Edit: I done fucked up. I got caught up in some other stuff and just forgot to write more stuff. I’ll try to churn out a new chapter pretty soon, but you know me, I’m a lazy fuck. I had a mild case of writer’s block too but I seem to have gotten over that, thank God for that.
Just a Guy in Space
“I can understand why the Lieutenant is in the medical bay but why is Human in there too?”
“Well, beyond the fact that we have to keep him under examination for possible sequelae from his mating with the lieutenant, we have also detected several life-threatening complications due to his overdosing on the Coxizu virility serum.”
“Fair enough. Tell me what you’ve found so far.”
“I’ll start with Lieutenant Sil Nubo. As far as we can tell, there’s nothing wrong with her. Slight dehydration and lack of nutrients associated with malnutrition, some muscular and joint pains due to overworking and slight mental disorientation are all consistent with the aftermath of a Dintph mating period.”
“Nothing wrong? What about all those germs Human is lugging around in the incubator that is his body?”
“Quite a poetic description Captain. Did you perhaps miss your calling?” A glare did not deter her. “In any case, none of the microbiota on the human managed the jump from his body to hers. A most curious case. I shall investigate and find an answer, although I cannot say with certitude that I will even find one. If my wife were here though, she’d find a solution in a jiffy.”
Not again. “Yes, yes. I’m sure she could. So, the germs?”
“Ah, yes, my theory is that the germs either could not make the cross from Human to Dintph or that they did and the Dintph system is so different that there simply was no pathogenesis. As I said, I’ll have to investigate a bit more. I did recover some unknown organisms on the Lieutenant’s skin and inside her vagina. I plan on cross-referencing whatever I find on her with what I found on the Human. That’ll be a good start.”
“Keep me apprised. In the meantime I need to talk to our guest.”
“Of course. He’s this way.”
Lieutenant Vatta Ren turned and lead Echina to a stasis chamber holding the human. Echina leaned over his motionless form and observed him more closely; she’d rarely had the opportunity to see him so still. He was not too tall, measuring about 178cm, with brownish skin and a decently toned physique. Looking at his face, he was not what Echina would have described as handsome but he wasn’t altogether unpleasant to look at. His skin isn’t green enough. His shock of black hair was as usual thoroughly unkempt – a sure sign of a lazy mind, she thought.
“So why is he in a stasis chamber? I thought the only side effect he was suffering from was the vomiting.”
“Well, that’s only the first of many symptoms that appeared with time. He said something about pissing blood then collapsed. We put him in the stasis chamber to buy time and performed an in-depth, full body scan.” Vatta Ren tapped on her datapad before continuing. “The scan revealed multiple organ failure, including but not limited to the kidneys and the liver. Both are heavily involved in maintaining a balance within the human body.”
With another tap a complete map of the human anatomy appeared on a viewscreen. The same diagram was represented on a holoscreen. Vatta Ren pointed to several red-lighted features. “It’s amazing he was able to function to that level given how severe his organs were damaged by the virility serum.”
“He doesn’t seem that bad looking at him now.”
“I’m getting to that. So, here I am doing a full body scan and I notice a ping from AI indicating that the condition of the body has changed. When I turn to the human again, I can see that his organs are slowly but surely righting themselves. His liver released or inhibited several key enzymes that normalised the liver’s function. The renal failure took longer to correct but eventually, the water balance in his body righted itself. It’s not surprising that a species would be able to self-repair to such an extent, it’s the speed that was employed. Barely a few hundred units, Standard Galactic Time.”
Echina was still peering at the human. “Can you find out the source of his fast healing and replicate it? That would go a long way towards salvaging this mission.”
“Unfortunately that would take much more extensive research than I could do on this ship. Perhaps when we get back I’ll ask Rhil if I can access the Concourse labs to do a couple of tests. It’ll be easy. You know, since she’s been promoted.”
“She’s been promoted? I didn’t know,” Echina deadpanned.
Vatta’s face split into a wide smile. “Yes! She’s recently been promoted to head of her own department! She’s only the twentieth Chachiss to achieve this you know? I’m so proud of her! We’re all proud of her. If she were here, you’d have no problem in the medical bay whatsoever!”
“Are you admitting to running a sloppy medical bay?”
“Why, yes, of course! There’s no way I’m as good as my wife you know,” Vatta said with a booming laugh.
“Enough of this. Wake him up, we need to talk.”
“Right away captain.” Vatta tapped her datapad a couple of time before the field covering the human shimmered out of existence. A loud and protracted groan could be heard coming from the stasis bed.
The human feebly rolled onto his side and a thin stream of brownish sludge dribbled out of his open mouth. Is he still suffering from side effects, even after stasis treatment? Just how much serum did he use? He tried to sit up and barely made it with Vatta’s help. His eyes were unfocused as he tried to get his bearings in an unfamiliar room.
