Challenge #01278-C183: Kintsugi Ronin

The art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer, understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. This can also apply to People. -- Knitnan

The ships' human was, in their own words, winding down. They had extracted themself from their armoured shell, removed the thermal suit that helped regulate their temperature, and otherwise stripped down to their Skins.

Most Gigaru kept away from the human at this point. Downtime was important to these mammals. And yet Kithkith found herself fascinated by the bared skin on display.

Humans called them S'karrz. Imprints of trauma, both deliberate and accidental, left on the body. Some overlaid others, telling story over story, written in flesh. And not all s'karrz were on the outside.

"Curious, little gecko?" said the human. "Not many of your kind can withstand human war stories."

"Do they... still bring pain?"

"Aw, bless. No. Many of these surface ones don't even itch any more. This one still does," the human pointed out a red, ragged line on the underside of a forearm. A lasting memory from their last encounter with other Deathworlders. The human rubbed their knuckles over it. A parody of scratching. "The ones that still bring pain are the broken bones. Even when they knit properly, little pockets seal up. Pressure effects them, changes in pressure, more so."

Kithkith had to settle herself. "Every airlock? Every EVA?"

"Just an ache. Your techies are good at easing the transition. And it's why, when we're planet-side, I can always detect an oncoming storm."

Ache. Another human word that Havenworlders had difficulty understanding. It was the slow, steady, gradual pain that spoke of damage, but not severe or threatening damage. Havenworlders were so fragile, that any hurt was tantamount to death.

That changed, and greatly, after their exposure to humans. But some concepts were still difficult to comprehend.

"Are you afraid of my scars, little gecko?"

"No," said Kithkith, suddenly realising that she wasn't. "They are... a mark of strength. And... I think they're pretty."

"Don't go courting any of your own, little gecko. Pain hurts."

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