Marci did not want to attend the social; she didn’t feel ready. After all, this being human thing was still new to her and the idea of going to an event filled with people was troubling. She had been under the tutelage of her fleet commander for the last two years because he had spent a considerable part of his career studying various alien species and had come to specialize in human behavior. She had grasped Chief Sephiroth’s initial exercise, which involved mastering her shape-shifting; he had a large sculpture in his front room and she spent many hours practicing its curves until he pointed seven claws to the sky indicating prowess. However, Marci did not feel proficient and did her best at every turn to deny that she was as good as Sephiroth said. He was not to be deterred from encouraging her and quickly moved to linguistics and mannerisms; Marci had excelled in accents and idioms back on Osmadia and took to human languages well also. Sephiroth believed the smidgen of Osmadian dialect that Marci couldn’t shake would most likely be mistaken for some exotic human twang and would actually endear her to those she would meet.
Johnny had been checking out the girl at the end of the bar all night. He was juiced, the multiple shots and beers having fueled his confidence as he worked his way through the crowd in order to go speak to her. She had captured the attention of two other guys but Johnny had a plan to break in and capture her attention. Unfortunately he misjudged his level of drunkenness: in his mind he had put out his hand in greeting with the finesse of the gigolo he fancied himself to be, but in fact he had flung his fist swiftly toward Marci’s midsection.
Until the moment she released her fighting appendage and slammed the male human’s head against the edge of the bar, Marci had been doing well; by the reactions from the other two males who had been talking with her for most of the evening, her banter had been witty and her smiles authentic. In a fraction of a second she had severely damaged the third male but in her anger and panic at his unwanted approach, she had shifted through at least 43 shapes in public and finally flashed invisible in order to escape. Fortunately she had remembered not to include fingerprints on the phalanges of the human female shape she’d taken, but nonetheless Chief Sephiroth would not be pleased.
For the 14 March Flash Fiction Chronicles.