Challenge #01064-B332: The Pros and Cons of Cute

That one ambassador that has at this point given up on avoiding being picked up and cuddled/held/used as a large teddy bear, and just gets on with paperwork (or listens/chats/relaxes/reads a book/takes a nap) while their fur/scales/feathers are groomed by whoever got them this time, so long as they don't have any appointments to get to. -- Gallifreya

[Re-using Ambassador Ha'ri from story #00761, available for purchase in the next Instants Anthology (coming soon)]

There were many things about being 'cute', and Ambassador Ha'ri had learned about most of them. Humans, the most dangerous and insane species in the Galactic Alliance, felt inclined to pick her up and either groom her or squeeze her or both. They came over all nurturing, and seemed almost obsessively interested in making sure she got a good deal for her people.

The people she warned, beforehand, in numerous pamphlets, that humans were compelled to pick them up and lavish attention on them.

Ha'ri did not startle at the HUD alert that humans were approaching. She located them visually, allowed them to squeak and coo, and then said, "If you are compelled to embrace or groom me, please do so in a fashion that allows me to continue my work?" She elevated her arms.

The humans swarmed.

It wasn't that she didn't enjoy the attention. Life as a social outcast among her own kind had lead her to become used to an absence of physical contact. The humans, on the other hand, gave her more physical contact than she could ever want in a lifetime. And then some.

It had got to the point where she purposely toured human-inhabited stations just to get her fix of social grooming.

And for important gathering events like this... Ha'ri just became resigned to it. She would flee to her solitude at the end of the day.

And, if she had an appointment, she could always politely request that the humans carry her there. They were always willing to oblige.

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