Challenge #00986-B255: What is 'Light'?

The continuing adventures of a human with a bunch of mole/bat people. As seen by the mole/bat people.

[NB - notify ChaosWolf1982 and ManyBlinkingLights]

[AN: I prompted myself because this was too good to pass up.]

Captain's Log, Galactic Standard Calendar 58430.03.2.05...[1]

In the spirit of further understanding between species, we are welcoming aboard a new crewmember. One of the Deathworlder species called 'humans'...

The airlock hissed. Captain K'rik waited for the sounds of its cycling to sound out the newcomer. A series of rapid, high-pitched clicks that revealed an astonishing form. Humans were taller than both Crystates and Pterops. Yet they had no observable ears or whiskers.

"Wow, it's really dark in here... No worries. I brought along some lights. I should be fine." Ze had a small, flat device, which they held at their shoulder with one hand whilst the other saluted. "Greetings, Captain? Lieutenant-Commander Abel Jain. Reporting for orientation and duty."

"What is this 'dark' you mentioned? None of the other crew have noted it."

"Of course. None of your crew have eyes."

"Eyes," echoed M'koi.

"Oh boy," sighed the human. "My species don't orient solely on sound. We have special, paired organs in our heads that pick up specific frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. We call that 'light', and the absence of it, 'dark'. I've brought along some devices that emit harmless frequencies that I can detect naturally. I can help with the installation."

Things only got more interesting from there.

The 'lights' that the human installed didn't seem to do anything, but the human insisted that the strange spheres and tubes helped hir navigate. Further disruptions were caused by the human adding a viscous substance to some walls and claiming it could see through impenetrable glass.

LtCmdr Jain also explained the plastic and wire headdress as 'glasses'. Which helped hir 'see'. They frequently required maintenance -cleaning- and only ze could detect interference on them. And the analytical devices it brought. Microscopes, a means of using 'light' to examine tiny things. And Ze had a tactile display screen to translate 'light' into 'depth'.

Despite hir problematic and somewhat mystical attitude to hir bizarre 'vision', Jain showed a remarkable aptitude. Ze could read moods without asking. Measure the mood of a room full of conversing people at a glance. And shoot things from incredible distances with hir stunner.

And ze could detect a threat in seconds. Even with sound interfering.

The crew came to depend on hir uncanny abilities. Until the attack during shore leave.

K'rik and M'koi found hir crouched by the shrubbery in hir Skins, stunner held ready.

"Well? What's the situation? What do your human eyes see?"

"To be honest, not a lot, right now."

"The 'smoke' should have dissipated," objected M'koi.

"It has... only..."

"What?" demanded K'rik.

"I was swimming when the attack started? And I'd left my glasses on a table by my deckchair. By the time I could get to my stunner, someone had kicked them somewhere. I'm myopic. All I can see is colourful blurs."

"Colour," snorted M'koi. "I know it doesn't exist."

"You can sense the warmth of the sun, can't you? You know some form of light exists."

"Can the mystical mumbo-jumbo and get your damn equipment."

"I can't see it. It's why I always put my glasses in a specific place when I take them off. Can't you click it out?"

"Not with all this screaming."

At that point, the human accurately summed up the situation. "Well, crap."

[1] Galactic Standard date notation goes: Year.Month.Week.Day, with the day being the day of the week and not the date of the month. Many humans find this confusing.

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