Okay next chapter let’s go it’s probably trash but it’s all I’ve got AAAAAAAAA–
“We have to feed it.”
“Of course we have to feed it but.” Lydra’s eyes narrowed vertically. “I’m not gonna go in there.”
“You’re the one that wanted to study it!” Krel protested.
“Yeah! And then it bit me!” she crackled as she held out her wounded arm. Infection had not set in, and despite the human’s teeth apparently being venomous nothing more than a little swelling and bruising remained around the indentation.
Krel fluffed a little. “It’s hungry.”
“Then you go in there.”
“I can’t! You said it yourself, I’m prime prey for them, and I’m way more fragile than you!”
“Oh, yeah, look at me, I’m Krel, I’m a little baby bird boy with little bird bones.” She made a horrible yowling in poor imitation of an Elytron noise that caused the feathers on the back of Krel’s neck stick up defensively.
“What the skies are you two doing!?” Torve yelled from a few rooms over where he was adjusting something with the engines. Krel hadn’t paid a ton of attention to the mumbled explanation, only that it was unfortunately a valid enough concern that he was justified in leaving them to deal with the monster.
“Nothing!” Lydra called back sweetly, voice reverberating as she immaterialized to dodge Krel’s wing. “You’re the one who’s done research on humans, you know more about it than any of us.”
“Yeah I know the dozens of ways it could kill me!”
But Lydra was right, Krel did know the most about humans. He also looked the most like the human (even though that was a horrible realization and made his skin crawl) and Torve had suggested that might make the creature less aggressive. They were known for strong pack instincts . . .
But! No! That was a bad idea!
A packet of rations shoved into his hands, paired with a purr from Lydra that inexplicably smoothed his feathers.
“I’ll be right outside to rescue you if anything happens. And you only need to put it in there and leave. We’re not expecting you to pet it or anything.”
“You’re getting way too worked up about this.”
“It’s a human!”
Lydra materialized again to shove him in the direction of the locked storage room door. No sound had come from behind it for over an hour, which Krel hoped meant the human had fallen asleep again. Not died. That would be so bad . . . maybe that was why it had been making such horrible loud noises when it first woke up.
Oh man he hoped it hadn’t died.
Lydra keyed the password for the storage room door (one of the only rooms on the ship with a lock, besides the bedrooms) and gave him one final pat between his wings before the door slid open.
Krel hopped in the room quickly, tucking his wings close as the door immediately shut behind him.
The human was not asleep.
It was in the corner, perched precariously on the box they had forgotten to move out. One leg held at an awkward angle. Strange hands splayed against the walls to try to keep balance.
Krel’s eyes met the human’s, both sets blown wide.
After a few seconds of this terrifying standoff, Krel slowly, slowly, slowly crouched, wings spreading a little for balance.
The human screamed something, almost falling off the box in its haste to press into the corner and protect its back. Krel flinched and dropped the food, the soft rustle loud in the small room.
“I’m sorry I’m sorry,” he trilled, placating tone a little ruined by how high-pitched it came out. “I’m not gonna hurt you, just . . . here, food. Food? You hungry?”
Of course, the human wasn’t going to understand him. It stared at him, thin torso heaving as it panted. It was definitely favoring that one leg. If Krel was in a different position he would be worried about that and already finding a medkit.
Right now he was simply very terrified for his life.
The human chattered something that sounded very aggressive, gaze darting to the dropped ration packets. Krel edged away from them, but apparently moving quickly was the wrong thing to do. The human screeched and suddenly it was on top of Krel.
Krel shrieked, wings flapping as he tried to scramble away from the attack, crying out as feathers were yanked out and horrible hands and feet connected hard with his middle.
“LYDRA!” he screamed, chirping frantically and clawing at the door. “LYDRA HELP! HELP!” The human screeched back, nonsensical furious noises. “LYDRA!”
The door slid open, tumbling him out into the hallway. Lydra caught the human as it scrambled out over his cowering body, shoving it back inside the room with one limb as she dragged Krel the rest of the way out with the other. Its roaring suddenly became muffled as the door slid shut and locked with a beep.
Krel lay on the deck, trembling, unable to move his wings as they mantled around him, a few feathers coming loose and falling soundlessly. Footsteps vibrated in his chest as Torve ran into the hallway.
“Okay, so,” Lydra said, voice subdued. “Maybe we call your dad.”
The food in the packets was much different than what Benji had found in the weird fridge. Dried, or maybe dehydrated. He couldn’t even tell what it was supposed to be, and it didn’t taste like much. But he ate it all.
A new bruise decorated his arm, and honestly he deserved it. Attacking the alien that was feeding him? He was lucky he was still alive. The ones from before wouldn’t have tolerated that, they’d . . . nevermind that.
His throat hurt from screaming. He was so thirsty. But they probably wouldn’t be back to give him water, not anymore.
Skies, he was an idiot.
He just . . . he thought maybe he could get out. To where, Benji had no idea, but he was trapped in this room he was trapped and stuck and he just needed to get out.
Several of Birdy One’s feathers littered the floor. After a moment of looking at them, Benji started to gather them up. They were so soft. Nothing was soft in space, but this ship was full of soft blankets and soft feathers and little nest beds. It was so different from the other alien ships.
Maybe he could have made friends with them. The language barrier was an issue, but he could have tried. But Benji hadn’t tried. He’d acted like a wild animal that wanted to hurt them, so they were treating him like he was.
Birdy One’s screaming still rang in his head. He had sounded so scared. But Benji was scared too, he was trapped and lost and alone and maybe he deserved a little violence, as a treat, because . . .
Benji slammed his head into the wall, wincing at the pain. His thoughts were wandering dangerously again. Thinking in a straight line was getting harder and harder, and he couldn’t tell if that was because of hunger or the constant pain in his leg or being cold or because he was simply losing his mind out in the void.
Suddenly he had an idea. It was probably a bad idea, but it was an idea, and it was better than screaming pointlessly. He crawled into the strange cot to think, and to practice.
See you next week!