“Where… where am I?” his voice cracked as he tried to speak with a dry throat.
“You’re in the medical bay. What’s the last thing you remember?”
“I was with…” He swallowed with great difficulty and tried again. “With Sil. In my cabin. We were… you know…” he smirked. “Mating urges and everything. Then I think I started – did I puke everywhere and piss blood? Because that sounds like what happened…”
Echina’s face seemed to be locked in a permanent frown. “AI contacted security when both you and Lieutenant Sil Nubo failed to respond to any hails. They found you passed out in a puddle of blood and a brown… fluid. Your suit was in tatters and the lieutenant was comatose on your bed. You were then brought to the medical bay for treatment.”
“How long was I out?”
“A bit more than eight hundred units Standard Galactic Time. How are you feeling?”
“Like I just made out with a bear. What happened to Sil? Is her thing over?”
“Bear: native mammal from Earth. Ursidae family of caniforms. Can weigh up to 730 kilograms (Earth units). Often hibernate to conserve energy. Tend to be aggressive if encountered after mating period or if encroaching on their territory,” AI helpfully added.
“I see… Fascinating. So bears are an integral part of human courtship rituals then? They must be some sort of rite of passing challenge to obtain courting rights for a female right? It must be! Oh Captain, if Rhil were here, she’d be ecstatic! So much research to be done! So much to learn!” Lieutenant Vatta was practically foaming at the mouth. Not that anyone looking at her would be able to tell. She still maintained a stoic demeanour.
“To answer your question, yes, Lieutenant Sil Nubo mating period is over. It seems her circumstances were a bit different than the general Dintph population. A mating isn’t normally as … intense as hers was. We think it was due to the pheromones you released. She’s fine and is resting in a separate unit.”
“I see. Whew, she sure did a number on me!” Gus’ hand reached up to his shoulder, feeling for a bite scar. “No scars I see.” He got up and slowly spread his arms wide, inspecting himself for defects. “I guess technology does wonders, eh? Is there any chance I can speak to Sil? I think there’s quite a lot we need to discuss.”
“We still have a few tests to run. You can meet her after that.”
* * *
“AI, how much time in Earth minutes is eight hundred units Standard Galactic Time?”
“Calculating. Eight hundred units Standard Galactic Time are equivalent to four hundred Earth minutes.”
“Two units for one minute. I get it. From now on, can you give me any units in the converted and appropriate Earth value please? I think it would be much easier until I get the hang of this Standard Galactic unit system.”
“Confirmation. Values will be calculated accordingly.”
Gus was alone in the bay, the other xenoi keeping a careful distance away from him. The tales of his being a microorganism incubator had spread and they feared to see him without his vacsuit. He’d have to do something about that. Walking around in the suit was sending the wrong message, like he dangerous or something. Well, he was dangerous, but that was beside the point.
He wondered what Sil’s reaction would be when he met her. They were lovers now. Or were they? Sil hadn’t really touched on what happened after a successful or unsuccessful mating session. Did they stay friends? Take care of the kids? Get married? Could they get married? Did they still have sex? Because in spite of all the biting and hip-crushing, the sex was very fun.
He grinned. Oh yes, loads of fun. I still can’t feel my dick, but that’s nothing next to what Sil made me feel. He really hoped they could still have sex without the excessive violence. Speaking of sex, what happened to Art’ah? Haven’t seen her in a while. Haven’t seen anyone in a while. Wait her or him? Hir? Hem? What do I call her?
He cast his gaze around the room and took stock. It was surprisingly similar to a lab back on Earth. Tables and workstations neatly arranged and divided by sections, with reagents and apparatuses of various colour, shapes and sizes. Their use remained a mystery. There were no computers and none were necessary when the ship AI would crunch all your numbers and store all your data. There were many viewscreens and a lot of those holographic displays he’d seen here and there. The walls were a brilliant white colour with colour-coded stripes indicating which section was where. Gus peered at the writing on the walls and tried to get closer, only to bump his nose on an invisible force field.
Hello my old friend. Fancy meeting you here.
From beyond the field, various space races would wander around, holding datapads and curious instruments. They would sometimes look up from their work and see him and stare with open mouths or whatever passed for shock and surprise in their species. He felt like a beast in a cage at the zoo.
A man goes to a zoo. There’s only a dog there. It’s a shit zoo.
Gus chuckled. At least he wasn’t losing his sense of humour. He tried to distract himself from the boredom by observing his ‘captors’. There were many Dintphs walking around staring openly, some with revulsion, others curiosity and a small fraction with open disgust (even hate he might say). More Agaraxians with their tall, stocky builds and green skin and long hair with varying colours. Purple seemed to be the most predominant one, though orange and blue were seen occasionally. He even spotted some blue and *gasp* even black hair.
