[12] The Pank Bone

If there was one thing Nihlus envied about humans, it was their ability to pinch their cartilaginous noses. Being used to the sweet and sickening scent of the swamp by no means prepared him for the reality of an on-site examination of a bloated corpse, which currently was managing to attract more insect-like life than their three bright LECs put together. He looked down at his sludge-and-who-knows-what-else-covered hands. Perhaps it was for the best. That stuff can’t be too good for his face.

“Pass me the pank bone.”

Here they go again. Nihlus took a deep breath, almost inhaling a minuscule fly, and bent down. The bone was visibly loose–the flesh surrounding it had turned a nice, beautiful, maggoty white, and he had but to gently tug at it before it gave way with a wet squelch. Pinching it between two fingers at arm’s length away, he dropped it in the shallow pan beside Saren. Saren glanced at it out of the corner of his eye.

“Not plank bone. The pank bone is connected to the thigh bone. Pass it on.” With undertone of ‘I can’t believe they didn’t cover obscure salarian biology in boot camp’.

Nihlus searched for something that matched the description. There. Sticking out slightly. Except–

“That one?” He pointed it out. Saren turned a LEC beam in the general direction before nodding. Somewhere in the distance, the drone of the nightlife grew louder.

“Well,” he continued, “I ain’t touching it. It’s… And it wouldn’t work as optical storage, anyway!”

“He knew the social norms outside of salarian space. There’s no other place.” And if you don’t retrieve it in the next thirty seconds, Kryik, I will. Then, I’ll force-feed it to you.

“Yeah, okay…” Can’t argue with that logic. He sighed, and began to wade in the ankle-deep water. “I’d need more light, though.”

The LEC hit his side and landed in the water before he could catch it. He watched it settle within a soft pouf of silt, setting the concentric green ripples alight.

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