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Undocumented Buttons

Undocumented Buttons

"Globtroq, what are these buttons for?" asked the spindly Ognimalf named Bert, holding the pilot chair upside-down to his obese Adnap buddy, Globtroq. The unlikely duo owned a run-down repair shop for small spacecraft in the remote corners of the galaxy. Their business was far from glamorous; in fact, they spent most of their days fiddling with spaceships that had been acquired in rather dubious ways.

Globtroq looked at the buttons: two green, two pink, one grayish. They were cleverly concealed beneath the obviously human pilot chair.

“Dunno…” Globtroq mumbled, reaching towards the buttons.

"Hell no, don't touch them!" Bert shrieked, pulling the chair away. "Last time you pressed an undocumented button in a human spaceship, you emptied the entire septic tank into our garage!"

“Uhm, sorry, instinct…” grunted the portly Globtroq “Never seen such buttons. Don’t know.”

Bert held the chair overhead, turned it around, then put it under the examination lamp and used the sonic scanner on it, looking for clues.

"This doesn't make sense," he snorted in annoyance. "No labels, no cables. What are these buttons for?"

The stubby Globtroq climbed on top of table and peered at the pilot chair. “Dunno… but they hid them well. Must be something very special. You know how humans are. Always doing something incredible stupid in a brilliant way or something brilliant in an incredible stupid way.”

Meanwhile Bert flipped through the printed manual, gasping in frustration. "Crap! This manual is printed in 24 different human languages, and I can't read a single one of them. Globtroq, get me a dictionary."

…ten hours later...

"...and this button controls the windshield wiper speed," Bert finished, tossing the manual annoyed into a corner.

Globtroq, scratching his fluffy behind, asked cluelessly, "Uh, Bert, I dozed off, did they mention anything about those buttons?"

“NOTHING!” squeaked Bert “They fucking wrote NOTHING about buttons under the pilots chair!”

"That's odd," Globtroq shrugged.

“That’s not odd, that’s steaming Nacluv Shit!” a pretty pissed Bert snorted. Then he declared, holding the thick manual in his hand, "I'm going to translate the entire manual until I find out what these buttons are for!"

"That's only the Quick-start Manual," Globtroq dryly stated, lifting a massive box filled with thousands of pages onto the table.

The spindly Ognimalf suddenly grasped the enormity of the task before him, and the vibrant pink in his feathers faded away...

…six days later…

Bert's feathers had turned almost grayish as he studied the endless stack of manuals in front of him. His annoyed brooding was interrupted when Globtroq startled him by entering without knocking. As usual.

"Globtroq, what the... who is that alien?" Bert asked, pointing at a newcomer.

The fatty pointed back at his companion and replied dryly, “I found a human. It is a human pilot chair. A human should know about the buttons. Human, that spindly dude is Bert. Bert is not his real name but I am unable to pronounce his real name. Bert, that is human.”

The human let out an amused chuckle and nodded at the spindly Ognimalf. "Hey there, I'm Max. Well, that's not my full name either, but Globtroq can't wrap his tongue around..."

Max couldn't finish his sentence as Bert interrupted him, exclaiming, "Oh, by the feather gods! A human! I was going bonkers! Look, we've got this pilot chair from a human spaceship, and it has buttons that are nowhere to be found in any documentation. We've been at it for nearly a week, and…"

"Hold on, buddy. I'm just a tourist; I know zilch about piloting a spaceship..." Max explained. However, seeing the color drain from Bert's feathers, he felt a pang of sympathy for the alien avian. "...but hey, I'll take a look and see what I can see, alright?"

Globtroq happily led Max to the chair and showed him the buttons, while Bert looked at the ceiling and wallowed in despair.

“Uhm, I have an assumption” Max stated “can I visit the cockpit for a moment?”

A sulking Bert and an overjoyed Globtroq led him into the small cockpit, where Max promptly opened the glove compartment, retrieved something, asking, “You wouldn’t mind if I take one of these human snacks?”

Bert just continued sulking while Globtroq happily took one of the small snacks offered by Max.

"Tasty," Globtroq remarked.

Max nodded in agreement and returned to the pilot chair “Cherry flavor. A bit past its prime, but still good.”

Bert reluctantly followed, trying to sulk as hard as possible.

And then, to everyone's surprise, Max spat out his snack and pressed it alongside the other buttons under the pilot's chair. It stuck.

“Gentlebeings.” Max announced dramatically, "the individual who sold you this heap of junk was a downright repulsive being. These buttons? They're dried-up globs of chewing gum."

--- The End ---