Gasp, black hair. What a shock.
There were scant few Kmigars like Xar’usk but he attributed that to the fact that they seemed to like science more than medical stuff, at least based on what Xar’usk and Van had told him. The doctor who fixed him up was nowhere to be seen.
He’d been quite surprised at seeing her. Her four eyes (a pair above the ones placed in the same spot as a human) were already daunting enough but she had obsidian skin that seemed to drink light and weirdly shaped blocky joints. She was completely bald, not a speck of hair anywhere that he could see. To his great disappointment her chest was more akin to an airport runway than to the hills and valleys he dreamt of. If Van hadn’t told him that she was a female he wouldn’t have believed it. She was taller than him by about a couple of centimetres, couldn’t have been more than five. She struck him as a no-nonsense doctor type based on her appearance and the small speech she’d given him.
He saw her come back with another Dintph assistant taping onto a datapad. She went to the console next to his bed and checked something, frowned then clicked her tongue.
“It seems that your body is already healing the damage you sustained from your activities with the lieutenant. How remarkable.”
“Thanks doc. You got any news on Sil for me?” he asked, hope filling his voice.
“Yes, she’s recovered and is currently rehydrating and getting more nutrients. It doesn’t seem like your microbiota affected her at all, we have that to be thankful for. She seems to be suffering from some psychological trauma though. I suspect the ship’s counsellor will have to spend some time with her.”
“Trauma? What kind of trauma?” Gus felt his guts go cold at the mention of that. Did I do something wrong? Fuck, does she think I somehow mind-bended her into having sex with me? I mean those pheromones are pretty powerful. “Is she alright? Can I speak to her?”
“As I said, physically, she’s fine but her attitude shows signs of mental scarring. I’m not sure as to the origin of that but you can try talking to her in a minute. I just need to calibrate the fields in this room and hers.”
She taped a few more times then turned to Gus. “All done. You can head to the adjacent room as soon as we exit this one. I don’t want to breathe in your atmosphere if possible.”
Her assistant turned and left as soon as she uttered those words. He really didn’t seem to like Gus. The doctor walked out at a more leisurely pace, hands clasped behind her back. He got off the bed when the door to the room slid shut, waited five seconds for the field around his bed to wink out then proceeded to Sil’s room.
He saw her through a viewscreen on the wall, sitting on a similar bed, clutching what looked like a blanket in her hands. Her ears were down on her skull, tail curled dejectedly down. She really didn’t look that fine to him. Apprehension filled him as he walked into the room.
Sil looked up, saw him and froze. Her mouth slowly opened, stayed open then slowly closed. Her tail started twitching, ears now fully erect. He was about to say something when she jumped off the bed, crouched down, covered her head with the blanket and screamed.
Well excuse me bitch, nice to see you too. Gus was pretty pissed. I mean, he wasn’t that ugly. Was he?
The doctor strolled in with her assistant looking mighty smug in the face of Gus’ distress. What a cunt. She turned to him.
“As you can see, her vitals are normal. It’s just that she’s… like that,” she said, pointing to the Dintph now rolling on the floor, hiding her face with her hands and blanket.
He slowly approached her and crouched. “Sil,” he said gently. “Sil, it’s Gus.” She trembled at his touch but didn’t throw his hand off. “Sil, talk to me. What’s wrong?” he gently shook her. That assclown assistant scoffed loudly enough for the doc to give him a measured look. What the fuck is his problem? Gus tried to ignore him and turned back to Sil.
“What’s wrong Sil? Did I hurt you? Are you mad at me?”
She suddenly jumped up, her face practically five centimetres from his own. ‘No! I’m not hurt! You didn’t hurt me!” Her tails was lashing left and right, seemingly agitated. She sounded as anxious as he felt. “I’m not hurt,” she repeated, “I feel great actually but…” She averted her eyes once more, face turning a deep crimson.
“Are you blushing?”
She blushed even harder. “No I’m not! You’re blushing!”
“Yeah, I am. Cause I’m looking at you, you beautiful creature.”
She screeched and covered her head once again, squatting down on her haunches. She didn’t want to look at him but the way her tail was trashing around told him she was quite happy with his compliment. He smirked.
‘It’s ok Doc,” he said to Vatta Ren. “She’s not hurt, she’s just embarrassed.” A soft squeal escaped the blanket at these words. He grabbed her and ignored the additional squealing, gathering her to his chest like a child. His upper body had recovered enough that he could hold her up with no difficulty. He sat back down on the stasis bed and stroked what looked like Sil’s head. It was hard to tell, that blanket was pretty thick.
“I don’t suppose you could give us a couple of minutes? I need to talk to my mate,” He said, savouring the last word.
Yeah, that was totally the right thing to say.