Qwuedeviv Crew 52: It's all Standard Military Protocol
So let me reset the scene here. Me in the yard, minding my own business. Mr. Smith, in my yard, not minding his own business. Let me walk you through, just briefly here, what would have had to happen in order for Mr. Smith to be in my yard.
Mr. Smith would have needed to leap over yet another fence without alerting me. That should not have even been possible. Let me tell you though, this had very much happened and Mr. Smith was very much here.
“Uh! Mr. Smith! I uh, wow, funny meeting you here. What uh, what brings you here?”
“Oh. I see. Well. You know I think we just got off to the wrong start.” I began backing up as I spoke, trying to create a little distance between us. “You see, I think you’re great. I mean, I’m your biggest fan. I love— ”
He was still getting closer at a pretty rapid rate. I had already made it half way around the house and was nearly in a backwards sprint.
“Now let’s…let’s not make any hasty decisions. I uh, whoah.”
Tripped over a decorative plant there. Horrible place for a plant now that I think of it, just rotten. I fumbled over it though and kept moving back.
“I’m sure we can work this all out without any confrontation…or dissecting.”
I was in the backyard now, which although decent in size seemed by far too small when stuck near Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith was a scary guy. Brownish orange shirt, black pants, blue helmet with a rainbow visor and a long, thin, gray tail that split near the tip into two; each with a magenta eye. Scary man as I was saying.
It was then that I made the wrong move. Or well to be fair, I couldn’t have helped it. Maybe if Cedric hadn’t been so adamant about keeping his lawn green with those sprinklers. Maybe if he’d just come outside and get a little exercise doing it by hand. Maybe if I hadn’t been walking backwards. Just maybe I wouldn’t have tripped over those very sprinklers.
“I’m sorry I was spying on your elite forces at the training facility! I only wanted to assess what levels of opposition we had and perhaps steal them all for myself. I eat three square meals a day and remember to floss fairly regulaaaarlllly!”
Looking back now I’m not entirely sure what importance that last part had in the matter. Naturally, good hygiene is fundamental for a good soldier, but it seems almost misplaced now. Perhaps some of Command Center had been out to lunch when typing up that script, I’m not sure.
“What’s your problem?”
I put my Tears, Final Moments and Parting Words on hold for a second as I glanced up at Mr. Smith again. That was not the response I had been expecting you see. Perhaps something more along the lines of, foolish alien, I will now eat you with my fangs, etc.
Mr. Smith did not seem prepared to eat me though upon secondary observation. He was just standing there, arms crossed and tail slowly sweeping back and forth. Wait a moment. I was quite certain Cedric did not have a tail. Cedric was an Earthian Human, Mr. Smith was supposed to be an Earthian Human as well, but Mr. Smith had a tail.
Hey…you know what? Mr. Smith wasn’t as Human looking as I recalled him being. You know that blue helmet I was talking about? Well there were two rather tattered, large gray ears sticking out of it—oversized cat ears, not round stub Human ears.
I had to consult Command Center on this matter. The multiplication just wasn’t adding up enough numerators, or whatever that Earthian saying is. Numbers weren’t adding up, I think that’s what they say.
One set of long ears and one thin gray tail equaled two which only confirmed my theory. One plus one equals two. It does not equal Earthian and it will likely never equal Earthian. So through a series of complex mathematical formulas you see, Command Center and I had scientifically discovered that Mr. Smith couldn’t be an Earthian Human.
Mr. Smith grasped his blue helmet with two hands and gave it a bit of a jerk. It came up and off with a hiss. Removable faces were certainly not a feature of Earthian Humans. That was just another confirmation that I had been right all along with my scientific hypotheses.
The whole helmet removal thing really wasn’t all that impressive. Not like on the movies when the steam and fog clear from around the face and suddenly their identity is known. This guy had no sense of flashy style, no appreciation for proper movie effects and no love of popcorn. This guy happened to have a gray face and two sets of gills behind either currently pupilless magenta eye. This guy, as a matter of fact, was neither Mr. Smith nor an Earthian.
“You’re not too quick are you…commander.”
You’d have thought someone offered it a bitter lemon—that’s an Earth fruit— when it said ‘commander’ based on the expression it made. Total disgust. From any other Qwuedeviv I would have questioned their sanity. Spork was a different story. Spork was chronically disgusted by life and all who were granted existence in it.
