Challenge #02238-F048: The Scale EconomysteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  2 months ago


Being tall means either not being able to see things under a certain height, or constantly looking down and getting a hunch. -- Anon Guest

Here's the thing about Standard Galactic Spaces - they're big. They're made for accessibility for all known cogniscents, from the size of a Terran Terrier through Jelly Dancer swarm to that of a Synapsian Titan. It's easy to forget that there are smaller species who don't see a reason why they have to accommodate others in their ship design. They are, after all, the only people they expect to be on their own ships.

That was true. Until the Galactic Alliance had the bright idea of the Officer Exchange Program. Until recently, the Galactic Alliance didn't have a unified fleet with a unified design, and many peoples were against creating such basic homogeneity. Galactic Standards fit for measurement, for living standards, for describing when and how a cogniscent needed assistance... but it was not, they insisted, for ships that would help protect and serve their allies.

It was the Humans who came up with the Exchange Program as a means of creating avenues of greater understanding amongst the Alliance and other assorted polities who saw this as a means of enforcing the point vis-a-vis standard fleet vessel design. This is also why Human Vann is working out how to get anywhere in a V'rinithi-made vessel.

Cogniscent life depends entirely on how much intelligence and brain space the evolutionary process can pack into a supporting body mass. Some use hive-minds like the aforementioned Jelly Dancers, others can mass anywhere between nineteen and three hundred and ten pounds. The V'rinithi, unfortunately for Human Vann, are on the smaller end of that scale.

Human Vann had given up on duck-waddling and, with the help of knee pads and bracers, was scuttling through the corridors of the Interesting Scent as quickly as she could on all fours. The V'rinithi were doing their best to ease her access to various places, but that still left a lot of the Scent literally out of her reach. It also left a lot of V'rinithi diving for any given refuge whenever Human Venn had to get through.

On away missions, they tended to use her as a combination means of transport, beast of burden, and difficult sample obtainer. Human Venn simply loved the opportunity to stretch, and tolerated being balled up in the cargo hold if it meant getting out and having freedom of movement.

It also meant she had to take her meals lying on her stomach or via a long and bendy straw.

Every day, it was the same thing...

"Hey, cap'n?"

"No, Human Vann. There is no further news on the newest, all-access design for V'rinithi vessels. As I'm sure you already knew."

Now that enlightened self-interest had entered the picture, the good news was that all Allies were scrambling to meet accommodation standards as set by the Alliance.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / TsuneoMP]

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