Oya everyone! Bit of a shorter chapter for this one but the Plot is catching up to us.
“They’re so tiny,” Krel whispered giddily. He gently smoothed the fluffy down on the human’s head.
“Move your wing, I want to see,” Lydra said, hovering. He fluffed at her but folded in the wing he’d tucked around the little sleeping creature. Even Torve had relaxed. Sitting backwards in the pilot’s seat with his chin propped on folded arms over the backrest. His tail whipped back and forth wildly.
“I’ll call him tomorrow morning,” Torve said after a moment of rumbling. Their conversation had been interrupted by the tiny human’s entrance, but they’d all agreed that someone needed to be told about this and Torve’s father was the best bet. He was the only adult any of them really trusted, and besides that he owned their ship. The ship currently harboring a dangerous creature.
It was hard to think of this thing as dangerous right now, though, Torve thought as he watched it curled up against Krel. Its chest rose and fell evenly. Little whistling sounds came from its slightly-open mouth with every exhale.
Out of the blanket it was wrapped in, one weird leg stuck out. The one it had been favoring. Odd, dark mottling discolored the smooth skin at the joint, which seemed swollen compared to the other leg. Torve churred to himself, slipping out of the chair and crouching to take a better look.
“What’re you doing?” Krel asked. “Oh, is that where they’re hurt?”
“I would assume so.”
“I don’t think we can do anything about it.” Lydra purred softly at the human, touching its forehead. It didn’t stir. “Don’t know enough about the physiology. Poor thing . . .”
“Your dad will know something, right?” Krel asked hopefully. “He works with xenobiologists. He could probably ask without being too suspicious?”
“About humans?” Torve clicked. “I don’t think even he could get away with that.”
“There’s a chance, though.” Lydra gave him a Look. “He’s practically on the Council himself. He might not even need to ask, he could just look up information. They have to have something.”
Krel pulled his wing back over the human.
Lydra leaned back, counting off on her claws. “Three more days until we reach Kree’ar.”
“What will we do with them when we get there? They’ll search the ship for like, illegal stuff before we’re allowed to land planetside. They have that policy since the last time somebody brought an infectious mold or something.”
Krel trilled. “Maybe we can disguise them? They probably won’t ask too many questions . .?”
“Krel, we’re coming from Trexin, and we left the exact date a human was seen running around. If they have a policy about checking for mold, they absolutely have a policy about checking for things like humans.” Lydra stretched a few arms. “We’ll think of something. I say we call the Captain and then go to bed and think about it tomorrow.”
“It is late.” Torve yawned, jaw clicking.
Krel nodded. Then his feathers fluffed in sudden panic. “Wait, wait. It’s still here though. I can’t move, I’ll wake them up!”
“Oh.” Lydra’s eyes narrowed mischievously. “That does seem to be an issue.”
“I’m sure it’ll wake up on its own,” Torve assured the Elytron, keying up his datapad to call his father. Krel twittered uneasily, lifting his wing to peek at the human who still slept peacefully against him. It made a little noise, burying its face in his uniform.
Lydra floated up next to Torve. “So are we just gonna . . . .say it?”
Torve churred as he hit the call button. “I guess we just say it.”
Soft. Soft and warm. So very soft and warm. Benji snuggled into the soft warm thing, humming sleepily as more soft warm settled over him. Very faintly he heard weird rumbles and clicks and chirps. Was there a bird outside?
Feathers brushed his face. He wrinkled his nose and moved to press his face into the soft warm next to him. It smelled like . . . . what did it smell like?
Then he really woke up. He was cuddling — cuddling — against an alien. Krel. And the other two were leaning over one of the tablet things, talking. He yawned. It was really nice here actually. He was still wrapped in the fuzzy blanket, and Krel was kind of bony but still so nice to snuggle against.
Torve looked at him and the spikes along its back lifted. The tablet made noise. More alien talking? Were they watching a video? Or . . . calling someone? Torve turned back to the tablet and made some more noises.
Benji sat up. “Torve?” he said, trying as hard as he could to pronounce it right. “Lydra?” He looked up. “Krel?”
The voice on the tablet stopped.
Krel made a chirping noise and one of the big black wings folded over him.
“Hey!” He pushed the feathers out of his face. “What’s that for?”
The voice from the tablet came on again, quieter. Torve said something back. Then Krel made a noise, a long, soft, high-pitched one. The wing drew back.
Benji found himself face to face with the alien on the tablet screen. A bigger, scarier looking Torve.
He blinked, pressing back against Krel.
“Hi,” he said after a moment, hating the sudden silence.
Then. Out of the tablet, from the horrible toothy too-big mouth of the alien. Came the words,
Ohohoho plot time.
See you guys next week!