Jonesy shuffled along the corridor, cursing the heavy gravity and low lighting. The environment was not designed with humans in mind.
The job had seemed a dream come true for a young man fresh out of college. “See the Galaxy!” they said. And he was definitely seeing a lot. Vast alien civilizations… landscapes of intense foreign beauty… exotic foods…
And in between these brief excursions, he spent long hours or even days in space stations and star liners that did their best to accommodate the diversity of sentient species that inhabited the galaxy.
This particular station was humid and hot. His suit stuck uncomfortably to his skin. Apparently the races that frequented this particular part of space liked it that way. They also liked seaweed. At least he thought that’s what had been in the carton he bought at the shuttle concourse…
He stopped to check his hotel’s address again. He had to hunt through a list of alien scripts before he found one in Linguish. Apparently, he was heading in the right direction, but still had a ways to go.
Individual smells didn’t bother him. It was when they all combined, like baloney on a banana split , that he started feeling nauseated. None of the smells were even remotely human.
The sounds weren’t human either. His ears automatically tuned out the ever-present babble of alien languages. It was a skill that didn’t need to be taught. Like learning a foreign language by immersing oneself in the culture, he had immersed himself in every culture all at once. His ears rebelled and his brain created its own coping mechanism.
Taking a deep breath, Jonsey forged onward.
He kept up with the crowd, knowing that the sooner he reached the hotel, the sooner he could rest. Most places didn’t even have chairs that were comfortable for humans.
He did a double take, freezing in place while the crowd flowed around him. Turning around, he joined the flow in the opposite direction until he reached the opening to what looked like a bar.
And smelled like a bar.
And sounded like a bar! Not only were there a few other humans inside, there was an actual band on stage, singing not even in Linguish but in actual English! It was an ancient folk song, but it was an old one, and he knew it well.
He had to stop himself from hugging the bartender, he was so happy to sit down on a cushioned stool made perfectly to fit his species’ ass and drink something that he didn’t have to first check wasn’t poisonous to his metabolism.
He was home. Or at least as close to it as he was going to come for the next four months.
This story is unrelated to anything else I’ve written. It’s my response to the Write On Edge Prompt that had a song, and travelling, and senses, and… well, it’s hard to describe lol! Concrit would be great.