weird shorts

Story 215: Cultural Exchange

The human steps onto the station from her shuttle, and walks into the scanner.  It flashes - no weapons.  I pity her, though there’s nothing I can do for her.  By tomorrow she will be a slave the same as me; the Gaunvans collect ambassadors like trophies.
“Hello there!  Amanda Thorn, ambassador for the Empire of Humanity.  You’re a Ixian, correct?”
Mimicking human body language, I nod my head.  "That’s correct.  Ix Malasan.  It is an honor to meet you.“
She smiles, reminding me again that she has somehow modified herself to breathe atmosphere suited to the Gaunvans rather than wear a respirator like myself.  Other than that she appears to be a standard human, something I am led to believe is less and less common as they pursue the bizarre compulsion humans have to alter their bodies.  Changing hair color, adding pigments to their skins in patterns and pictures, growing long tails or ears that mimic other species from their planet.  No other known species tampers with their bodies like this.
“Not to be undiplomatic, she says, "but the Gaunvans enslaved your people.  Why are you here?”
“We… reached a mutually beneficial agreement.  We would have lost in combat and been eliminated, so we chose to preserve what we could of our culture.  The Gaunvans are not naturally skilled at diplomacy, so they bring me along to assist and to show that peace can be made.”
She nods.  "Understood.  I can respect that choice.  How much freedom do you have, personally?“
Smart of her, to start planning for her future. "A fair amount.  I have free reign on the ship when we are in transit.  At the homeworld I have reasonably comfortable quarters.”
“Have you ever met the Empress, or…?”
“Oh, no.  No, while on the homeworld I am confined to my chambers - but they’re quite spacious.”
“Shame.  Okay, plan ‘A’ then.  Let’s get this over with.”

Despite my attempt at encouraging diplomacy, the Gaunvan commander starts with threats.  I don’t know why I bother.  He looms over the human, chitinous plates almost black in the dim light.  His pod of six is posted around the room, for show more than for actual security since she followed orders and came alone and unarmed.  "Failure to surrender will bring the full wrath of our army upon you.  Humanity will be crushed, and wiped from the universe.“
To her credit, she looks very calm.  "We live in a post-scarcity society.  Bloody conquest just seems silly, doesn’t it?”
“It is for the glory of Gaun!”
“Well, I’m not prepared to get into a religious debate with you,” she says, “since I doubt there’s anything I can do to change your mind.  Since you’re committed to this course of action, what are you willing to offer if we surrender?”
Now he goes back on script.  Maybe I am getting through to him a little?  He talks about the benefits of being enslaved, mainly the protections for up to twelve designated culturally historical sites.  They’ve been mostly good on their word on my homeworld, though they did use the area just outside of the Hahhn Memorial as a waste dump.

She nods as she listens.  There was a part of me that was worried she would argue, because the humans are somewhat childlike.  They don’t understand the horrors of war.  Certainly they fought in the past, but the last time they had to battle was more than two of their generations ago, so these ones have all grown up coddled and soft.  They play games with each other instead, silly competitions.  They make art, and play pretend, and alter their bodies for fun.  They don’t have weapons anymore, and wouldn’t know how to use them if they did.
“Well then,” ambassador Thorn says, “this is about what I expected.  On behalf of humanity, I would like to formally reject this offer.”
Oh no.  Foolish humans.  The galaxy will miss your innocence.  The commander makes an excited clicking noise, looking forward to combat.  He reaches a blade-tipped hand towards ambassador Thorn, but hesitates as every device in the room bleats out an alert - we’ve all lost communications with the outside.

Like one of the dances humans do, she gracefully pivots around while taking his hand.  She ends up close to him and places her other arm against his thorax, then… oh gods. Gods, what… she’s ripped his arm off.  It’s not possible.  The commander is clearly thinking the same thing, staring in mute shock at his dripping limb.
“I’d like to extend a counter-offer,” she says, and flips the arm around before jamming the bladed end into his neck.  The warriors around the room are fidgeting, uncertain.  They haven’t been told to attack, and don’t want to dishonor their commander by intervening in a fight with such a small creature.  She’s still holding the commander’s severed arm in his neck, but she rotates and heaves, lifting him off the ground with it for a moment… and then his head pops off, landing squarely on the conference table.  She allows the corpse to slide to the ground, and straightens her clothes as if they aren’t covered in ichor.

I don’t understand.

The warriors, now with no orders at all, finally act.  She smiles as they come for her, I suppose because she has done her duty to send this powerful message of resistance.  She can die in peace.  Or… no… She’s killing them.  She’s smiling because this is fun for her.  Though they’re partly killing themselves; if there had been two of them, prepared, strategic, they might have prevailed.  Watching six panicked fighters get in each other’s way while trying to stop a smaller, faster, and somehow impossibly stronger foe is almost hypnotic.  At least one is killed by the stab of a friendly lance due to pure confusion.  It’s over faster than I would have thought possible, severed limbs strewn across the room.  I’ve got some fluids splashed across my clothing.  Only one yet lives, and he is retreating.  She seems to be allowing it.

