Doing the Wrong Thing
There are two aerial prime species: Zi Ri and Khtsoyis. But there is a third species that is fairly likely to be found at the tops of trees, and that is Herethroy. Some of them like to climb, and I imagine that with six arms and legs they are half again better at it than the four-limbed peoples.
(Actually, Sleeth are fairly adept at climbing, what with innate Ruloc Corpador levitation and all, and they like to jump and climb as well. So I suppose I might see my lab partner in a tree at some point as well.)
In any case, the one in the yilliat tree in the little park on the edge of campus was Dustweed, not Rhedwy.
Me:"Hallo, Dustweed. What has treed you today?"
Me:"You treed yourself?"
Dustweed:[smiling a bit]"More or less. I have decided to mope about mundane things on the ground, and about abstractions and other etherealities when I am higher up."
Me:[landing next to zir]"What is the Mope du Jour?"
Dustweed:"Nothing unusual. Wondering if I should leave Tethezai."
Me:"Oh, dear. Over that Herethroy boy?"
Dustweed:"Not that. It doesn't hurt anymore; and the next will hurt less; and the one after less still. In any case that is a topic for moping about under a flowering bush, not in a tree, by my new rule. "
Me:"I suppose I am starting to see the use of the new rule... Why then?"
Dustweed:"You may have noticed that she is a Rassimel...?"
Me:"Not of my own observation, but I had heard such in rumors. And mutterings of gossip. And innuendoes -- especially innuendoes, now that I think of it."
Dustweed:"And you bay have noticed that I am a Herethroy...?"
Me:"What, you, a Herethroy? Oh, by seven staring gods! Who could imagine it! ... "
Dustweed:"Sythyry, I shall conceal it no longer -- I am a veritable six-limbed hard-shelled beantennaed Herethroy. And now you know."
Me:"Dustweed, you can't be that upset, can you, if you're using court styling of your words."
Dustweed:"Oh, I'm not upset at all. I just have to have this conversation with myself every week or month."
Me:"Oh, about if you are really transaffectionate? Sometimes you have that one with me, too. "
Me:"How is the decision of the day?"
Dustweed:"Humiliating, as usual."
Me:"That's too bad!"
Dustweed:"Not at all. Humiliating that, well, my ... heart (let us say) responds so eagerly to her ... smile (let us say). The other choice would be wrenching: much worse. In any case I am well used to humiliation."[Zie indicated zir midriff.]
Me:"Humiliating that you are transaffectionate, wrenching that you are leaving your first love? That can't be pleasant, Dustweed."
Dustweed:"It's not my favorite mope, Sythyry. You can see why I prefer not to dirty the bedroom with it anymore. Well, that and the bedroom reminds me of her a little. Up her it doesn't."
Me:"I wish you could settle this mope for all time. You've got the status to sleep with whoever you like, in any case."
Dustweed:"Yes and no. I'm country, not city, and that's not really good behaviour in a Herethroy village. And even a city noble can sleep with whoever zie wants, but actually falling in love isn't really right."
Me:"That's how it is? I must admit that I haven't checked on the full rules. Even the sleeping-with part seems a bit challenging now."
Dustweed:"If you must mope about that, find your own yilliat tree. This one is consecrated to the consummated."
Me:"You really don't sound very mopey today."
Dustweed:"Good, for I am just a little bit mopey. This was a scheduled mope, after all. That kind is always gentler than the spontaneous, impromptu thunderstorm of a mope."
Dustweed:"Meditation, perhaps. I promised myself that I would think each week about why I am doing whatever I am doing with Tethezai, and make sure I like the answer well enough to keep doing it."
Me:"That's ... you're a very organized sort of pervert."
Dustweed:"Oh, I learned it from Tethezai. She's got all sorts of booklets and charts and graphs and suchlike. Very Rassimel!"
Dustweed:[laughing]"No. She just falls in love or lust a lot. Anyways, I think this mope's gotten all spoiled, so I'm going back to the ground now."
Dustweed:"Nothing ruins a perfectly good mope like a bit of laughing."
And zie climbed down, and we parted ways until the eveningtime when, well, zie stopped at home to eat before going out with zir still-a-girlfriend.