“Like many other things, if you know what you’re doing, an open fire isn’t particularly dangerous.” Says the person wearing no safety gear, having lit a campfire with flint and steel and currently rearranging the burning sticks barehanded.
“You’re… burning raw cellulose,” said the alien, through its translator. “There is no safety equipment.”
“Got a shovel,” soothed Tanja. “Got loads of sand. We’re good.”
“You are not knowing if this cellulose is loaded with toxins.”
“I live here. Okay, not here-here. But I live on an island a lot like this one. These plants make a good fire. And we need a good fire.”
has stating previously,” said the alien. It kept its distance from the flames. Flinched at every pop and snap. “You is not stating why.”
“Survival. A light at night and smoke by day. That gets us noticed and rescued. Two: heat and light keep predators away.”
“False. You are predator.”
I have objections to eating anyone with a personality.” Tanja tried to sound as gentle as possible despite this being the fifth time she’d told
the creature. She sighed. “Look. You’re a predator and you don’t eat me. Right?“
“Superior predator. Deathworlder. I posit I being tasty.”
Tanja cleared her throat and said, “Three: we want to make sure any unseen parasite is definitely killed, yes?”
“YES! Killing deathworlder parasite! Not wanting invisible bug eating intestines!”
couldn’t help but chuckle. “I know. My entire biota is dangerous and you’re lucky you landed in this…” island chain? Um. No. “General
vicinity. Heck, you’re lucky my boat held out long enough to get here. And you’re really lucky that I know enough xenocookery to make sure that I don’t poison you.”
in point: tonight’s meal. Fish stew. Tanja had caught the fish earlier that day. One of the few breeds that multiple meat-eaters could consume.
She’d marinated them in pineapples and pineapple juice to soften the meat, and then added fresh coconut to help eliminate the enzymes in the
pineapple. The other vegetation, gleaned from both her stores and the
island, promised to be harmless to her carnivorous guest.
making bargain with invisible gods. Self never taking ride-for-joy
again. Self never doing Deathworld stunt dive. Self practice safe tourism. Forever.“
dished it up. It was going to be bland as all hell for her, but probably borderline painful for her guest. She handed over its bowl with
a pre-opened can of coconut milk, just in case. Then added Siracha to the contents of her bowl.
“What is flavouring?” asked the alien.
“Deathworlder flavouring. Many toxins. It might kill you, so I’ll stay downwind.”
alien scooted even further away. Politely, so it wasn’t inherently obvious that it was scooting away. “…many thank…” it warbled.