She follows behind, holding a lance.  The wounded and scared warrior scurries down the hallway towards his ship, looking back behind him as he goes.  She’s just… walking.  Calm.  And for some reason I’m following.  The last Gaunvan reaches the airlock and the second he enters his code she throws the lance - throws it! - and spears him.
“Come on, we’re stealing their ship.”  She says it like this is the most normal thing in the world.
“There are thousands more on board!  Thousands!  Almost all warrior caste!”
She smiles again, and keeps walking.  I see errors on the screens that we pass, messages indicating communications have been lost.  They can’t tell anyone what is happening here.  Even the communicators within the ship are on nodes rather than being wired, so the warriors at one end of the vessel won’t be able to coordinate with the other end.  Do they even know they’ve been boarded?
“How?”

We enter the bridge after she kills a handful of other guards with ease.  They’re too shocked by her presence to act in time.  Once the door are sealed and she is working on the control systems she starts talking to me again.
“Well, you know, we do like to be prepared.”
“But you… you ripped his arm off.”
“Yeah, that was super satisfying.”  She looks at me appraisingly.  "Oh, come on.  Is it really that surprising?  You knew we were into changing ourselves, right?  Being strong enough to pop an overgrown bug’s forelimb off isn’t rocket science.“
"Your people are so peaceful…”
“Oh, sure, most of them.  But we did that, too.  Tweaked ourselves over the years to decrease aggression and some of our tribalistic tendencies, increase empathy… all stuff that can be undone if needed.  Though for a good cause even the nicest of us can squish a bug or two.”
“You bond with Ry'ling devourers!”
“Those are the big fuzzy guys that look like cats, yeah?  Those guys are adorable!  But… look, liking some things that could kill us doesn’t mean we’ll sit back and get enslaved.  We didn’t put up with it well when we enslaved each other, and we certainly aren’t going to go for it now that we’re… finally… on the same page about slavery being unacceptable.  It was, uh, a longer time than we like to admit before the last hold-outs were convinced of that one.”

I can feel the ship un-dock.  We’re moving.  "What about all the warriors on board?  They’ll break through the doors eventually!“
"Not according to this control panel here.  Take a look.”
It says there’s no atmosphere in the rest of the ship.  Life signs are negative on all but two of the warriors, presumably the only ones that got to their suits in time.  She disabled all the safety measures, somehow.  She just killed… I check the life signs readout again to confirm the number… three thousand, six hundred, and fourteen soldiers.  Wait, how is it tracking that unless… “Are communications back up?”
“Yeah, I’m calling some friends.  The military is right around the corner, so to speak.”
“But Earth doesn’t have a standing military.”
She laughs.  Not just a little bit.  She’s actually doubled over for a moment, unable to catch her breath.  "Sweet Jeebus, you guys actually fell for that?  No standing military.  Have you read about us at all?“

Three ships appear seemingly out of nowhere, and one docks with the Gaunvan vessel.  Once the atmosphere is restored we head to the airlock to meet them, and I’m surprised by an entire platoon of Gaunvan warriors.  Speaking English.
"Okay boys, send your last goodbyes!  This is in all likelihood a one way mission.  Commander Thorn!  It is an honor to see you again, and might I say you look exquisite drenched in the blood of your enemies!”
She bows to him, blushing, and then salutes the Gaunvans.  Or… humans?  Can they change themselves this drastically?
“You’ve got two holed up in here somewhere.  Bridge is clear, have the techs bring the new brain on board.”
“New brain?”
She looks at me like she’s forgotten that I’m here, and then turns back to the others.  "Men, this is our new friend Ix Malasan who has just been liberated from his captivity.  He’s going to be helping with our intel.  Malasan, yeah, a new brain for the ship.  Once this vessel is cleaned up and back in service with a new crew we’ll be able to take it over whenever we want even if all of our boys get killed.  We cooked up a really sadistic AI for it.“
"But how do you know the protocols?  This was your first contact with the Gaunvans, they’ve never lost a ship anywhere near here!”
“No?  There wasn’t a mining colony disaster two years ago?”
“But that was just an accident… and you weren’t even involved in the war yet… and…”

The faux-Gaunvans have finished boarding.  The one that was talking to them before puts a bladed claw on ambassador - commander - Thorn’s shoulder.  "You coming with?“
"Naw.  Orders said I could only come if they allow ambassadors near extremely high value targets.  Malasan here says they don’t, so I need to wait for my next mission back on Earth.”
“It would have been nice having you with us, Thorn.  Well, maybe we’ll see each other again.  Suicide mission or not, I think I’ve decided to live through it.”
“Bold choice,” she says, and kisses him next to his lower mandibles.
He nods at me, then turns back to his men. “Okay everyone, we are now officially on the job.  And what is that job?”
In unison, they start chanting.

“FUCK! SHIT! UP!  FUCK! SHIT! UP!  FUCK! SHIT! UP!”

For a moment I nearly feel pity for the Gaunvans.  Nearly.  Commander Thorn leads me off of the ship, and I start thinking about what useful information I can provide the ‘harmless’ humans.  Fuck shit up, indeed.

What MRA’s think will happen at the Women-Only Wonder Woman Screenings

We at the Alamo Drafthouse would like to officially apologize for our role in the end of mankind as we knew it, and the ascendant Gynocracy that followed. We didn’t know our women-only screening of Wonder Woman would result in the overthrow of all world governments and the total subjugation of men, but in hindsight we probably should have seen it coming.

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anonymous asked:

Aliens reacting to someone with braces? Thanks!

