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Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2256620
Two aliens blow off a little steam
Bhax fidgeted his mandibles nervously, peering at his holo-reflection. Did it look like he molted recently? Nobody liked to find dry epidermis husks around, especially from an arthropod type. He grasped the sides of the grooming receptacle and shuddered at the concept of mingling with countless other variations of his species.

After a few short eons in a remote research vessel, anything would have been daunting.

A tentacle poked through the archway. Bhax glared at it, waving his antennae in frustration. “Leave me be, D’kzia. I’ll be out in a second.”

The tip of her pulsating appendage grew a bulbous green eye, rolling around at his outburst. “Uh-huh. You’ve been moping in here for ages. Come out and absorb radiation with us like a normal Ghovran.”

He slumped with a long exhalation. “What if I fail to form any positive correlations with other organisms?”

She morphed into a bi-pedal vertebra and gave the anxious Bhax a gesture that signified emotional attachment. “There,” D’kzia reassured him. “Whatever transpires will be endured concurrently.”

His transparent wings rustled happily, multitudes of colors shimmering as light reflected off the oily surface. “Even if my cell structure matured before yours?”

She placed a fleshy metacarpus on his rigid exoskeleton. “I told you a few hundred cycles ago that it didn’t matter what form you settled as. Your consciousness has not evolved beyond recognition.”

Bhax tenderly grasped the warm appendage in a claw and let her lead him out into the blistering wasteland outside the habitation pod.

Ancient rhythms of alternating notes played from a hovercraft drifting over the coarse landscape. Several Ghovran lay stretched out on ultra-carbon mats. He noted they were sipping on unregulated beverages, a rare pleasure he looked forward to.

His legs sank into the planet's surface, but not unpleasantly. The tiny rock grains tickled his carapace rather curiously. Expressing enthusiasm, he wiggled hexapods as they nestled into the warm terrain. “What is this odd substance?” He exclaimed.

D’kzia tentatively placed a soft extremity on the ground and sprang back, shifting into an atmospheric variation. Her gaseous form drifted over the scorching surface as she answered. “I believe it is called sand. The civilization that came before would seek out more tropical climes at certain points of planetary rotation, either for leisure or to seek out potential mates. So now we honor that tradition by having a bi-centennial excursion to learn from this eccentric species.”

His unblinking eyes glimmered with admiration. “My, I had no inclination you were so knowledgeable on humans.”

D’kzia exuded a sound of amusement, gesturing with a vaporous wave at an electronic marker. “Silly Bhax. I merely observed the historical e-placard.”

“Oh,” He rustled his mandibles and looked down. “Your consort is a foolish one, it seems.”

She enveloped him with a misty embrace. “And yet my affectations remain unchanged. Come, let’s indulge in this frigid treat I’ve heard about. I think the colloquialism is ‘iced creams’.”

They consumed the foreign delicacy and dangled limbs over a projection of undulating liquid. D’kzia modified her form to mirror his, slurping up the melting dessert with a proboscis and giggling as Bhax licked a few stray drips off her shell.

“We should have partaken in this tradition cycles ago,” She chittered happily, leaning against him. He extended a claw and drooped it around her thorax. “Perhaps,” Bhax remarked. “But there is no way to alter prior decisions.” He held her in adjacent proximity, feeling deep contentment. “Still, it is never unseemly to incorporate new habits.”

She morphed into a multi-limbed creature and clung to him until Bhax felt as if his breathing pores would suffocate. “I have an extreme partiality to you.” D’kzia burbled. His antennae vibrated unconsciously. “The sentiment is mutual,” He hummed.

“Do you wish to purchase a human replica? The juveniles are most endearing.” She looked up at him hopefully. Rubbing a claw on his triangular head, Dhax considered the request. “Are they self-cleaning? You know what happened with the tardigrade you fancied…”

“Always fretting over inconsequential details. I would be most appreciative if you agreed..." She nuzzled her mandibles against him.

Dhax unleashed a noise of resignation, pleasing D’kzia to no end. “Just imagine the capabilities an artificial human has. Why, it would be an endless source of entertainment.”

He glanced around at the ruins of civilization surrounding them. “From what I’ve learned of this species, it seems that’s the only thing they were proficient at.”

Word Count: 740

Written for the Taboo Words Contest - Prompt: Summer Break
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