The city Triads never hear of anything they aren’t spoon fed in their luxury worlds and have heard only rumors of the farms and ranches. Surrounded by a Humanity that has degenerated into a “duck-and-cover” society as the Big Boys fight their war, the Triads don’t care about anything but their own lives. Oblivious, cocooned, manipulated, they have no idea that their privileges are about to be violently curtailed and all of their biology ransacked for the correct Membrane pattern. (update: 5/2/2014)
I only barely understood what she was saying, but I bowed to her. The rest of the Triad pressed together. The lieutenant Bakhsh looked totally confused and so did St. Admiral. The leaders of the intelligent universe turned to look at us.
The Kiiote howled, the Herd Mother stamped, Bakhsh clapped his hands, and St. Admiral nodded slowly. Backing away, I exclaimed, “What?”
“This is why we need all of you!” Bakhsh said. “You knew what she was talking about – you should see all of your faces! You knew what she meant and accepted it within your own psychological matrices. None of us understood her. That,” he jabbed a finger at us, “is why we risk everything to get you out of here.”
I shook my head. “You expect me to believe that all of you think that Humans and Kiiote and Yown’Hoo can live just fine without each other?”
“We have always done so,” said Pan; her mate rumbling in agreement.
“As have we,” said Ji-Hi.
“And us,” said St. Admiral.
“You’re all disgusting,” I said.
Qap and Xurf turned and urinated in the direction Pan and Zir. They growled, but neither one made an move to attack. The rest of our Pack scattering to avoid the spray then stood by their leaders. Dao-hi and the Herd spit in unison, their acidic saliva hissing on the edges of the front hooves of the Ji-Hi, Mother of All Herds. She didn’t move, allowing the acid to eat the edges of her hooves smooth.
Lieutenant Commander Patrick Bakhsh said, “Explain yourself, Human Oscar.” I opened my mouth but he held up his hand, adding, “I don’t want you to explain yourself. I want you to explain your group. I want you to explain the Triad.” He put his hand behind his back and fell to a stance I’d seen in old movies. It was parade rest. St. Admiral did the same. The other elders also fell into their people’s version of parade rest. Everyone was looking at me.
“What do I mean?”
“You’re the one set off the verbal attack. Explain the Triad to us.”
“Um, I just meant…”
“You meant to shame us, Human child,” said Ji-Hi. She was so old, her head was almost level with mine. Yown’Hoo neck vertebrate begin to collapse and they grew shorter the older they got; there was a legend that it happened because of the weight of authority on them.
I shrugged. I didn’t mean to shame anyone, but I guess I did mean to. I finally figured it out. “You all don’t get each other, do you?”The Zir and Pan said in choral response, “We do not…”, “…understand our enemies or Humans.”
Lieutenant Bakhsh said, “We have no idea what either of them think! Why are they tearing up our planet?”
Pan said, “We do not hate Humans. We hate only the food ones.”
“As we hate only the rule-less ones.”
“And we all get each other,” I cut into the hate-fest. “We know each other. We grew up together. We understand how we think.”
“That is why…”, “…you must escape. The Humans…”, “…do not work alone,” Zir and Pan said.
“The Humans have been joined in hate – Yown’Hoo and Kiiote together – as much as you have been joined in growing,” said Ji-Hi.”
St. Admiral said, “We have to go. Before we all die.”
“And we have to go now, or this is all over and Humanity, Yown’Hoo Shwee, and Kiiyaa will never have a chance to show how great we can be together.”