“You know if you have something against me or my leadership you should take it up with me.”
“Oh. I see. Right. Well in that case—”
“You’re the last one I would have expected to survive.” It grumbled.
“Aha.” I found a rock in the grass and sat on that. “Always there to lend encouragement, Spork.”
It half growled in response. Didn’t seem to give it full effort even.
“Wait a second.” My ears perked up as I studied the other Qwuedeviv. “Why is your sense of style all ugly now? And more importantly, why is your name Mr. Smith?! What have you done with the Spork I know and love!”
I uh, squeaked as it grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and brought me up to eye level. Had been totally sudden and unexpected. You gotta give people warning when you’re just gonna snatch them up all of a sudden like that.
“It’s a disguise. Something us Qwuedeviv tend to practice when scouting, Lieutenant.”
“Ohh, right. Very good, I was just, er, testing.”
It dropped me without any warning. I landed rather hard on my uh, rear. Didn’t feel extra good. Poor Hindquarters.
“Why did you run?”
Had to dig that one out of a deep folder. Running….running. Running wasn’t something a brave lieutenant would do. I happened to be a brave lieutenant thus the Running File was not something we kept lying around at Command Center. It was filed into the deepest depths, likely never to be accessed or used.
My head flopped to the side some as I entered a deep state of concentration. This requires a Qwuedeviv to personally search through the files of their mind to find the proper folder. In such a state one’s expression may lose a few points on the intelligence scale, usually visible in the eyes and open mouth.
Spork must have meant that deal back at the school. It had appeared like I was running for my life at the time you see. Easy mistake to make. It was actually a tactical fall back. See I knew Cedric’s yard would be a much better and safer place to meet than the school grounds so naturally…
“Nevermind. I don’t want to know what kind of mind numbing excuse you’re contemplating.”
I gave Spork a bit of a frowning glare.
“For your information, Corporal, I was doing no such thing! In fact I—”
Just then the facts and pieces of the puzzle started falling into uh, the puzzle piece spots.
“Wait a second…you were teaching Earthian kittens…” The sudden shock had to be evident in my eyes as I took a step back. “You’re a traitor!”
Spork growled and swung its tail to the side. “I was blending in with society and gathering information on how prepared those kids are for war and battle. And what have you done, commander?”
“Ah, that.” I laughed nervously as I tried to think of some logical excuse for the matter. Before I had a chance to answer Spork noticed my collar though.
Spork was significantly larger than me as I may have mentioned so it had to kneel down to my level in order to get a better look. It reached out with one of its dark gray paws and flicked the little jingly bell. It made the usual adorable jingle that always brightened my day.
It didn’t have the same effect on Spork.
“What is that?” It grumbled and tugged on it.
“It’s a uh—mew!” Rubbed at my neck a little then. Spork was anything but gentle. “…collar.”
Spork gave it another sharp tug. This time it yanked my head forward with it. It didn’t feel particularly great, but I decided protesting was probably a bad idea. Many things that are normally very good ideas are null when dealing with Spork. In fact, if you want to be on the safe side, just assume nothing is safely secured as a ‘good idea’ when dealing with Spork.
“A tracking device.” It concluded. One of its torn ears flicked. “Are you a prisoner?”
I glanced at its face and was just about to answer when it hooked a finger under my collar and hiked it up. I had to stand tip-toe in order to keep from choking. Choking would be a bad thing, obviously, but I was actually even more concerned by how close Spork was getting to my face. It wasn’t like it to lean down to be eye level with someone. Grab them by the scruff of their neck or shirt and yank them off the ground? Yes. This? No.
“Spork, what are you—”
Was kind of hard to tell what it was looking at since its pupils still weren’t visible. That’s something us Qwuedeviv could do—hide eyes with one illusion or another. It’s considered rude behavior to do so amongst other Qwuedeviv, but let’s face it; Spork wasn’t the most polite Qwuedeviv to ever set foot on Earth, or anywhere else.
Anyway more importantly its head was right beside mine and it kept tugging at various portions of my collar like some kind of barbaric…I don’t even know. Earthian I guess. They were awfully barbaric. Was kind of hard to see what it was doing though, which I wasn’t particularly grateful for.
