(continued)

Planet: Buluakey

City: Kualtal Capital

And so it had gone for nearly two hours, the Canin knocking back one shot of potent liquor known as Murtan’s Tongue, a fiery yet sweet drink that was harvested from the sweat glands of a Mirseyan glass mole and combined with several fragrances and spices native to Buluakey. The resulting concoction was something that only those with the strongest of constitutions would dare drink, and among the Kulah it was quite a delicacy. Nal had ended buying nearly a dozen bottles before it had become evident that the Canin had been starting to show obvious signs of being defeated.

Kulah’s and their drinking habits were well known, and by the time the Canin had started in with the insults to Nal, to the Kulah, and to their world in general, his clawed digits had been seeking out each shot as though the wolfish creature had gone blind, stumbling through the discarded glasses, some of which had been removed since they’d needed to be cleaned and used again. Nal had watched patiently, his normally yellow skin having turned bright shades of violet in many areas. Despite this he’d been feeling pretty good, and might have even suggested to the Canin that he needed to consider stopping.

But the arrogant creature had needed a lesson in manners, and if he could have done so without violence then Nal was determined, at that time, to do so.

“You, you can’t, can’t drinnkk, outdrrrnk, a Cannnin,” the spacefarer had said, slurring each word as he’d gone on, “Kulah’re, jus’, jus’ purple sacs of, of pus, you don’t, (urp) matter. No one, reshpects, th’ Kuulaah,” the Canin had laughed at his poor attempt at an insult, but no one in the bar had been laughing at that time. Nal’s usually reserved smile had even slipped at this point, and he’d been ready to end the contest. But he wasn’t about to forfeit.

“Quit should now you,” Nal said with a nod, “Drunk I barely am. Have lost you.”

“Whaaat?” the Canin had said with a throaty chuckle, “Can’t, unnershtan’ you, bighead, one-eyed…..”

At this Nal had bristled, for he’d known what was coming and knew that the Canin would regret it if any in the bar took offense, as he’d been inclined to do. If there was one thing that the Kulah didn’t care to be called, it was that one word. They could withstand pretty much any insult without violence, but for some reason the word “freak” simply set off even the most gentle among their race.

“Say do it not,” Nal almost growled, his single eye narrowing dangerously as he felt his grip upon his next shot tighten.

The Canin had bared his teeth at Nal yet again, leaning close as the alcohol on his breath had wafted forward in a great wash of spirits and something like rotted meat.

“Or what,” the Canin leered, “will you do? Freak?”

Things got a little messy after that.

(to be continued)

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