Jeff peeked through a crack between the reflective steel door and the dull, but just-as-metallic wall. His breath caught in his throat, and he clamped a hand over his mouth to keep from gasping. It would have been a rugged, manly gasp, definitely notMoreJeff peeked through a crack between the reflective steel door and the dull, but just-as-metallic wall. His breath caught in his throat, and he clamped a hand over his mouth to keep from gasping. It would have been a rugged, manly gasp, definitely not the terrified, high-pitched squeak of a prepubescent girl.
Thats what he told himself, anyway. To say that he was out of his element was an understatement so understated that it would win first prize at an understated convention of understaters, VIP division. When hed snuck aboard the ship-thingy, he expected some sort of top-secret government program or the machinations of an evil criminal mastermind. Maybe even a group of wizards. Not this. Okay, so aliens had crossed his mind, but he was still pretty damn surprised.
Against his (albeit miniscule) survival instincts, Jeff pressed closer to the door, cheek against the cool metal and eye to the gap in the warped frame, trying to get a better look. He froze when the door gave an offended creak, but let his shoulders slump when the alien-creatures kept talking. He assumed they were talking, at least, though it consisted mainly of intricate gestures or head tilts, along with high-pitched trilling and the occasional croon.
From what Jeff could see, they were somewhat humanoid, emphasis on the somewhat. Rust-orange, scaled skin peeked out of reflective spacesuits tailored with a gap in the backs for bronze-ish crests- six-fingered hands ended in sliver claws. The masculine beings claws were dulled and stubby, but still caught the light, as he ran a hand from the back of his neck over the crest that arced over his head to rest flat on a broad forehead. He shrugged his shoulders and turned away as the female, claws long, hooked, and sharp, made a sudden slashing motion and croaked, glaring at him.
Her own crest, which had been flattened down her back, ending between her shoulder blades, shot up as she hissed and somehow managed to loom over him, though she was shorter. The male crooned quietly, shoulders slumped away from her as he fiddled with a broad console covered in switches and brightly-lit controls that Jeff didnt even try to understand beyond ooh, shiny and want to press buttons. The females crest settled down over her back again and she snorted, lips curling up in a stubby snout. She dropped her head. Jeff saw an all-too-human fondness crinkle around reptilian, slit-pupiled eyes and heard a huff of exasperation hiss through threatening lips that barely covered the poke of sharp-silver teeth.
Then her shoulders tensed, and she turned to look directly at him. Jeff stumbled away from the door, ramming into the storage crates at his back. He toppled over, yelped, and covered his head as more crates tumbled down from the stacks and trapped him underneath.