Storytime: Common Ground.

August 20th, 2014

Hey, can we talk?
No, no, I’m up and to your left. Woah, sorry, my mistake – MY left, your right. In the air duct. Apologies, but I’ve only really cracked your culturally-mapped navigational coding system in the last sixteen minutes, when I ate the dyslexic guy.
Well yeah I can speak English. That’s the fifth crewmember I’ve devoured down to the level of individual RNA strands, you think I’ve got some sort of learning disability? I realize that this is considered a crass insult by the standards of your species, but come on, so is what you just implied. Have some dignity. Well, as much of it as you can, seeing as you’re doing that ‘whimpering’ thing. What is UP with that?
Okay, okay, let’s get to the meat of things. Sorry, that was a bit ominous. The sharp – wait, the cutting, wait, the piercing, wait, the tearing, no no no NO the POINT of things. Right! Stupid thing, languages. Can’t you just stick to pheromones like any complex species should? Oh there I go again, starting a fight. I’m not here for that! That is precisely the opposite of what I’m here for! I want to talk!
What I want to say is, I think this whole trip got off on the wrong foot. And I’m not casting blame unevenly here; I don’t want to turn this into an exercise in finger-pointing. Yes, you have been trying to track, trap, and destroy me for the last 42 hours, but I have also been defending myself with slightly more gusto than necessary, like when I ate one-third of your co-pilot and left the remains decorating seven major corridor junctions as a territorial marker. What I’m trying to get at here is, well, maybe this is just everybody’s fault. Equally.
Why am I talking to you? Well, why not? It’s you or the captain at this point, and quite frankly, that lady scares me a bit. How do you feel comfortable around someone who’s always saying things like ‘if it can hunt, it can be hunted,’ and ‘anything that tries to hide itself has a weakness’? Psychopathic, if you ask me. Yeah, I know that word. I know how your species works: you are slow, soft, relatively fat-heavy primates that are largely peaceable and social animals who work together for the greater good, a strange state of mind likely induced by your lack of giant jagged ass-blades. Any one of you that’s this quick to switch into murder mode is clearly some sort of social defective, and honestly if I’d known this from the start I’d have pounced on her the first time she spotted me instead of hissing and spitting venom and skittering away into your air filtration system. Saved you some trouble down the road, eh? Wouldn’t have been surprised if she went bugfuck on the way home and chopped a few heads off if I wasn’t here to steal her attention. Really, you should all be grateful. My now-extensive knowledge of slasher movies thanks to your ex-maintenance man says that human-on-human violence is really painful and inefficient, whereas I can kill you guys so quickly that your nervous systems shut off before they know my mandibles even exist. Sorry wait, did I say ‘can?’ I meant ‘have.’ Whoops, and ‘killed.’ Have killed. My mistake, I’m still new at this English, and your system of tenses is utterly insufferable.
Anyways, I’m just chatting to you now in the interests of brokering some sort of peace deal. I think we can all agree that there’s been some major discomfort and awkwardness on this ship ever since I spawned in cargo hold nega-four-beta-alpha-bravo-charlie-tequila, and it hasn’t been satisfactory for anyone. I’ve missed out on the quietest and most relaxing days of my life cycle, and you’ve lost roughly two-thirds of your coworkers to various grisly deaths at my claws, other claws, backup talons, primary talons, secondary talons, jaws, venom sacs, and giant jagged ass-blades. This is something that we all have to work on, and I figured I’d be the one to start by extending the olive branch and putting the first deal on the table: why don’t we split up the ship and go our separate ways before anyone else gets hurt – say, by a flamethrower? That would be really bad. I strongly suggest that we should try to fix this before anybody tries to set anyone else on fire with a flamethrower. I know your species doesn’t like being set on fire – well, not anywhere nearly as much as mine does, but still. I think we should try to broker this deal before any hypothetical people finish work on their makeshift flamethrowers and start searching the ship for innocent bystanders to fricassee, as could potentially happen very shortly. Honestly, I don’t know how you put up with her.
The split? That’ll be plain and simple. You’ll get the emergency escape pod. The captain can have her cabin. And I’ll take everything else.
Of course it’s fair. Are you pregnant? Is the captain pregnant? ‘Cause I don’t see any egg sacs clustered along anybody’s rear limbs. Except mine, because I’m pregnant and I need as much space as possible to fill with my lustrous, pulsating eggs. I’m being over-generous as it is; I could fit an extra nine thousand eggs in the space inside your ribcage, but I’m letting you keep that. I’d appreciate a few limb donations to feed the children, mind you. I don’t think you’ll miss them, seeing as you don’t seem to use them that much – what’s the difference between four and three anyways? Barely a thing.
Woop. Feel those air currents? I think the captain just manually shut down the main oxygen filter and triggered a vent purge. Look, I’ve really got to run. I’ve got another three metamorphoses to go through in the next half-hour and I can’t do that if I’m sucked into hard vacuum. Just think about what I said, okay? And tell the captain. If she doesn’t find you first, the mucus gluing you to your bed should dissolve into your outermost layer of skin in about six minutes four seconds and free you up to go looking for that crazy bitch yourself. I know, I know, gendered insults are bad, but I don’t even HAVE a gender so I’m still getting used to this stuff, okay? Just – just cut me some slack. That’s really what I’d call the point of this conversation: we all need to cut each other some slack. There is plenty of room on this near-derelict death ship for all of us plus my ten million ravenous offspring.
See you later, eh? I don’t think you’ll see me first, though.

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