thaar. En’thaar squinted at her, his lips forming a straight line.
He rolled his eyes, turning back toward his quarters. “Starmaker help us.”