The human problem was growing bigger at an alarming pace. Back when they first started travelling through space, most had viewed their efforts as cute. Some had even cheered them on from afar. Of course, that was before they realised what kind of creatures humans really are and what kind of planet they originate on. Before they knew what humans did for fun.

The humans as a whole hadn’t attacked yet, but it was only a matter of time before they gathered their forces. The Ktynarian species had to be prepared.

As a result, they had commandeered a human craft, and with eight Ktynarians to every human, they’d managed to gain control of the vessel and the horrible creatures within.

Unfortunately it was common knowledge that getting a fully grown human to talk was a near impossible feat. Fortunately, there were several younglings on the ship. The majority were younglings actually, which was a surprise. Upon further investigation it was revealed the ship was operated by a training facility of the category ‘school’.

After separating the humans into smaller groups to minimise the risks of organised resistance, Commander Yldrik picked one of the medium sized younglings to interrogate – having heard that the bigger posed a threat in size, but that the smallest were often quick and nimble

Yes, the medium sized one were surely the easiest to make a first attempt on. And if that failed, they still had a plethora of other humans to interrogate. One of them would surely give them some useful information.

Some of the humans were secreting some sort of fluid from their optical organs, some making noises the Ktynarians couldn’t identify, but instructing them to be quiet seemed to just make them more intent on making the noises. Deciding it would be best to leave xir soldiers to deal with it, Commander Yldrik turned xir focus to the youngling xe had selected.

“What is your objective,” xe asked. Getting straight to the point had seemed like the best method, but the human didn’t seem to comprehend.

“What?”

“What is your objective? What are you here to accomplish?” xe repeated, seemingly surprising the human. Perhaps they hadn’t expected to be confronted, or for the Ktynarians to be suspicious of them. Clearly the humans had underestimated them.

“Well, I mean, a B would be great, but I’d settle for a C too,” the human responded, something in their mouth gleaming slightly. Under different circumstances Yldrik would have paid it more attention, but xe was preoccupied deciphering what the human had said.

A bee was a creature from the humans’ home planet, and apparently vital to their ecosystem. A sea however, was a large body of a particular kind of water, and their planet seemed to be largely consisting of it. Why would they possibly want more of it?

“Why?”

“It’s not my best subject,” they said, elevating an upper part of their anatomy. Yldrik knew xe had been informed of the meaning behind the movement, but xe had finally noticed something different about the human’s teeth. Something worrying.

“Bare your teeth.” The human seemed surprised by the order, but complied after a brief hesitation.

The sight that met xem was terrifying, even for someone with as much experience as Yldrik.

“W-what are those?”

The human looked perplexed at first, but seemed to understand what xe was referring to fairly quickly.

“You mean my braces?” the human asked before baring their teeth further. A grin. At least that was what xe thought the action was named by the humans. “It’s just metal. You see, my mouth had too many teeth in it, so they got a bit out of order. Crooked and all, you know? So when I was about thirteen my parents took me to a dentist who basically attached metal to them to force them to stay in place. Cool, huh?”

The tone in which the human spoke did no justice to the horrors that laid in their words. They spoke as if they didn’t realise how terrifying this information was – no, come to think about it, they spoke as if they enjoyed the horrors they’d clearly been put through.

“And this was necessary for your survival?” xe asked, seeing no other reasonable explanation.

“No, no it’s just because it looks better,” the human said, repeating the elevation of an upper part of their anatomy. They did something else too, with an appendage of theirs, but Yldrik was done paying attention.

In record time, every single Ktynarian had vacated the ship, control of which had been returned to the humans. Fortunately their ship had a far higher maximum speed than the humans.

Their only chance at survival would clearly be to stay as far away from the humans as possible. If they attacked, the Ktynarians would have no other option than to flee. A species willing to do things like that to their own young – for aesthetic reasons no less – was not a species one wanted to go to war against.

Have we told the aliens about capitalism yet? Because I think we need to.

“What do you mean you do not provide your young with sustenance at your institutions of learning?” Captain Caxalonix pressed. He had just seen the strangest story being broadcast by one of the human “news networks” as they called them. Now he was determined to get answers out of his two captives.

“Well, I mean, it hasn’t been proven that it is beneficial,” the blonde woman chirped. She seemed very pompous, much like the supporters of the fallen emperor LadDorm-Punt that Caxalonix and his men had recently disposed off on the planet of Xixatal. Not only that, there was something about her features. They seemed almost fixed in place. Artificial.

The other captive, meanwhile, was a younger woman and she looked about ready to strangle the blonde captive. The human species’ need to kill one another was such a strange facet of their people.

“So, your young can survive without sustenance?” Caxalonix pondered. “How strange. I cannot think of another species in any galaxy that shares such a trait.”

“Oh no no, they do need food,” the blonde hostage corrected.

“But…you said you do not provide it,” Caxalonix frowned, trying to puzzle out what strange human logic was at play here.

“Nope,” the blonde said cheerily. The younger hostage looked even more exasperatedly murderous at this point, and Caxalonix heard two of his soldiers muttering bets which of the two hostages would win in a fight.

“Well, your education must not be mandatory then, so that your young can stay home and get the sustenance they need,” Caxalonix surmised, proud of himself for figuring out what the human was talking about.

“Nope. Education is mandatory,” the blonde said serenely.

Caxalonix did not have the faintest idea what was going on anymore.

