Description: While travelling among the stars your computer picks up an active distress beacon located near your position. As you arrive on scene you find out a spacecraft that is full of passengers are stranded due to a massive engine failure. Will you help them out or will you "Help them out"?
Getting the distress signal, Tomo didn't hesitate to stop his ship nearby and see what was going on. It might have been some kind of space bandit trap, but if so they picked the wrong target. But giving the benefit of the doubt as he usually did, he didn't worry about whether that might be the case or not. He just wanted to help.
Stopping near the slowly floating ship he called over on the radio, connecting on their ship. "This is Tomoshibi, Tomo to friendly faces. I'm here to offer assistance. Can you tell me what the problem is? Over." He asked, before flicking off his side of the transmission to let their reply through.
"Engine failure, Tomo. Thanks for the help. Who knows how long we might be stuck out here without help. Can you offer assistance, sir?" Came a feminine voice over the radio. "Over."
"I'll do what I can, but unless you have spare material I am not sure I can do much for your engine in the middle of space," Tomo replied. "I think the best thing I can do for you and your crew is to attach a cable and tow your vehicle to the next nearest pit stop. Does that sound alright? Over."
"More than fine. Do we have permission to come aboard your vessel? Do you have enough room for all of us? We have six people on board including myself. Over." Replied the woman.
"It might be a little snug, but I have the room for all of you. Just not enough beds. But it should be fine since it's only a few hours to the next pit stop. No time to get uncomfortable." He said simply. "Over."
"We are coming aboard then Tomo. Please open up the airlock and let us in. Over." And the radio went quiet after that while Tomo opened the airlock.
Letting them inside he viewed them through the camera in the airlock. Once one of them waved at the camera he started to close the door outside, sealing the ship once more before the internal doors open and the group made their way inside.
The group was interesting to Tomo. He was unsure how to describe them though they appeared like a cross with lizards and amphibians perhaps. Short flat faces, with harns on their heads and four eyes. Slim, scaly, and sharp. Very angular. "Thanks for the help." The female over the radio said approaching Tomo and offering a handshake.
"Not at all, happy to help." He said taking her hand to shake it. "I never got your name though." He said looking up at her. She was nearly a foot taller than he was.
"I am Arleen. I suppose we better just settle in till we reach the next stop? Mind if I sit up here with you till we get there?" Having a seat once Tomo gave permission and sighed.
Tomo moved the ship so that the back of it was facing the ship that Arleen had just come off of. After that activated the mag clamps which shot out from the back of his ship to attach themselves to the front of Arleen's. Once firmly latched he reeled the ship in before starting to pull forward. They were on their way.
Looking over to Arleen he took her in a bit more. Her skin was a bright blue. Tomo hummed. "So mind if I ask a bit about you and your people, Arleen? I've never seen your kind before, so I am quite interested."
"Oh, certainly! We are Toridians, from the planet Toridia. Our people are primarily water-based. The planet is at least ninety-five percent water." She said before lifting her neck to show gills. "We primarily swim, but we do have the ability to glide short distances as well." She said before lifting her arms to show a thin membrane that could be used for short gliding paths.
"Impressive. Are you the only intelligent life on your planet?" Tomo asked after, which Arleen shook her head at.
"There are a few intelligent species on Toridia besides us. However, we are the primary species. Though the other species are believed to be distant cousins and so share some genetics with us, only varying in form. Like some of them have longer faces, or event tentacles and shells. Some of us share more in common with crustaceans than amphibians." She explained.
"Interesting. And this is a human judgment on my part. But are you female? Your voice at least sounds feminine, so I think of you as female, but can't be sure how accurate that is." Tomo mused.
Arleen just laughed for a moment before shaking her head. "Not exactly. My race is hermaphroditic. So we are technically neither entirely male nor female by the standards of most mammalian species." She explained, and Tomo was glad she did not seem offended by his suggestion.
He supposed it was because he was at least half right. "So is there a preference for how I should refer to your species sex? Does it even matter to you?" He asked wondering.
"Oh, well since there is only a single-sex on our planet we do not usually need to separate ourselves when it comes to language, though we understand it due to our contact with other worlds and species..." She pondered. "In this case, I do not believe it matters. If you wish to think of me as something exhibiting mostly feminine traits, then referring to me as female is fine, though not accurate. If this bothers any of my people I imagine they would mention it to you, though it seems unlikely. There is no dichotomy in our species when it comes to sex after all." She explained simply.
He nodded to her. "Well, I am glad that it's of no harm or concern to you then. I would respect your wishes if you had any such thoughts. But as you do not, then thinking of you as being female is simply easier to my mind, so long as there is no offense taken." He said offering a soft smile.
"None at all." She smiled back. "I suppose that in contrast, you would consider yourself male?" She asked in return.
"I do, although technically I am not sure I can say that I am... I'm a machine. I identify as a male, though my sex is literally constructed. So nothing is really stopping me from changing my sex at any time if I wish to. Although calling it sex isn't exactly accurate either I suppose... I experience pleasure as I was programmed to. But I cannot reproduce. I suppose that everything I experience in that sense is a construct of my reality." He mused, though doing so was almost painful.
Arleen reached over to pat his shoulder. "Strange, but interesting. I can't say I care what you are though, I am just glad to have met a kind person like yourself willing to help a stranger. Maybe this is the only time we ever meet, however, I am grateful for your assistance. I don't care what you are, who you are is wonderful." She said with sincere sweetness.
"Thank you. I appreciate the kind words, and for telling me a bit about yourself and your people. I sincerely hope this will not be the last time we meet each other. Your company has been most welcome, even if it was only for a short time." Tomo offered.
"Well, if you wish to stay in contact I would give you my communication information. Call on me any time you wish to talk if that's the case and hope that we may meet again one day." She offered.
"I would like that." He agreed before handing her a communication device she could use to sink up to his information with her own for future contact. Once that was done handing it back to him, where he put it away, for now, intent on adding it to his internal communication device later, but happy to have her information stored in his ship's memory for now at least.
Their time together was growing short as time passed, flying through space at a steady pace towards a place where Arleen could get her ship fixed for her crew. Tomo landed on the moon orbiting some great green planet. A space station that had been built here to help shit with fueling and repairs apparently.
Dropping the ship off at a proper mechanic Tomo gave his goodbyes to Arleen and her crew. Watching her as she went, before turning to get back into the pilot seat once she and her crew were settled outside. He truly hoped to see her again some day. Their meeting was only brief, but he thought he'd met a very kind and open soul. She seemed very accepting of everything, and he could appreciate that. She didn't mind what we were at all, accepting him for what he wanted to be easy. Whatever he was, she had continued to treat him as a person.