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    Cia
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Ancalagon - 13. Chapter 13

Garjah pressed a spot on the straps and they retracted smoothly. What had he pushed? I didn’t see any button but I could have been free that easy? Not that there was anywhere to go. I didn’t see a way to open the door from the inside either, and the room was small.

I sat up immediately and hissed as my feet touched the floor. They were bare and the pulse of an engine vibrating through the metal disturbed me. “Are we still moving?”

“Yes, but you are awake now so Timok wants me to take you for a meal.”

“Timok?”

“He is the doctor from earlier.”

Oh, the biologist, the other alien I’d met. “And Timok is in charge?” I asked, probing carefully. I could do this. I seemed to have forgotten how to engage my brain since the ship blasted over me and Bouncer, but I had to shake off the shock fogging my thinking.

“No.” Garjah’s thin lips spread in what looked like a smile. I reminded myself not all animal behavior that fell into similar patterns could be attributed to the same impulses. The same held true for alien cultures. So a smile might mean amusement, happiness, anger or scorn… or who knew? Emotions weren’t the same for all species.

I needed to treat the Four Arms like I would any new species I came across—form an unbiased opinion based on their behavior.

Not exactly reassuring. They’d stunned me, abducted me into their ship, and took off to locations unknown. What was that adage staff member whatever number used to repeat? “Never get into a spaceship with a stranger,” I murmured.

“What is that?” Garjah asked.

“Oh.” My face heated. I needed to stop talking to myself; these guys could understand me, unlike Bouncer and the bugs I’d collected. “Nothing.”

“Come. Third meal is over, but there is still food.”

“I’m barefoot.” I gestured to my feet. “Can I get my suit?” Step one to getting my gear back; start with the basics. He was still wearing the same tight uniform I’d first seen him in, or a new one that was identical, but he had on thick boots instead of bare feet. “This floor will hurt me if I walk too far on it.” Probably not, but how would he know that?

“No. I will carry you.” Garjah swept me up with his lower arms before I could object, his upper arm waving in front of a spot by the door. Great, another hidden sensor. Or maybe they just responded to Four Arms.

“Put me down,” I protested. I pushed on his chest and squirmed. His hands clamped down on my upper thighs and ribs, and I gasped and quivered.

“What?” Garjah came to an abrupt halt. “Did I hurt you? Timok said you weren’t injured.”

“I’m ticklish and your hand is in a bad place.”

“My apologies.” Garjah promptly brought up his upper arm around my shoulders and tucked me against his chest, darn near curling me into a ball by linking his upper and lower hand. “Is that better?”

This guy was built like an android. Muscles hard as a rock under his textured skin, his uniform was soft against my cheek. That same metallic tang chased by an almost salty aftertaste, as if I’d licked his skin after smelling him, should have rusted metal or old coins, but it was uniquely his. Not appealing, exactly, but not bad.

I wondered what I smelled like to him. He wasn’t snuffling me with those thin nostrils set above his lips. His slit pupils dilated when he looked at me, widening visibly. What did he see?

“I can walk.”

“You are a low-gravver. Plus you were stunned. Let me help you.” He started stamping down the corridor again, so it wasn’t like he was going to put me down because I’d repeated myself. Stubborn Four Arm.

Unable to stop him, I settled in for the ride. “Where are we going? Can I see Bouncer?”

“Your cerops is fine, if unhappy. If you wish, I can reunite you after the meal.” Garjah turned left at an intersection, I think the third one we came to. “And we are going to the crew dining hall on this level.”

This level? How big was the ship? Was the jungle so thick I’d completely missed a starship cruiser? I thought I was dealing with a small crew, maybe a few Four Arms.

Another assumption. I scowled. I had to stop doing that.

“Are you all right? Your face is very wrinkled. And you’re making sounds.” Garjah slowed.

Looking at his chiseled features, feeling his rigid flesh, I could guess Four Arm expressions didn’t vary much. No wonder I confused him. As alien as they seemed to me, I was accustomed to many species. With the Four Arms’ isolation, maybe they weren’t.

“I’m just annoyed. It’s fine.”

“Annoyed.” He paused in front of a door. “At something I did?”

“No, no. Something I did. Don’t worry about it. It’s a human thing.” Well, not solely. Lots of aliens made assumptions, but humans could be blind to much other species found obvious.

As the door opened, Garjah took a step back. “A human thing? Do I need to take you to Timok? He knows about humans. Are you hurt? In danger? Is it the ticklish thing? Did I harm you?” His questions fired more rapidly than I thought Garjah could talk with his slow and steady demeanor before.

“Whoa, calm down! I’m fine.” I stressed the word. “Just confused, worried about Bouncer, and trying to take everything in. And you’re not really giving me a lot of information to go on.”

The dining hall was empty, so we must have missed the meal shift, but I could smell food. My stomach rumbled. Garjah settled me into a chair. “I will get you food, then you can ask me whatever you wish to know.”

Copyright © 2020 Cia; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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On the positive side, this alien seems concerned about Essell's welfare and has promised to answer any question he has, plus he gets to see Bouncer after eating. I hope they have some idea what foods are palatable for humans.

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Garjah seems to want to take good care of Essell.  I wonder who's in charge, since it's not the doctor, and what their agenda is.  I hope the food isn't too bad... as a picky eater, I can't imagine being served alien food. :unsure:  

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11 minutes ago, Will Hawkins said:

I have been having trouble getting my comments to be visible. This is an experiment.  red  blue  black

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My estimation of the size of the ship increased considerably after the conversation about the crew's dinning room. The doctor seems to know a lot about humans and is concerned about Essell. Garjah seem very caring and concerned for Essell's wellbeing.  I don't feel that Essell is in danger. I would like to know where he is going however.

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