Entries tagged with “xenophilia”.

The ship’s bridge wasn’t much of a conference room. For that matter, it wasn’t much of a bridge – civilian vessels didn’t need all that much as it was, and in this case, auxiliary displays and a few secondary stations had been shut down and stripped for parts to keep more essential things running. But it was an even worse conference room, with crash chairs and consoles cluttering the open space. The only reason there was enough room for everyone present to sit facing one another was that the engineer was small enough to perch on top of a console.

In fairness, part of the reason for that was that their security chief and loadmaster took up as much space as any two of the others. Kirrik could have sat in his lap, but the Trygg didn’t really want to draw any more attention to their unconventional arrangement than might already be upon it, not during anything remotely official anyway.


The beat was heavy and pervasive, impossible to ignore. It drove into Arverik’s skull, imposing its order on his breath, his heartbeat, even shaping the rhythms of his very thoughts. This was not a place where anyone with his sense of hearing could concentrate.

But the Tavar wasn’t here to concentrate, he was here to immerse himself in experience. And these humans really knew how to make music.

He leaned back against the bar and surveyed the crowd. Humans made up most of it, of course – this world had been theirs first, and even if it wasn’t their home, the Tavarri hadn’t descended in force; blending had been steady, but slow, in the years since contact. And this venue was built to human rather than Tavarri tastes. But there were some Tavarri sprinkled among them, too – and such a variety of them. Arverik had spent his early years in the Shukarat clan fortress, indeed, within its rarefied central spires. Everyone there had been close kin to the clan; most had been members of the core lineage.

In this one room, with maybe a dozen other Tavarri, he saw more colours and patterns than in all his childhood. It made having yellow eyes instead of green seem rather less significant, and that was another part of why he liked it here.

Seeing them all move together – Tavarri and their smaller, furless, tailless neighbours – was another part of it, of course. What the humans accomplished with mild intoxication, the Tavarri did just by forgoing ear protection: a bit of disconnection from the world, a dizzy whirl that let bodies bump against each other as they danced, and an easy camaraderie in which nobody minded that contact.

Still, he could only take so much of it at a time, and besides, he was getting hungry. He wove his way to the stairs.