“So…your young are required to attend institutions that do not provide for their needs…?” Caxalonix said slowly, not believing this could be the case.

“It hasn’t been proven it is a need,” the blonde smiled.

“Wait, did we not already establish that it IS a need?” Caxalonix said.

“Stop asking her,” the younger woman said. “She doesn’t know what she’s saying, and listening to her is painful. No, providing food isn’t a requirement in schools, no the food isn’t free when we do provide it, yes kids need food, yes people think not providing them with it is okay. Welcome to the fucking United States on the planet Earth.”

Submitted by @ attentiondeficitohlookasquirre

Imagine an alien species that venerates the spoken word.

Speaking is a sacred thing to them. Why wouldn’t it be? it’s the ritual exchange of information through a complex series of structures evolved over millennia. That’s a really big deal. So they only ever speak to each other in words to relay important information, like orders or thins not already obvious. Small talk either doesn’t exist or is only exchanged with your closest friends or family members. Otherwise it’s not just impolite, but practically blasphemy.

Then humans come along. At first they seem like they’re the same way–their ambassadors are eloquent and polite, and sure maybe their wording can be a little needlessly fancy, but every species is a little different and you’ve gotta make some allowances.

That’s what the aliens think until they actually meet their human crew mates.

And they discover that humans??? Will just say???? Anything?????

One human is braiding another’s hair and comments, “you have so much hair!” as if the other human didn’t know that already??? Their alien crew member is absolutely appalled at the casual use of speech to relay such pithy information. But the other human doesn’t even care???

Another human sees something funny and says “I’m dying” and the alien runs over like “OH NO WHERE DOES IT HURT” and the human is utterly baffled and says “I didn’t actually mean it” which is outrageous because why would that human dare use the power of speech to state something blatantly untrue?

The alien thinks they’ve seen the worst of it. And then a human comes out of the latrine. And they open their mouth.

“YOOOO GUYS I JUST TOOK THE BIGGEST SHIT”

Humans and aliens in relationships

In this world where humans are Space Orcs™, Capable of Anything, Afraid-of-Nothing…

Imagine the alien actually having a relationship with a human. First, their friends are so curious and awed and thinks their friend is brave for getting involved with a human.

Second, they are too, at first, until they realize humans are not one particular species that all do the same, but that the specific human they are building a relationship with is pretty cool. Their mind boggles when they realize this, as this would mean that no human can be the same, that they all have different upbringing, likes and dislikes, everything infinitely complex. They finally figure that they, while understanding all of humanity might be impossible, they at least can try understand the one in front of them.

“Hey, C’Lom” the human says as it snaps its fingers in front of their eye-stalks. “Are you still with me?”

“Yes,” they say, “apologies, I was, as you might call it, lost in thought.”

The human stretches its neck muscles to one side, keeping its weird, big eyes on them. It’s very observant, but in a concerned way, like it wants to find out what it can do to make things better.

“Penny for your thoughts?” It says, eating another fried something from the container in front of it.

C’Lom bows their head a bit. Humans and their weird expressions. They ponder a while on how to best use the English language to express such abstract things. The dark room around them is only lit by a few night lights, the mess hall silent for another half hour before everyone starts their shifts. C’Lom had just woken up early and found their crew mate, and learned that it couldn’t sleep. They had started talking in hushed voices and now it was almost morning. Not that the time mattered on a spaceship anyway.

“The vastness of you amazes me,” they finally settled on, watching the humans expression as it took another bite.

The human swallowed, nodding.

“Likewise,” it said, and smiled a smile that made the whole room seem brighter.

***

I also can’t help but imagine the sex. Like, the alien might not know that humans procreate in any special way because they have never heard of it. They don’t really know anything about different sexes either because not all aliens has those, or they might have moved past it so that it isn’t part of their culture anymore, or something. TLDR, sex isn’t a thing this alien knows about, and even less human sex.

And after a while they are in a relationship and they want to make their human feel good, for their birthday or something. So they ask another human, and this human, after the shock dies down, start asking what kind of relationship they are having. Are they just friends? Are they lovers? Do they meet other people or are they exclusive? Have they kissed? Are they going to have a family?

The alien is so confused and preoccupied they don’t get a present for the human at all, they just sits around and stares vacantly until the human flat out ask them what’s wrong. The alien tells it and the human is making a facial expression where it’s both concerned and amused at the same time.

“Yeah, Dana has very strict ideas on what a relationship should be like. I don’t think that such definitions are as important as long as we are happy together.”

“Do I make you happy?”

The human smiled and traced C’Loms face with its eyes.

“Yes, you make me very happy.”

Maybe their relationship turns physical after this conversation, and C’Lom learns that the Strong, Capable Human™ can turn into putty if you know where to touch them.

Aaand maybe the alien does have tentacles or something similar and maybe they aren’t compatible enough to make babies but they might not want that anyway, and maybe they can adopt?

