Sunny noticed the leaning crewmate, flashing her a grin and pointing two thumbs up.
They then turned back to the sarcophagus. Stasis pod. Looked like one, though, even its occupant had its upper extremities folded upon the chest.
Sunny lifted the control panel lid and flicked off the safety.
Irina twitched, recalling how the alarm of the failing pods had spelled the death of her former crew. Certainly not undeserved, it was no less grim. On the bright side, at least they were tasty.How do I taste now?
The mist cleared from within, and the lid sprang open, revealing the upright reptilian shape. The six-limbed creature opened the eyes in the slits of its face shield, and tensed up - the memory of capture was fresh. Noticing the Kotiri around and capturing Irina's unique scent, it stepped forth slowly though, opening its mouth slightly to display rows of shark-like teeth and wiggling tongues.
It was focused on the captain, its limbs, tail, in fact the whole body swaying, scents alternating in their nostrils, subtle tones of color changing under its skin. All this was accompanied by a low hum that could be felt in the temples. The Kotiri crept closer on their bellies, rubbing their scales together.
Sunny chirped in glee: "It's communicating - and it's beautiful!"
But the captain felt just a storm of quizzical messages from her other half, and rubbed her head: "Only if I could understand..."
The upright alien paused. The doctor frowned, then laid one arm around Irina's shoulder. "It's a bold move, but: stop fighting your other half. You are one creature, so start acting like one. This is not a situation a human could handle - but a creature forged of man and beast might. Trust me, I was born with my Soul, but even today, I still sometimes am clueless as to what it is going on about. But I am one creature made of two halves, and you'd never catch me speaking in the royal plural. Take a deep breath, throw your reservations to the wind, and push through."
With that, she gently nudged Irina onward.
Tense, but loosening, the tall woman stepped out, emptying her mind of fear and the noise of human thought; she could feel the hum of the wild spirit below the surface - then it broke through.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW1mWsLg-do
Concepts which she had no words for flashed in her mind, but they were acquiring a coating of sense; inhibitions gained new context, fear left in the joined understanding. As if on an agreed signal, the Kotiri lifted her up and brought her to its face-shield, the eyes drilling into hers. Slowly, it extended a sinuous appendage from below the pace-plate and the captain opened her mouth, welcoming it within, a foot, then two sliding inside her, her eyes rolling back, the spine arched.
Then, she went limp.