A member of a race of aliens new to the Galactic scene holds the misconception that life can be either land bound or aquatic watches a human climb a steep hill specifically for the joy of jumping off the cliff on the other end into deep water. -- Anon Guest
[AN: I have a much more capable program doing the counting for me, so today's full challenge number is actually correct. I'm not going back and fixing the others because that is full-on nightmare fuel. Just... no. I tried, I failed, and now I have a thing that counts better than I ever could. Also expect further shenanigans at the closing of the year, as my count is off there, too. There will be bonus stories for this year's anthology. All so I can re-synchronise the calendar. (FYI, I'm out by at least four weeks)]
Companion Gann had heard things about Humans. Dangerous psychotic warrior race who didn't take "no you can't" as a warning that some things were bad for continued existence. Those weird hairless apes seemed to believe that they could do anything. Worse, most of the time they were right. There remained one sticking point upon which Gann remained adamant.
"There is no such thing as amphibious and mammalian intelligent life. Mammals are not amphibious. Amphibians are. You have aquatic mammals, or terrestrial mammals. Those are the limits of intelligent mammalian life. Even your lot can't defy the rules of basic evolution."
"So..." challenged Human Aura. "If I can prove to you that we're semi-acquatic, what do I win?" This was the way of Deathworlders in general and Humans in particular. Everything was a contest to these maniacs, and there had to be a prize involved. If Humans didn't win some form of enrichment to their existence, they could sulk about it for months.