Challenge #00309: The Body Language Gap

(Well, you mentioned prior experience in that last snippet, so…)

T'reka and hugs.

(also if the story you mentioned being sparked from that gets written, I totally want in on your beta reading list and will probably buy it multiple times)

[AN: After I finish writing the Hevun’s Child series I will be working on The Amity Incident. 120K word goal. But before that, I think I deserve a week’s rest, don’t you?]

There was a human in her hide. More disturbing was that she had picked up a few phrases of Galstand and Numidid and used them. “Peace I mean! No to run, pleasing. I want am ask.”

Good greater Powers. Three sort-of sentences. Context and purpose. The warning notice was right. These creatures adapted quickly.

T'reka hadn’t even noticed they were watching her, before now.

She did her best at human. “You are no arms?”

The human had tight-fitting clothes, and displayed her empty hands.

T'reka performed the same pantomime. “I am T'reka.”

“Trekker,” repeated the human. “I am Susan.”

“Su-syn,” T'reka tried. There was going to be mangling on all sides, she was certain. And, she noted, both sides were willing to forgive lingual errors. “I am surprise. This is standard behaving not.”

“We curious-crazy,” said Su-syn. “We you see watch. We you hear talk. We why think.”

“And come you me going? Danger might be.”

“We watch, too. No danger find.”


“Watch we now,” said Su-syn. “Djak?”

T'reka shrieked as one of the bushes stood up and sprouted a human head.

“Peace I mean,” said the ex-bush in Numidid. “Is costume. Clothing-for-hiding.”

They could explain new concepts using words they’d just picked up. Adaptive, indeed.

“How more many bush is alive?” T'reka quavered.

Five more of them sheepishly stood up and revealed themselves. T'reka swore she recognized some of the foliage from nearby her hidden shelter and base. Many of them were showing their horrible, sharp-looking teeth.

“Poker faces,” cautioned Su-syn in human. She accompanied it with a gesture with finger and thumb down her face. In broken Numidid/Galstand, she said, “We show teeth for not threat. Is for… shame. This time. Is for happy, other time.” Then the human moved. Held T'reka inside both her arms. Squeezed.

T'reka screamed. Involuntarily. “DON’T EAT ME!”

Su-syn instantly let go. “Peace I mean. Is hostile no. Is gesture comforting use.”

One of the bushes tentatively offered a container. “Mealworms?” he enquired.

“Not the time, Djak,” said Su-syn in human. “Baby steps.”

T'reka had seen their infants walking. Clumsy, stomping and easily avoided because the little creatures only had two modes - loud and asleep. This made a modicum of sense. “Baby steps,” she agreed.

The humans were very careful when they came into physical contact with her from then on.

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