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Survivor of Remus
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 318
# 7 Tedium
12-31-2012, 02:26 PM
A cube. Multi-segmented. Six colored facings. Rotational assemblies allowing individual facets to be manipulated. Curious.

It was an odd puzzle, but Commander Khas Ker'at was certain that a careful application of his twelve kilo engineering mallet would provide a solution. Eventually.

He had raised the mallet over his head, preparing the first of a dozen exploratory strikes on the delicate, unspeakably priceless antique when a polite cough interrupted his mechanical reverie. Khas looked up from behind his desk and tossed the hammer carelessly onto the floor, where it landed with a dull thud. He gave a curt nod and scowled. "Lieutenant Commander. You require something." The words came out rough, craggy, and combative.

His first officer, a tiny, blue-skinned humanoid with white hair and antennae returned the scowl ferociously. "Why else would I speak to you?" she spat out, her own voice growling with contempt. He nodded subtly in approval and she broke into one of those ridiculous humanoid grins, her forehead eye-fur arching in an expression of amusement. Her grasp of the traditional Arkathian greeting was getting better. "The crew are just wondering if you'll be joining us to celebrate the New Year. You didn't forget about the party did you?"

"No, no." Khas rumbled. He stroked the flat-faced, stony spikes of chitin on his lower mandible thoughtfully. He hoped it looked thoughtful, at least. His own grasp of human gesticulation was spotty at best. "I've simply been studying this ancient Roobiksian Hyper-spatial Cuboid. I find it restful to meditate on the pointless tedium involved in solving its terrible puzzle."

Lieutenant Commander Shanda shook her head, still grinning. She had served with Khas since she was an ensign and he was a freshly-minted Lieutenant. She'd stuck with him ever since as she was one of the few serving in Starfleet who both understood the Arkathian commander's odd body language and found his numerous quirks amusing. She also knew this was the first time he'd even been invited to a new year's party of any sort. The dutiful, methodical, and scowling Commander was usually considered to be kind of a downer. "Well, we're sharing resolutions soon and we'd hoped you could share yours."

Khas Ker'at's scowl intensified and he slowly blinked one eye and then the other. He was uncertain. "I am unfamiliar with this custom. It's not...is a 'resolution' some sort of casserole? I am given to understand humans tend to share casseroles on joyous occasions, such a holidays, ad-hoc social gatherings, and the death of a loved one."

"No, Commander. New Year's Resoltuions are an ancient and popular human custom. The new year is an opportunity improve one's self by letting go of unfortunate habits and promising to do better this time."

"They wait an entire year to do this?"

"Apparently."

Khas muttered appreciatively. Or angrily. It was hard to tell as they both sounded like a string of sotto voce expletives either way. "That sounds both pointless and tedious. Very well, I will be there momentarily."

Shanda nodded again and sauntered out the door. Khas sighed. He understood she was attractive by humanoid standards, but he found most humanoids rather sickening to look at. And he could never remember which foreheads belonged to which species, either. For a moment he pictured a fine Arkathian Type 2 Primary Female Morph, her delicate flesh-rending maw plated in iridescent chitin and twin sets of enormous scything claws scented with fresh Boji flower. He shook away the image sadly.

Khas stood up, surreptitiously dumped a casserole into the disposal bin, and adjusted his sleeves. This year he would remember what "resolution" meant. And also try to remember what foreheads belonged on what humanoids. Maybe find a pretty Arkathian primary female morph to pair up with provided she can hold off on the traditional post-nuptual devouring of the groom until after his service to Starfleet was over. Hmm...better not mention that last one.

At least it would be an interesting year.

Last edited by squatsauce; 12-31-2012 at 03:06 PM.