Anyway, this were just some things on my mind ;)

3

im crying why do i always draw shit that’s too wide to be viewed properly on tumblr i just want to live my life in cinematic 2:1 ratio fuck

anyways this was part of an idea for a bigger thing that i 100% won’t ever finish. it was a lot more sad than this drawing communicates. and had time travel hope magic + punching coffeeshop au-esque tropes in the face.

syorein  asked:

I've seen it vaguely touched upon, but has anyone ever gotten really indepth about how we advance, not as a need, but as a competitive factor? Like with even NASA and whatever we were like "hey we're gonna make it to space before you losers" and the others were like "heck no we're gonna get there before you losers" and it just permeates every factor of our lives ask any child who plays a game and even they'll be pumped to win

Necessity is the parent of progress, the pamphlet had said. It was supposed to be a human saying, but as Vossavangen looked upon the mess the ships humans had made, xe realised how wrong this statement was. As per usual, humans made very little sense. Apparently, it had all started with one of the humans saying they could fix the fuel intakes of the small utility ships (which were working fine, mind you) before and better than another human.

Apparently this was a ‘bet’ - a word that didn’t really translate to Vossavangen’s native language. A lot of the words spoken in the following argument didn’t translate, and those who did seemed strangely fixated around referring to the other human as genitalia. At the time it hadn’t seemed like it would bring much trouble. Like most normal human behaviour it was best to let it play out on its own and let the humans deal with it.

Well, that was what xe had thought then, but less than one rotation later the floor of the room the humans called the garage was filled with tools and pieces of engines. It was a disaster, and Vossavangen had no idea how to explain it to xir superiors.

Talking to the humans had proven futile, but by some miracle both the utility ships they’d been ‘tinkering’ on were fully operational eleven rotations later - less than half a rotation before High Command was supposed to inspect the area. The work space was far from tidy, but the humans had decided that one party would clean for all of them. Which it would be depended on who had brought the biggest improvements to the ships.

Vossavangen was less than optimistic, but xe tested the utility ships none the less. Shockingly, it seemed the human engineers and mechanics had managed to on one of the ships cut fuel use with almost forty percent, while on the other they had substituted the need for traditional fuel altogether for food waste.

After the incident, it became common knowledge that the best ways to get a human to work efficiently was to say they either wouldn’t be able to do it, or that someone else could do it better than them.

Humans are Weird: Empathy

Humans are Weird: Reacting to other people’s pain.

Report:
Ambassador Xaacy
Human year 3078
Day 27 of Cultural Mission between Earth and Th'urag'ony


I have discovered the strangest phenomenon. A male human was working on a project in the lab when another scientist threw him a wrench (a small metal tool used to tighten things). He failed to catch it, and instead it hit his genitals. He groaned fell to the floor (this is a well known weak spot in humans’ armor). I was surprised to see all the fellow male scientists cringing and covering their vulnerable spots. Even some of the females winced. Curious, I asked why they flinched at his injuries.

“You do not have a hive mind, and you were not hurt. So why do you act as though you too were hurt?”

“It’s just a reflex,” they explained, “Empathy, ya know?”

….Translation does not compute.

“What is empathy?”

“It’s like, feeling what others feel. Putting yourself in their shoes.”

“What do your foot coverings have to do with this?”

“….never mind.”


After this incident, I decided to research this “empathy” further.
I used what the humans call “YouTube” to look up videos of humans being hurt in commonplace accidents. I then showed the videos the various humans.
Almost all of them flinched, groaned, made noises of distress, or held the corresponding body part that was hurt in the videos.
It seems that humans have such a strong pack bond that it spreads to strangers and allows them to feel phantom pains when others are hurt. It doesn’t just apply to humans though. Many humans reacted similarly to videos of other species being hurt. Earth animals, species from other planets, and known criminals all garnered the phantom pain response and sounds of distress.

(A small percent of humans failed to respond to all images)

This response is triggered by real life occurrences and even imaginary situations. Some humans also react to emotional or mental pain shown by others.


Note: More research needed to see if this “empathy” is triggered by more than just pain. I plan on showing them “happy videos” next and recording their reactions.

anonymous asked:

53 andreil for the prompt thingy???

53: “Darling, stop.” 

They’re in the chilly fluorescent produce section, Neil steering the cart and Andrew catching it whenever he finds chocolate-covered berries or cartons of blended sugary juice to add to the pile. Neil’s got his old jersey conspicuously clashing with their new team’s red sweats, a dark bandana twisted up in his hair. It’s almost closing, and everything feels a bit cool and loose like no one’s really supposed to be awake.

When Neil’s busy bagging carrots Andrew gets his arms folded over the handle of the shopping cart, this stupid black t-shirt all stretched out at the neck, wire-framed glasses perched on his nose, mouth flat. Neil’s sort of fond of Andrew wearing his glasses in public, and he finds himself walking backwards in front of the cart as it’s pushed, openly watching him. Andrew picks the pace up just enough to bump heavily into his shins.

Neil smiles, looping his fingers through his end of the cart so they each have a side, rolling lopsidedly towards the opening of an aisle.

“Stop making things difficult.”

“Let me drive the cart.”

Andrew regards him, fair eyebrows raised. “You’re a control freak.”

Neil laughs, startled. “You let three people total drive your car. You wouldn’t even let Sir or King in our bed for the first three months we had them. You bartered for my secrets when we met, Andrew. ”

“And?” Andrew asks, examining a box of cake mix.

“I don’t think you should be talking about controlling personalities.”

Andrew ignores him, tossing the box in the cart and pushing it back towards Neil. “Go get your diet plan shit.”

Neil makes a face. “It’s our diet plan.”

