Qbit and Tau
The hairy beast bent down on one knee and set the man’s head gently onto the ground. It stood up to its full height, quietly grunted something to itself, and pulled off the headless man’s arms. Again, crouching down, it gently laid the arms beside the head. The right arm to the right and the left arm to the left.
Standing, it put its giant hands into the empty neck hole and pulled forward. There was a slight cracking noise as the upper torso swung open. The beast took a step back and waited as if scrutinizing its handy work. The remaining parts of the man’s body, stood there, still balanced on his blue jean covered legs.
Two small hands appeared from inside the lower torso. They made their way around the waistline as if searching for something. When they found the belt, they deftly undid it. Next was the waist button and finally the zipper. The pants dropped, stopping at the knees, revealing a very small woman. She pulled herself out of the remaining right leg and lowered herself to the forest floor. She was dressed in a dark green felt vest over a white, long sleeve shirt with ruffles at the cuffs. Brown leather suspenders held up a pair of suede shorts, the same color as her vest, which came to just below her knees. She was wearing a pair of dark brown leather boots over white knee-high socks.
Qbit walked over to her, extended his hand and gave hers a slight shake. “Good afternoon Mrs. Privet.” Peering over into the hollow left leg he continued, “Mr. Privet’s not with you today?”
Her response to Qbit’s question was a quick shake of her head and a “No” that was more of a wheeze than a word. She raised her left hand, her finger extended, signaling that he should hold on a second. Patting each of her pockets she finally found what she was looking for in one of her pants pocket. She reached in and pulled out a small inhaler, put it to her mouth, squeezed the trigger and took a deep breath. She held it for a second then slowly exhaled through her mouth.
“Ahhhh”, she said. “You’d think, after all these years on this planet, my body would adjust to its atmosphere. But no, I still need this thing to provide me with the extra nitrogen my lungs so badly need. I don’t know what would happen if I ever ran out of this stuff.” Putting the inhaler back into her pocket, she gave each ruffle around her wrist, a slight tug, straightening her sleeves. “So good to see you again Q. It’s been a while” Looking around she asked, “Is Tau with you?”
From somewhere behind came the words; “Over here Mrs. Privet. Where’s Mr. P?”
She swung her head towards Tau’s voice, looked way up. “Oh, there you are! Wonderful, wonderful! My goodness, are you getting taller or am I getting shorter?”, she said with a laugh. “Henry’s doing fine. Thank you for asking. We thought it best he stayed back with the others just in case we ran into any trouble. Too many squirrels around for my liking.” She said, glancing up into the surrounding trees.
Tau looked at Q and gave him a “See, I told you so” look.
The big beast, still standing by the remains of the man, shuffled its feet, getting Mrs. Privet attention.
“Ah, how rude of me.” Mrs. Privet walked over to stand next to it. She stood on her toes to take a hold of its hand. Turning to face Q and Tau she continued, “This is Sunki, it’s Hopi for ‘To catch up with’. I think you and Tau both witnessed how she can live up to her name. Thanks to her it was a quick, albeit, bumpy ride. I had the privilege of attending her birth ceremony and I have watched her and her family grow up. We have all become very close”
Sunki raised her hand and said, “Um waynuma?”
Mrs. Privet continued, “Her and her family are ready to take advantage of your offer to relocate to the new blue planet. We can’t escape the fact that it’s becoming too dangerous to remain. Humans are getting closer and closer to her home. The family can’t rest with the constant threat of being discovered. Too many people in the woods whooping and knocking! Her family feels their life will be much safer somewhere else and I tend to agree.
Sunki bent down to whisper something in her ear.
“She worries that her family will be split up. I have told her that many others have gone through the gate safely. I’m hoping that if she hears it from you she might be less fearful. Can you guarantee her that something like that won’t happen?”
Qbit looked up into her Sunki’s eyes and said, “As Mrs. Privet has said, many of your kind have safely made the move. None of their families have been lost or separated. You and your family will always be together. Where you are going there are people like Mrs. P. who will work hard to protect you. It’s true we promised your ancestors the same protection when they first inhabited this planet and now look what has happened. But, the new planet is different. There are no other inhabitants, no natives. You and the other beasts are the only ones. I can’t pretend that the trip might have some danger to it but I think it is a risk worth taking.”
Sunki was quiet, taking in what he had just said. Finally, she looked down at Mrs. P and said to her, “Akw?”
Mrs. Privet patted her hand and said, “No dear, I have to stay and help watch out for the others. There are others just like me that will make sure you and your family can live in harmony with the other beasts there. You’ll be just fine.”
Sunki paused a few more seconds and whispered to her again, “paakiw?”
Mrs. Privet let out a laugh and said, “Fish? Yes, there are plenty of fish my Dear!” She turned to Q and said, “Fish are her favorite snack.”
Qbit smiled back at Sunki and laughing, said, “Yes, plenty of paakiw. All kinds of paakiw!”
Tau, who had made his way closer to the group, made a coughing sound and pointed at his wrist.
Qbit, understanding what he meant, checked his own watch. He began to say, “We must get go…….” When suddenly, from behind a large clump of undergrowth, there was a loud click, a flash of light and a loud humming noise.