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    72nd Day, Year 135 of Helan Phorro Xamium

  He came back early before the first sunrise today. I was in the laboratory about to stop my experiments and go to sleep, when Moloj Phorro ran in and told me Randee reappeared on the navigational bridge. When we both got to the entrance of the bridge, Zalhang was telling the guardians to stop gawking and move out of the way. As they made room for us, Tonglok Phorro walked up to me and said that there was more than just one human in the room.

  When I entered, I saw Randee on the communications station, this time accompanied by a few other humans. Then, two other humans climbed out from the opening in the station, carrying a black pack on each of their person. These two looked different from the others. The others wore varying styles of footwear, long leg garments of different colour and wear, upper garments of different styles and arm sleeve length, and headgear. Meanwhile, the two that came out were uniform in style choice, each with white long sleeve and short leg garments, white footwear, and a sort of vertically oblong-shaped, cloth-covered helmet, with a sash wrapped around and held in place by a buckle. Both then turned back to the opening and pulled out two more humans, who each appeared to be wrapped in a long white garment and wore a white truncated cone on top of their heads.

  As I approached, all the humans turned to face me and chattered amongst each other excitedly. When I got close, they all bowed to me as they cursed. I’m afraid Zalhang's verbal slip from earlier has spread and is now permanent for them. Randee then stepped forward and introduced each of his friends. I do not remember any of their names. That is another thing Tonglok Phorro has when he gives his favorite visiting examiners those pet monikers; no need to remember any of these human’s real names.

  Once Randee finished, Randee pointed at the two helmeted ones, then pointed at his eyes before then pointing at the flight controls. I deduced he meant those two humans were here and wanted to look at the controls, so I took the two over to said controls. Soon as I placed them down at the entrance of the control’s opening, they took off the packs on their backs and rummaged through them until they took out tablets that looked very much like those used by the examiners we were familiar with. Both humans entered the flight controls and began copying images just like them too, so these two must be another variant of examiner. From here on to clarify, I will refer to the enviro-suit examiners as ‘suited examiners’ and these other ones as ‘helmeted examiners.’

  Waiting for the two helmeted examiners to finish, the other humans were helped down from the station to the floor. The rest of the crew came into the bridge, with Champion Zalhang making sure he was in the way of the entranceway so no human could wander around the vessel. Most of the other crew kept themselves fascinated and entertained by watching the creatures, as Tonglok Phorro spent time communicating to Randee, trying out some new words and gestures he learned from the suited examiners and attempting to teach more of our words. The ununiformed humans moved about the room exploring, vocalizing to each other, and copying images of their surroundings. The two cone wearers on the other hand did not move around too often, never separated and mostly talked to each other.

  The two would speak to others occasionally. They would go to one of the crew, whether it was me or one of the others, and boisterously speak to us in their language before seemingly expressing disappointment for us not reacting in some way we do not understand. I had to have a stern tone with Zalhang when he scared away the cone wearers from him as they approached where he stood. They would speak to only one specific human out of the others. This one seemed to be losing hair on his head and had one of his hands bandaged. His mannerisms were subservient when speaking to the cone wearers, yet more an equal to his fellow ununiformed humans.

  The helmeted examiners exited the flight controls and made their way to the cone wearers, which drew the attention of Randee and his ununiformed friends. Randee and his group gathered off to the side, while the ones all in white talked. One cone wearer called over the balding one from Randee’s group and told him something when he arrived, and then he ran back to Randee’s group and told them something. Randee’s group then told him something else, which he would then run back to the cone wearers to tell. This would repeat itself for a good segment of time. It appeared the balding one was acting as a diplomatic agent. Did these two different groups have a tenuous alliance? Was it a hierarchal tradition where the priesthood would not talk directly to commoners, like with some kingdoms back on Irrdnis? This dynamic interests me and I would like to find a way to study it more.

  Finally, Randee walked up to me as I bent down to observe better. From what I could decipher, they needed to leave to get parts for the ship. With that, I helped them up to the communications station opening where they left.

  After the day’s first sunrise came, the Window of Symbols on the small hill flashed its request for another tribute. I ordered a ferry token to be placed in the circle outside. Guardian Horskul did the exchange this time, but when she placed it down in the circle, a sadness symbol showed instead of the usual happiness symbol. She picked up the ferry token and placed it in the circle again. Once again, sadness symbol. She turned to the viewport we were viewing out of for guidance, but she could not see us, so she had to solve it for herself. She then picked up the token, pulled out an emergency fire-starting kit from her belt rig, and places that in the circle. Happiness symbol shows, large whirler appears, the item gets loaded onboard and the whirler flies away. This is the first time they discriminated against one of our offers. If this becomes a common occurrence, we may not be able to buy as much time as originally thought.

  Later, I told Moloj Phorro to remove all paneling from the front of the communications station to help make transportation for our friendly humans easier. Our main priority is to repair the vessel to leave when ready. Sacrificing an already broken means to communicate with the crew and our home world would be worth it.

  I hope our little friends make it back soon.

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fsarbolaez

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