I squeaked and my fur fluffed up. Without any warning Spork had bit my collar. Yes, the collar that was still wrapped around my neck. No Qwuedeviv in their right mind would—Spork was just—my neck here, people. You know, sensitive place, easily punctured, necessary for life—right beside a mouthful of razor sharp teeth.
“Shut up.” It grumbled all muffledish—for the record it sounded more like ‘shuh up,’ presumably because it had a mouthful of collar.
It pulled me to the left some, then the right, then briefly up off the ground, then down again.
“But my neck—”
“Ish whuh I trying not t’ chew t’rough.”
I mewled and folded my ears down against my head. This had potential to turn bad very quickly with a mere slip of the jaws, and that aside I didn’t even fully trust Spork to begin with. I could only do my best to hold still and hope to survive.
Its muzzle kept bumping my neck every few seconds, minutes, hours—whatever it was. I mean it made sense because it had to get close enough to grab the collar with its teeth but, well let’s just say it was frightening. Terrifying even. And I might—just a very small chance—I might have uh, yowled my head off the entire time. Yes it had requested silence while working, but doctors also request cooperation, and they sure as all krillfish weren’t getting that from this cat.
All at once I felt a snap and stumbled to the right. I ended up face down in the grass, round muzzle pushed into the dirt. Was kind of glad I didn’t have a nose right then. Dirt would’ve totally gotten up it and caused a sneezing fit.
My neck was feeling rather breezy and cool. I wasn’t entirely sure if that was a good or bad thing. I pulled the levers at Command Center to order my legs into full dig down and overdrive mode; got my face out of its grassy burrow quick enough and found myself sitting there.
Spork was still there, beyond the little blurry green lines in my vision. Shook my head. Grass. Some of it had clung to my muzzle from the uh, excavation of the lawn a few moments ago. Not wasting a moment I started grasping at my neck with my paws. It was definitely still there but hard to tell if it was in proper condition.
It was then I felt something damp against my neck. My ears flopped down as I ran my paw gingerly over it again. Yes, it was definitely damp. Now perhaps those of you who do not have fur would not understand this highly complex issue at paw, but, you see when a furred creature gets a cut or say, a life threatening bite, the blood often seeps into the fur and makes it damp.
I noticed Spork was actually grinning about this, almost like this was some form of humor or remotely amusing. I was disgusted by the total lack of professional behavior from my fellow soldier. I mean yes, we’re supposed to be brave and strong and not cry when another falls, but krillfish, ya can take a moment to at least look upset by it!
I grabbed my tail and pulled it close. It was the only comfort I had in this cruel world. Who’d have thought my death would come at the paws of a comrade. A comrade who didn’t even seem to care about the fatal mistake it had made. I wiped away a few tears and angled my best glare at that…that fiend!
“I’m gonna die! And all you can do is—”
“You’re not gonna die.” Spork shook its head and grumbled something—most likely rude—that wasn’t quite audible.
“Oh yeah?” I hopped to my feet and let my tail go into Full Lash Mode. That shows anger. “And just what do you think this indicates?” I pointed in the general direction of the damp fur.
Spork came over to where I was standing at the slowest pace imaginable, paws clasped behind back as it leaned forward to get a better look. “Yeaaah. It’s just drool.”
Spork sighed and rolled its head or neck, or whatever you roll when your head moves in the fashion its had. “Drool. Saliva. Spit, Smiley.”
We shared a moment of silence there as I ran that through my intelligence banks.
“You...spit on me?”
“Not intentionally, no.” It raised one paw beneath its chin. “Not to say I don’t think you deserve it.”
I gave it another glare—a glare probably wasted on someone like it, but oh well. I felt my neck again and tried to massage the fur a bit.
“Krillfish, Spork. Why’d you have to use your teeth?”
“I didn’t have anything else.”
“You’re telling me you didn’t have some kind of slicey thing, really?”
“I came from the school.”
“And your point is?”
“It’s against regulation.”
We both paused. I was staring at it with what I could only assume was disbelief. Spork had never been the rule abiding type so I didn’t see why now would be any different.
“Have you ever even considered the requirements for blending in?”
Another pause as we stared yet again. I had the feeling it didn’t fully believe me.
I was sort of debating back and forth with whether or not I wanted to ask Spork about that—leaning heavily towards not asking. I never had to decide because as fate would have it, at the very worst of times, someone decided to return home. That someone as you may have guessed was Cedric, and I had every reason to believe that he and Spork just might not become the best of friends.