Sarasahn was a Talikali, an avian speicies of bipedal nature with four hands, two as wingtip graspers and two as mammalian like paws. His speicies made for good engineers, their eyesight made them good spotters and reflexes for gunners and pilots. They'd entered a turbulant galaxy and dove in, an empire in flames as rebellion ripped apart the massive tradeways and fleets of crusaders desperately trying to survive and find their ancestral home. Sarasahn suspected his speicies leadership had planned and waited for their moment, but such thoughts were the kind that brought him into human company.
Every speicies knew, humans are worth avoiding when possible. Polite small talk was a danger zone and befriending one was as good as sighning deathwarrents with a thousand more. It made him prickle what humans did to eachother when angry, or happy for that matter, his feathers were so fragile to that kind of battering.
The path he walked was to a dock where a ship was being repaired after a trade run gone fairly normal for them. They advertised themselves as a high intencity, open crew, combat ready, comission ship. The ship itself could be called any number of things but to him amd most modern scanners it looked like a retired mining ship, uparmored and regunned. Seeing the exposed jump coils he knew it was more.
At the bow was an obervational deck and com array, faily fortified and inset into armor wherever it could avoid an obstructed view. The weathered talikali knee better than to call the windows adequate, of plexiglass they might be, but combat meant investment into the human 'guerilla glass' or some other silicate on aluminum compound laminate. The maneuvering and retrograde thrusters behind the bridge helped frame the necessarily tight hallways into the central crew quarters/medbay area. The reactor behind that bridge was a fortified class II built into the frame of the ship, the trusses helping fill out the snake head of the rear facing maneuvering/vtol thrusters. He could see this because of a fancy finish involving a remming maneuver by the looks of the armor, the bridge was being buffed.
Sarasahn took deep breaths, trying to drive away his anxiety. This was the ship he was dragging all his mobile possession onto and it was terrifying, the ship, its state its owners, its class. He felt pause in his step and shook his head, "just a mailbag" he said. The waterproof drawstring cylinder held over his shoulder carried all his favprate tools, his clothes, computers, commo devices, data stashes and the odd erotic silicon for his hornier nights, but it was still most of his world, the rest lay in his home system and he was half way down the galactic spur from them. The rest of the dock saw him lean and take a few perposeful steps and resume his walk, clacking his beak.
The rest of the dock was buisy with the ship, its munitions, its armor, racks of composite ceramic, held in frames metal would be poured into or welded in lattices around according to the armor profile the captain set out, usually a mix. The rest of the dock was buisy with ambassadorial posturing and scientific fretting, expeditionaries being talked to or at or around as the foundery opposite them bubbled slag and boiling metal. Smoke up one side with embers and sparks of hot metels, flower pedals and flashes of photography on the other. Reporters droning on about survay results and ship christening as they all pointedly avoided the topic of the ship carrying the ornate precession to their destination. It wouldn't do to draw attention to the ship before it was dolled up all nice.
Sarasahn walked, slowly bringing himself to acceptance as he made his way on the yellow painted iron grating on the side the dock cargo flat off the left or port side of the ship. It was a raised section above the work areas used for refit and loading work, from where he was he could see the ship's broadsides, set to either side of the loading ramp after the mess hall/relaxation space slung under and behind the class II reactor feeding the front thrusters. The landing ramp was down but too much was going back and forth to propperly see. Instead the cratered scored armor around the broadside guns was attracting his eye. Within the slots inset into the armor he could see each gun set on a step to they could angle out to the sides and still converge in the center, without doublijg the frontal profile pf the ship, behind the 'neck' of armored trusses this was set lower and only a little wider, the angles not agressive or imposing but just sturdy to his eye. The way the armor swept from almost closing around the cargo ramp to sweeping up to make a definate 'belly' shape as well as the side 'pannels' that housed the missile racks. There was a pleasingness to it, the landing pads above not exposed to any but the turret behind the class II or above, the belly kept in line so the turret infront of the class II could fire a clean line down the flat of the bow, gentle curves and bevels of the extemities that showed the mind payed to sheild feilds and generator mechanics. The engineer he was here to be was singing a happy song as he trudged onward to the crew loading ramp.
Several speicies called the 'butterfly sting' home, but the owners and primary crew were all human. The mad leamurs of earth had a well earned reputation for being violent crazed geniuses too lazy to use their brains. In matters around their personal lives they were prone to kill, part of their slow gestation period, but in professional settings there was no better partner to have. In a word thurough, of you thought it was poison, theyd eat it, report the results and make it taste good, if it needed moved it was already where you wanted it, if it nedded secured, multitools had both welders and cutting wheels. Noone out worked a human unless the human couldnt do the thing. These humans wanted him because he could do all their things and now they wanted someone comfortable with working tight spaces for complex stuff. He felt himself puff up his fading feathers in pride before his translator chirped at him.
Taken from his thoughts he opened his eyes to see something that made him puff up on instinct, unaware it looked more imposing because he was shrinking back away from it. A human, not one of the gentle 5 foot ones no, a full 7 foot (by their reconing and his translator's) and looking streight at him. The man snapped a salute and Sarasahn snapped one back on reflex.
"Supply and requisitions officer Mason Jones" the uniformed primate intoned.
"Second assistant engineer Sarasahn Efreet" the much smaller Talikali spoke back in his musical intonation of english.
"You are needed at gun one, if you'll follow me" and he knew this mad would lean him into hell and back.