“I am not willfully drinking skimmed milk.” Andrew crosses to the bags of jumbo marshmallows and Neil pinches the bridge of his nose.

“I’ll put it in your hot chocolate.”

“You’ll die,” Andrew says simply.

Neil jostles the cart into Andrew’s side, and he drops the marshmallows back on the shelf, unimpressed. “Meet me at the front in five. I’m getting actual food to sustain actual people.”

Andrew shrugs and turns to wander out of the aisle, dragging the cart the wrong way behind him.

Neil coughs so he doesn’t laugh, senselessly thrilled. He jogs back towards the meat section, threading through coolers and displays until he finds the turkey bacon and lean chicken breasts that they live on. He’s frowning at an especially lifeless beige cut of fish when he’s wrenched around by the arm.

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Humans are Weird-Death

Hey guys, so I wanted to add to the humans are weird thing that’s going around, and this kinda came to me in the shower, so…enjoy?

Zah Rem was dying. They knew it the moment the Ra-Sek corridors of the station began to feel cold. It had been easy to dismiss the chill at first. The Humans always kept the main corridors to a barely tolerable 24 degrees Celcius, the Terran unit of heat. So Zah Rem had kept to Ra-Sek corridors, content to survey the movement of their officers from the comfort of warmer areas.

But then they had Stopped in the Ra-Sek sustenance area. The area was used infrequently as most of the new officers preferred to communal sustenance area, and so some time had passed before a Terran ensign accidentally stumbled across them. The human had run to get help, and that’s how Zah Rem found themself in the infirmary, a heat unit glowing above their bed as machines monitored every pulse of their internal fire.

To the Ra-Set, the Cooling was a very private matter. It was some small mercy really- a natural death for a Ra-Sek happened over the course of only days, and after the initial passing ceremony the Ra-Sek left the dying in peace to contemplate their life. At least, that’s how it had been before.

A human, mouth closed in a Ra-Sek neutral expression, sat at the end of their bed, eyes occasionally flicking between the machines and their pad. This one was the human counterpart of Zah Rems previous station and they knew this one well. She would not be leaving unless the dying process miraculously reversed. Humans always seemed to treat this like a logical possibility.

Zah Rem had lived such a long time, even for a Ra-Sek. They had seen the rise of space travel for their people, the first contacts with other races, some friendly, some hostile. They had seen stars flicker out of existence. And then, they had seen the arrival of Terrans. What a ludicrous, terrifying thing that had been.

The humans had arrived in strange, nonsensical machines seemingly only barely capable of long distance space travel. Most of them had arrived asleep. The Ra-Sek had initially been very wary of this smaller race. Humans could regulate their own body temperatures. Humans lived short lives but took life-threatening risks, seemingly for pleasure. Humans reproduced quickly and freely, having offspring even in space, so far from their own world. Humans would fight, losing limbs they could not regenerate, and then fight more.

In short, they were too dangerous not to make allies of. And so the Ra-Sek had, and in their many years, Zah Rem considered this one of the wisest choices of their people. The humans had helped them explore planets previously thought uninhabitable. They had seen human shipmates run headfirst into aggressive unknown flora and fauna and categorize it, collect it, and make it known. In one instance, they had seen the entire brunt of humanity brought to bear on a now extinct warmongering race, simply because this race had been dubbed “bullies that don’t play fair”.

The human shifted in her chair. “Hey dragon, still alive?”

Zah Rem exhaled a plume of steam. They knew this word referred to them, and that it was a reference to a Terran creature that may have never even existed. They had seen a picture once, and they did see the similarities to a Ra-Sek. That didn’t mean they had to answer.

The human sighed and flicked her eyes up and across, a human gesture of annoyance. “I know you’re alive, your monitors are going. I wanted to ask if you need anything.”

“Need? I am dying, there is nothing more I need.”

The human curled her upper lip, almost perfectly mimicking the Ra-Sek gesture of annoyance. Human mimicry really was uncanny. “I know that, but, is there anything you want? Water? Food? A book? Are you just…gonna sit there until it happens? Aren’t you…y’know, uneasy?”

Now that was a strange word to use for this state, and Zah Rem wondered if their translator had translated the Terran Common incorrectly. “Uneasy? Why would I be…Uneasy?”

The general shifted in her chair again, suddenly transfixed by her pad. “Well, I mean, are you…afraid?”

Zah Rem tilted their head, trying to mimic a gesture they had seen humans use. “Why would I be afraid? I am dying, this is a normal process for all living things.”

The human seemed frustrated, and Zah Rem once again saw the wisdom of their own tradition of leaving the dying to cool in peace.

“I know that! I just mean…aren’t you afraid of what happens next? Like, to you…after you die?” her shoulders curled inwards.

After…death? Zah Rem snorted. “Nothing happens after death. Death is the end of life…is it…is it not so for Terrans?” A pang of fear twitched in Zah Rem’s core. Humans…died completely, true? They thought of all their deceased human shipmates the other humans had burned, or buried under soil, and suddenly they were…uneasy.

The general waved at the air “Don’t call us that. And yeah, yeah, human’s die all the way too-“Relief. “But, some humans…we have this…idea, that a part of us, the sentient part, lives after we die. And, I don’t know where it goes, but death comes to collect it, and guide it to where it’s supposed to go next.”

