Raze slowly raised a single eyebrow as the musky odour touched her senses.
OhÖno. Erm... pretty sure itís a male nowÖ, she thought.
She immediately recognised the scent as similar to mating pheromones used by Falleen and other reptilian-like species.
But perhaps, it has a different meaning where it comes from.
The alien slowly knelt down until it was eye level with her, maybe only two or three inches from her face.
Then again, maybe not. Oh, by the Black Stars! Please donít let it be considering me as a possible mate!
The scent changed. To her keen senses, it became more acidic and thinner than before.
Fear? Itís afraid? Nearly three meters tall and holding a severed head, and itís afraid? Of us? Yeah, right!
It changed againócrisper, more biting.
Frustration? Confusion? Yeah, you and me both, pal.
The fragrance grew heavy for a moment, then began to disperse.
Wondering are you? Wondering what?
Raze took a more critical look at the alien. Large, muscular, heavily armoured--obviously strength was paramount in its culture. Armed, but mostly with melee weapons--battle was also important. Its wound still bled, yet it had readily attacked and killed the stealth-cloaked man--courage must also be held in high esteem. And of course where strength, battle, and courage go, honour must follow. And where there is honour, there isÖ.
Pride. Oh, great. Just great. Another one who wonít give up because of pride. Definitely a male.
Raze figured that the alien had assumed she was the leader, and that the shove he had given her had been a challenge. He was looking for either submission or a fight, and his over-inflated male sense of pride would not allow him to back down.
Raze only had a blaster, and she knew that the alien could slit her throat faster than she could draw on him. She had pride, too, but she was also practical.
She didnít cower. She didnít bow. She didnít take a single step backwards. In her mind, and most likely in his, any of those actions would be a sign of weakness. And although she wasnít as physically strong as the alien, or half of her crew for that matter, she wasnít weak. She was a captain.
Slowly, very slowly, and without flinching or lowering her head, she averted her gaze to the ground for a moment, then she looked over at Ulim, then Zam and John, and lastly Rita, before slowly raising her eyes to look at him solidly once more.
The meaning? I refuse your challenge to me, but I'm not submitting to you in front of my crew.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)