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Down is an interesting idea.

Pylo had not encountered the concept very much prior to this visit with Terra.

She understood her ventral and dorsal sides. What kind of infant didn't?

Her fore and aft were obvious too.

And her proximals and distils. Those were some of the most universal of anatomical topography.

But that was a personal and local kind of idea. Mostly a happenstance for some of the distinctions. After all Tunie hardly had clear dorsal and ventral. Although she did have fore twist and aft twist as a directionality to her features.

And if you twisted your mind around to unfold those tightly woven spirals of symmetry you could say there was a kind of ‘ventral-dorsal’ too her.

But it was wholly symmetrical on both sides if you discounted the errant injury or healing section.

Tunie had no differentiation on ventral-dorsal, she was beautifully radial with only a fore-aft differentiation.

In contrast Pylo’s differentiated ventral to dorsal shape was obvious to anyone to experience it.

For sake of sanity Pylo had come to try and think of Down as aftward for the world of Terra.

Because one moves forward.

And Terra was always rushing up to meet you.

But Pylo knew even that was a poor approximation. And it's not like fore-aft differentiation was a given. Tunie had motile elements that lacked that.

But it mostly applied.

But then the Terrans who lived like the scum they were on Terra’s Teeth moved perpendicular to down. And this required a bent posture to match their faces and express.

Which involved constant strain.
Nevermind that moving across Terra under that endless acceleration was really a exercise in frustration. It was like trying to wrestle with the world everywhere you went.

And as one would expect world beasts win if you can’t get out of the way.

Which brings everything back to Pylo’s consideration of down.

And the idea of a cliff.

Upon which the port was perched and ‘below’ her was the lovely shape of tunie merrily exerting herself to match velocity with terra.

The trouble was she had promised to be down there a lot sooner than the janky ‘rail system’ the terrans had erected along the side of the ‘cliff’ to go ‘down’ at a slower pace then Terra’s endless enthusiasm would produce was troubling.

So Pylo was contemplating Down.

And just how fast she would end up hitting the platform that held the pipeline tunie was drinking from.

There was glint in the big beautiful ship’s feathery exterior.

One of the eyes catching Pylo looking over the ledge down at it.

“ ▅▜▂⎌???”

“I was just trying to gauge whether I can just fall down to you... It can’t be comfortable running a burn like that all the time”


“Well what if you detach and then I jump? That way we can meet up along the way at a comfortable clip, instead of you having to strain yourself while these semi-canners get something to crawl me down to you”


“Right I’ll go tell the port authority”

With that pylo began moving to try and find someone with a squawker box Ah there was sone of them. Sitting in one of their sealed chambers full of sweltering nitrogen.

She crawled up the side of the exterior. Already feeling more confident with the freedom of vacuum and the openness. The terran seemed focused on something in front of them, or maybe something streaming in on the aether to that weird cortical array of specialized organs. Hard to say with Terrans.

But most important they had the necessary translator squawker box in the array of weird canner boxes in front of them.

“Excuse me, This is Pylo the visitor, trader and hauler. I wanted to inform you I’m going to be departing momentarily.”

The Terran jolted a little bit then started focusing on first the Squawker box then other boxes around them.”

“I hear you visitor... Um... We were expecting a bit more notice, you managed to get a train down there already?”

“Oh no, I’m just going to let go of the port and meet with my ship. Faster that way”

“Meet up with the ship? Where are you exactly?”

Oh well have to help the unobservant. For having eyes these terrans are so blind.

A few quick raps on the side of the ‘transparent’ plates so that the soup of nitrogen and sundry could carry the vibration.

The terran whirled around to gawk at her, so she smiled all pretty and polite. Not her fault the horribly rude scum person was startled by her even worse.

“Th-they the port master did not do you justice in the briefing... visitor”

Well at least this girl tried to cover the undercurrent of terror well. Nice move. Best to be polite, Pylo nodded and performed a less toothy smile. It actually seemed to help this time.

“Expect an initial heavy draw on the pipeline to my ship shortly followed by a cut off. After that she will stop matching your acceleration and let you drift away”

“Uh... right... um let me just let the pump stations know that... wait you said you were going to JUMP?!”

“My Tunie is much better at catching me gently then your Terra”

The smugness was probably rude, but honestly she had so many little aches and inconveniences from this whole endeavor she was looking forward to finally being free!

“Uh sure but let me just make sure we can track you and-”

Pylo cheered on through the worry wart.

“I’m good bye!”

Then switched over to harmony with Tunie to get everything rolling.

”Tunie Slurp it Up! we got the go-ahead to leave!”

Limb over limb. Grab, grip, fling pull.

Coil limb ready to catch the accelerating face of the platform bunch up limbs and then leap!

Sailing free, constantly compressed and crushed body parts finally unflexing.

Accumulated cramps furling and relaxing.

Never again was pylo going to nap under acceleration like that again!

If they ever come back to Terra they are picking up the cargo adrift instead of docking.

If the idiots haven’t figured out how to manage that by the time they come back around they will just skip the whole stupid mess.

Sailing toward her big beautiful ship. Who was already dropping the burn to start matching velocities. The two of them drifting off together.

Leaving Terra Behind.

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Morgan J Heacock
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