Ongoing Series

Short Stories


Authors

Claws

Claws

“I am so sorrrry’” Prrt-ts growled, panic in her rattling voice as she frantically pulled emergency suppiles out of a nearby compartment. Her claws clacked heavily on the metal floor. Rob watched her go, hand pressed over the slashes that marred his side. “I will sing to yourrrr Captain and give my life-”

Her massive hands shook as she pulled out a frankly alarming amount of medical goods out of the compartment.

“It was an accident,” Rob told her genially. Frankly, he was surprised it hadn't happened sooner. Humans were pretty squishy compared to the big, bead-skinned lizards that made up Prrt-ts’ race. “Is there a regen device in there? These aren't really deep enough to need stitches but they kinda hurt.”

Prrt-ts froze, staring at him. Her expression was hard to read but her tail lashed, a sure sign of confusion. “…stitches?” She questioned carefully. “Used to… sew?”

“Yeah,” Rob nodded. When she didn't move any closer, he reached for the med box, prompting a flurry of activity from his friend.

“Do not move morrre than you have to!” She scolded him fiercely. “I have called the medic- therrre is still a chance to save you!”

“What?” Rob said blankly. He looked down at the gashes in his side, unpleasant, but he’d gotten worse trying to wrangle a specimen into a cage. “No- no Prrt-ts, unless you have venom in your claws, I’ll heal up fine.”

She stared at him like he had sprouted a second head. “…heal?” She queried, tale lashing more than ever. “I do not know this worrrd. What does it mean?”

Since she didn't seem ready to stop him, Rob grabbed a packet of gauze and pressed it over the sluggishly-bleeding cuts. “You know, when you get injured? If it’s not fatal, it’ll mend itself over time.”

She was still staring, and a thunder of footsteps announced the human medic, case in hand, pounding in through the door.

“Prrt said you were dying,” the man said before he got a good look at Rob, sprawled against the wall but very much alive. “What happened?”

“I clawed him,” Prrt-ts said sadly. “He seems to have lost his mind to the blood loss.”

“I’m okay, Doc,” Rob could speak for himself and thought his friend was overreacting. “She barely grazed me. It’s mostly stopped bleeding.”

“Than death is nearrr,” the lizard intoned sadly. “When the blood stops coming, it will not be long.”

Doc looked up at her in blank astonishment, and then cursed roundly. “I keep forgetting your bodies don't repair themselves when you get hurt,” he said, a smile starting to grow. “Prrt-ts , you know those plastics you have that mend themselves when they get damaged?”

His hands worked briskly, checking to make sure Rob wasn't underestimating his injuries, (ONE time and the doctors never believed you again) decided he was alright, and set to cleaning them, making Nate hiss.

“Yes…?” Prrt-ts said cautiously, watching them.

“Human bodies do the same, provided it wasn't lethal to begin with, and barring illness.” Doc explained. Deciding it was clean enough, he smeared ointment over the cuts and pressed a bandage over it all. “You’ll be fine, kid. Try to avoid the pointy bits next time.”

“It was my fault, I startled her,” Rob shrugged, prompting a clicking noise of protest from Prrt-ts. He raised a hand to stop her. “Listen to Doc. Give me a few days and I’ll show you. We heal up quick.”

“Just keep them clean and stop by in a week to let me take a look,” Doc said cheerfully. He stuffed everything back into his kit and stood, dusting off his hands. Prrt-ts looked like she had been hit in the head, and he patted her scaled shoulder. “Remind me to bring this up at the next command meeting,” he instructed them both. “Your people should probably know what ACTUALLY constitutes a lethal injury for one of us.”

“I am starrrting to think the answerrr is NOTHING,” the big alien said, tail finally stilling. Rob stood and rolled his shoulders and she watched him carefully. “You eat everrrrything, want to make a pet of anything that doesn't immediately trrry to eat you- and some things that do- and now you tell me that you can shake off terrrrrible injurrry. I am starrrrting to underrrrstand why most everrryone fearrrrrs you Soft-Skins!”

Burn my body and bury me deep

Burn my body and bury me deep

Mighty Words

Mighty Words

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