The Human Outlands
Part VII: New Human Friends
Even when the class with Mr. Rook came to an end I still didn’t understand what was happening, I really had to ask him for better instructions next time. Since the class was over, it was now time for the midday meal, were after asking for suggestion I tried something new again, Amber which called a fish taco. Which was nice, it was really spicy.
During the next class a new student joined us, a male human called Jaeger with a funny looking nose. And even better, two more joined the next class! There was the male Allen, who looked a little scared, maybe it was also their first time away from their zuzu and titi? Then there was Sage who I think was Female but like Rowan used ‘they’ as their pronoun. It would have been nice to have another alien, but having new friends was also nice.
Once classes were over for the day, and although I was very excited to meet them for real, they went to the administration building with Allison so I had to wait until they were back.
“Guys I need help!” Caroline said once we were home. “We just have to throw a party to welcome the others. I’m going to make a cake but I need people to help with the rest.”
“Can I help?” I asked.
Sanjay, Mace and Yougen also joined us in making food. I learned how to make ham sandwich even if I didn’t know what a ham is. Meanwhile Caroline and Charlie made a cake, just like my Zuzuk made them. It was nice to know that even if there are many things separating Itharii and Humans, we did have cake in common.
Once the others came back, we all went to the backyard where some of the others showed off their powers to the new classmates. As I watched the demonstration, I noticed that Allen was looked at me.
“Hi.” I said, making sure to show my teeth like humans like it when you do.
“What are you?” He asked, the hairy bit above his eyes lowering.
“I’m Ahti.” I answered, but Allen was distracted as the other new Male, Jaeger, came up behind him which had him jump, but surprisingly, he didn’t hiss.
“Allen, how about you go read up Itharii culture for a bit before expecting them to answer all your questions.” Jaeger said.
Allen left and I stared at him. What had just happened?
“Allen has already offended a couple of people today, I figured I’d prevent him adding to the track record.” Jaeger explained. “I’m Jaeger,”
“I’m Ahti. I was hoping another of the new people might be another alien but I guess I meet more humans this way.”
“Erm, I’m not human technically speaking.”
“You look pretty human to me.” I said examining him. The more I looked, the more he seemed human. Sure, his nose was a little odd for a human, but humans are very varied; some have dark skin, some have pale skin. They have different nose, lips and eyes shapes.
“Most humans don’t have this sort of thing,” He said tapping his nose.
“Still looks human enough.”
He looked at me like I said something silly before laughing.
“I’m a chimera.” He said. Was that supposed to mean something bad?
“What’s a chimera?”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ve got to go…”
With that, he went away and back into the house. Were humans always this strange? Rowan and Annabelle didn’t usually just go away like that. Since there was a pause in the demonstration, I decided to go swim. The pool was cool, but not too cold either. After a few minutes of swimming, I noticed that Sage was sitting with Allison and decided to go talk to them. I lifted myself out of the pool and went to their side.
“Hello! I’m Ahti.” I said, remembering to show my teeth and let them touch my hand, which took them a moment to take.
“Well, I’ll be back in a minute. You two play nice,” Allison said, also leaving. Why were all humans just leaving?
“I’m Sage.” They said, before examining me. “Have you gotten anything to eat yet?”
“You’re the first person not to comment on not wearing clothes in the pool.”
“Oh. I know that’s a normal thing in the Western world, but in my country it’s pretty common for people to use public pools and hot springs naked. It’s not something that bothers me.”
“Oh, maybe I should go visit.”
“I don’t think you would enjoy it much,” They said with a laugh “We are an island but the ocean around us is very cold. The sun is never really at it’s full height like it is here, and we have a lot of snow.”
The thought of snow made me excited. There wasn’t any in Vaal, so I’d never seen it but it always looked so strange and fun. You could build castles with it and have fun.
“Oh, I’ve never seen snow, what’s it like?”
“Erm, cold and wet. It melts if you pick it up. Makes for fun snowball fights.”
How could it be fun to fight? I didn’t get it.
“Why are you fighting? That sounds mean.”
“It’s a game not a fight. You condense a bunch of soft snow into a small ball,” They explained, doing some movement with their hands“And you try to throw them at each other. Avoiding the face obviously. It’s really silly and fun.”
That sounded so strange, maybe even painful, but if Sage liked it, it couldn’t be bad, now could it?
“Oh, can we play it if it snows here?”
“Sure!” They said with a smile before getting up and going to the food table. “What can you eat?” I asked, learning my lesson after Allison.
“Not landmeat.” I said looking at the table. I still didn’t know if ham is a land animal. What kind of animal was it? Was it fuzzy like the Nibbles? Was it a lizard? Before I could ask Sage, Allison had come back gave me a plate with everything but the ham. I guess hams were land animals.
“Sorry I took so long.”
They started talking and the people showing their powers to the new classmates drew my attention. The demonstrations were so pretty, how could I not look?