“Death…comes? As in, the concept of death is…sentient? and… travels to the location of the dying to take their consciousness? Where? Why?” Zah Rem’s internal fire quivered, and the monitors began to chirp and hum in complaint.

“Woah woah take it easy!” Their human counterpart stood, touching their forelimb gently. This gesture would have been aggressive among Ra-Sek, but they had long since learned that humans touched other beings freely. Her hand was warm, and the heat soothed Zah Rem’s own heat. The monitors quieted.

“Y’know what? Forget I said anything, it’s just a dumb Terran myth. You wanna see this picture of a cat I found?”

And, for once, Zah Rem really, really did.

The next few days passed quietly. Healers checked the monitors as discreetly as possible and the general was a constant presence, sneaking back in every time the Ra-Sek healers shooed her out. For the most part, she worked on her pad, guiding the directors of her officers. Zah Rem was mildly envious of this, but they felt the cooling settling in, and they were content to reflect on past action instead.

Well, mostly content. Try as they may, Zah Rem could not shake the idea of death as a sentient presence, and tendrils of fear began to snake into the waiting, fear that, like in so many impossible ways, the humans might be right about death. They did not want their consciousness to be taken. They took to scanning the room when their human wasn’t looking.

This fear was probably what exacerbated the process. It happened suddenly, their internal temperature falling, falling, and the general was shouting, calling for help and Zah Rem knew they were beyond help, nothing could help, but they were so afraid of Death being attracted by the cries, if only they could-

And suddenly they were alone in a space that was not bright, and was not dark. They…no longer felt cold, but not warm either. It made Zah Rem…uneasy. And then they heard footsteps, and in the distance there was a small flicker of light.

The light drew closer and closer, and with it Zah Rem began to make out a figure in strange clothing. The figure wore long, black clothing that flowed downward, with a hood that obscured the head. It was carrying a long stick with what looked like a small ball of fire on top. They also saw the glint of long, sharp looking metal, reminiscent of a Terran knife.

Zah Rem bared their teeth. A weapon. This must be Death. If it was, it wouldn’t steal their sentience without a fight.

The figure closed in.

“Stop. Come no further.” Zha Rem growled. “I am Zah Rem of the Ra-Sek. I have seen races rise and fall. I have seen stars flicker out of existence. I have fought alongside humans. I will not let you take my consciousness.”

There was a moment of silence. And then a strange sound came from the hooded figure. A soft, musical sound, not unlike a Ra-Sek trill, very much like…a human laugh. The figure lowered it’s hood.

Of course, Death would be a human.

Zha Rem felt the anger leave them all at once. The human smiled, mouth closed, and reached its dark hand out to touch Zha Rem’s forelimb. Their touch was warm, and Zha Rem felt the warmth coil around  their core, lighting it once again.

“Are you ready to come with me?”

And Zah Rem found they were.

anonymous asked:

how would aliens react to tattoos? like, some humans undergo large amounts of pain to have an image permanetly inked on their skin and sometimes the reason is no more than "eh, it looks cool"

“Human Tyler, you seem to have acquired pigmented particles under your skin.” Rytrinq began, trying to gain their attention at the same time as xe remained polite and considerate. “Do you wish time to cleanse yourself?” Xe asked, quite pleased with xemself for remembering the appropriate question.

“Fuck off, don’t be rude.” Human Tyler repeated, looking enraged for some reason. Granted, Rytrinq didn’t have the longest experience deciphering human mannerisms, but the wording didn’t leave much room for ambiguity. “This took a loot of time, and I’ll have you know I’m really happy with how it turned out.” They added, baffling Rytrinq further.

“You got dirt under your skin on purpose?” Xe asked, getting more confused each time Tyler spoke. Fortunately, it seemed they realised xe genuinely didn’t understand. Or at least they were willing to indulge him. 

“It’s not dirt. It’s ink, and yes. It’s called a tattoo. It’s art.” They said, clearly still angry, though they did look slightly less terrifying, which xe decided to count as progress. Xe had heard that human art came in many forms, but xe had never heard of one involving the human body itself.

“Human Tyler, that is immensely intriguing. How is it made?” Xe asked, relieved when they seemed to realise it was a case of cultural confusion rather than xem being purposefully rude.

“Well, you go to a tattoo artist, and they make the design and then make a sort of template, I guess you could call it. Anyway, they put that on the place you want the tattoo, and it transfers a bit of ink so the artist’s got something to guide them. And then they have this machine, which is basically a bunch of needles that pierce the skin with ink. Which the artist use to sort of draw on the skin, leaving cool art like this.” Human Tyler said, adding a pointed look for the last part while showing off the art. Rytrinq was however too worried - and quite frankly terrified - to think too much about it.

“It pierces your skin and drags the ink machine through your skin? Is that not painful?” Xe asked

“What? No, no it goes up and down into the skin. If you drag it without the needles getting up you’ll end up with big scars. It does kind of hurt, but it’s not that bad.” They answered, clearly believing that to sound better. As if getting stabbed multiple times was no big deal.

“What purpose does it serve? Is it a hierarchical or sociological requirement?”

“No, some people don’t even like them. Think they look unprofessional or whatever bullshit like that. But it doesn’t really have a purpose.” Human Tyler answered with a brief elevation of their shoulder area.

“Then why do you put yourself through the pain?” Xe wondered. They had to have some reason after all, right?

