I came up with a “humans as aliens” scenario on the bus and now I’m writing a story snippet.
Karikki was sitting in the ship’s mess when the most recent addition to the crew stumbled into the room and collapsed into a chair with a relieved groan, dropping her head onto the table.
“Rough shift?” ie said, making a sympathetic noise as ie broke off another piece of ir food pack.
Melanie Dupré, recently hired on as a ship’s mechanic and as of one month ago the only human crewmember of the Xanaki Star, mumbled something into the table before lifting her head so that her translator could actually be of use.
“I could swear the ventilation ducts actually hate me personally,” she said. “I’ve been running around all day.” A look of horror crossed her features then, and she groaned again, dragging her hand across her eyes. “And I left my food packs in my room. Goddamn it.”
Karikki churred soothingly. “Don’t worry about it, you can have one of ours,” ie said, getting to ir feet and digging one of the vacuum-sealed silver packs out of the pantry.
Melanie made a noise that Karikki had learned to interpret as grateful and peeled the pack open, looking down at it dubiously. “You’re sure this is okay?”
“We’re nutritionally compatible!” Karikki said. “The captain checked, before we hired you on. Just in case you ran out of your own supplies. It should be fine.”
“Okay. Thanks,” she said, breaking off a square of the compressed nutrition block and popping it into her mouth.
A look crossed her face then that it took Karikki a moment to identify: disgust, ie realized. That was disgust–which was made all the clearer when Melanie gagged and grabbed a napkin, spitting the square out into her hand. “Oh my god,” she said.
Karikki could feel ir antennae fluttering anxiously. “What’s wrong? Are you okay? Is that a bad texture for humans?”
Melanie wiped her mouth, scrubbing at her tongue with the side of her hand. She shook her head. “No, the texture’s fine, it’s just like one of our protein blocks. It’s the [——], I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend you, but it’s awful! How can you eat that?”
Karikki flicked ir ear. “Sorry, say that again? I think your translator cut out in the middle. It’s the what?”
“The [——]. It [——] awful. I’m so sorry.”