“Eh, it looks cool. I mean, I just really like daffodils, always have. They’re cool.” They said, once again reminding Rytrinq that xe would never fully understand humans.

A Personal Account of Recent Confederacy History

The Galactic Confederacy was in complete chaos.

Everything had been moving along quite nicely, and then the Humans appeared to ruin it all.

First, they stopped in the Blagdorf system and introduced them to agriculture. The Blagdorfs had been mass producing their food for millennia! It was a thriving hub for export and then they started “growing” their resources. Now it is almost impossible to find authentic Blagdorf Schnitzel in any corner of the universe.

Then! Then they decided to hop on over to the Kankor System and end their thousand year old blood fued with the Arelians. An incredible feat, to be sure- except now they had two of the most terrifying races in the Confederacy as staunch allies. And the Aurelians have refused to share their weapons technology, the blighters.

Their third stop was Andar-12B, a relatively small and unknown planet resting on the outer rims of the Confederacy Hub system. Rather primitive, to be sure. And so what did the Humans do? Why, gifted them FTL travel of course! The race from Andar-12B, who called themselves Terrans, had begun tentative exploration into their region, but this! It was sacrosanct amongst the Confederacy not to interfere with developing worlds. And the Humans had done so without a care at all.

Finally, their flagship touched down on the home planet of the Confederacy, Andromaeda. All members of the High Council, as well as privileged scribes, were present for the first meeting with the Humans.

It did not go as expected.

It began when the leader of their party (4 women, 3 men) flourished a clearly ironic bow at the Head Councilman, Jarak from the Kaiser region. As she straightened, an expression I can only describe as pure madness crossed her rather dull features. There were no special physicality’s about this race at all. They were quite boring, to look at anyway.

As the Council welcomed the Humans to the Confederacy, they glanced between one another before looking to their leader to respond. I will never forget the words she spoke, as long as I live.

“We aren’t here to join your Confederacy.”

Everything was silence. Head Councilman Jarak was still, as if he had been carved from diamond. No one had ever refused to join. You couldn’t really refuse. It wasn’t an option.

And yet, these were Humans. They ruin things, after all.

One of the younger Councilman, a native man, stepped forward and asked the question on everyone’s lips. Or, perhaps questions.

“Then why are you here? And where did you come from?”

The Human party smiled, as if they had been waiting for this very opportunity. You could almost see everyone present lean forward in anticipation.

“We came from the stars.”

The Leader of the party looked towards the darkened sky, and almost whispered her final words.

“And we are trying to find our way home.”



(part 1/? maybe if you like it)
Write-O-Ween Prompts: Unusual and Rare Words Edition

As practice for the famous NANOWRIMO, a prompts list of unusual and rare words! I’ll try writing them: will you?

  1. Uncanny: strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way
  2. Chimerical: merely imaginary; fanciful
  3. Susurrus: a whispering or rustling sound
  4. Aubade: a song greeting the dawn
  5. Ephemeral: lasting a very short time
  6. Sempiternal: everlasting; eternal
  7. Euphonious: pleasing; sweet in sound
  8. Billet-doux: a love letter
  9. Pluviophile: any organism that thrives in conditions of heavy rainfall; one who loves rain, a rain-lover
  10. Redamancy: act of loving in return
  11. Lachesism: the desire to be struck by disaster; to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire
  12. Rubatosis: the unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat
  13. Nodus Tollens: the realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore
  14. Opia: the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable
  15. Monachopsis: the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place
  16. Énouement: the bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self
  17. Skulduggery: devious behavior
  18. Tatterdemalion: raggedly dressed person; looking disreputable or decayed
  19. Athazagoraphobia: the feeling of being forgotten, ignored, or replaced
  20. Oblivion: the state of being completely forgotten or unknown; connotes feelings of isolation and aloofness, which lead to the annihilation or extinction of the self metaphorically
  21. Abditory:  a hiding, safe place to disappear 
  22. Hiraeth: the homesickness for a home you can never return to; a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past
  23. Fernweh: the ache for distant places; the craving for travel
  24. Sonder: the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own
  25. Kenopsia: the eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet
  26. Kuebiko: a state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence
  27. Quiddity: the essence or inherent nature of a person or thing / an eccentricity; an odd feature / a trifle; a nicety or quibble
  28. Wayfarer: a traveler, especially on foot
  29. Nepenthe: a medicine for sorrow; a place, person or thing, which can aid in forgetting your pain and suffering
  30. Gloaming: defined as twilight and dusk; the day’s end, the glittery, transient echo when time and nature meet
  31. Eunoia: literally meaning “beautiful thinking” / FREE SPACE

Taeyong: Do you like Mark?

Donghyuck: You mean the weird Canadian kid? The short one with ramen hair? Johnny 2.0 when he straightens it? Has a cute little laugh that helps the sun shine?

Taeyong: yes

Donghyuck: sorry don’t know him

Another humans are weird

But imagine. Aliens watching humans eating super spicy and hot food for the first time. The humans are obviously in pain, but they. Keep. Eating.

Whenever humans come across a new hot alien food with a Scoville so high no sane being should ever eat it, the human just HAS to try it. Aliens watch in horror as the human sticks the spicy food in the mouth. Tears fill their eyes, they can’t sit still, and even though they are in so much pain the human can’t stop smiling.

Once again the aliens realize that humans should not be challenged.