The Great Galactic Bleah

A Warped Tales Entry …

A human’s need to be pampered is probably without rival in the known universe. We put on airs of drive and ambition but we always fall prey to the little luxuries that life has to offer and the more exotic they are the more we want them, no matter what.

Planet DodddodnthinTintag was know as the spa planet and for good reason. The whole planet seems to have been designed as a steam bath with its volcanic activity and hot mineral springs. But the planets occupants were the driving force behind the whole phenomenon.

The doD’s are a very pleasant race and from First Contact they were more than accommodating to any visitor to their planet. In fact they went out of their way to make everyone feel welcome and when they learned how humans and other aliens enjoyed being pampered by touch, a thriving business was born.

The doD’s are somewhat humanoid in appearance and bipedal but that is where the similarities ends. They have some of the characteristics of Earth’s cephalopods in that their skin is very smooth and they can, as their mood changes, alter the color and texture of their skin sometimes with a surprising almost kaleidoscopic effect. They have no bones except for one cuttlefish like bone in their back. While they do have what appears to be two legs they are more like a caterpillar as they move by undulating the base of each leg’s foot pad. Their arms are double segmented but their unique hands are the center of attention and the reason for their fame across the universe.

Their hands have three finger like appendages and an opposable thumb like nub. They have no bones in their hands but like the rest of their body they are powerfully muscular. The palms have a suction like ability with microscopic cilium structures similar to the feet of Earth’s geckos. If that’s not enough they are able to make the thumb like appendage vibrate.

A massage from a doD is unquestionably the best personal experience and more than one person has said that you will literally melt like butter under their care.

They have a unique ability to sense with their hands the underlying musculature, human or alien, and then in concert with their ability to suction the skin they can pull and release all the tension from your body. Add a vibrating thumb to mix and there is literally nothing like it anywhere else in the known universe. Their fame spread fast and it wasn’t long before the entire planet was turned into one giant spa.

Massage was not their only specialty as they soon included typical services like body wraps, aromatherapy, and skin care to mention only a few.

Skin care by the doD’s was second only to massage because the doDs had an almost magical ability to heal most all common skin ills. Acne, scars, dry skin, oily skin, etc. Their unique hands are able to manipulate skin in ways that was not fully understood.

But it was skin care that created all the ruckus several years ago and threatened to shut down the spa business on the entire planet.

It all started one day when a customer (who happened to be an engineer) was waiting for his session in a massage waiting room when he casually scanned the room while tweaking his Generational Scanner (GenScan). He found that the tall glass liquid filled containers that seemed to be part of the decor returned an identifier as human. When he scanned the rest of the containers they each returned identifiers from different alien species. Of course that peaked his interest but when he questioned his doD massage therapist and he became evasive about the purpose of the liquid filled containers it only fired up his curiosity.

When the engineer returned to his ship he ran a full diagnostic on the GenScan data and was even more puzzled by the results. The material in the containers was a combination of human skin oils and skin cells from thousands of humans. The other containers returned similar results but from many different alien species. He shared his findings with several of his friends who in turn shared it with others and the flash point was set. Rumors started to fly and the doD’s did nothing to quell the speculation. In fact their refusal to respond to or even acknowledge the concerns only fed more fuel to the growing fire.

Soon the spa business on DodddodnthinTintag began to suffer as many customers, human and alien alike canceled appointments by the thousands. It came to a head when several cruise ship lines ceased offering trips to DodddodnthinTintag. Several planets even when so far as to ban travel to DodddodnthinTintag.

When talks of blockading the planet began to circulate the doD’s finally relented and called a press conference.

On the day of conference it seemed that everyone one in the known Universe was channeled in waiting to hear what dark secret the doD’s would reveal. What were they doing with this material taken without permission from the thousands of visitors to their planet? What trust did they betray and what was their hidden agenda?

The reporters that gathered in the cramped room waiting for the press conference all had theories that they shared with each other as they waited for the doD representatives to appear. When the doD’s entered the room they were followed by a well known Earth PR specialist and you could hear the reporters began to grumble about how this was about to turn into a whitewash with nothing to do with the truth.

Something that many people, human and alien alike had missed about the doD’s was their quiet nature. In fact most never heard a doD speak more than a couple of words at most as they were more interested in being pampered. When the doD spokesman slowly caterpillar crawled to the podium and spoke only three words “Sorry, oil rare” everyone was puzzled and waiting for more.

The reporters started throwing pointed questions at the doD but he just slowly turned and padded back to his seat. As the cries for answers grew to almost pandemonium the PR rep took to the podium and admonished the crowd until they quieted down.

“I have a statement to read that will clear the air” he announced.

“First and most important the doD’s are a non-verbal species. The vocalization you have just heard from the doD representative is the limit of his ability to vocalize. They have no way to easily physically vocalize but each doD has taken it upon themselves to learn at least some vocalization so as to be able to interact with their customers. What you are actually hearing is them manipulating their skin to envelop a small amount of air that they then basically whistle the words you hear. Most everyone has been unaware of this fact because of the excellent personal services the doD’s offer where no verbal interaction is required.

The doD’s communicate with each other visually by manipulating their skin color and texture and with their vibrating thumb appendage. Their non-response to the questions and accusations was not intentional but due to a misunderstanding on how they communicate.

Oil on DodddodnthinTintag is very rare and is only found in a few species of some clam like sea creatures and in the doD’s themselves. It is so rare on the planet that they collect it with the same reverence as some of you may have collected precious metals on your own planet.

Oil is a gift they give each other and the collection of it is part of their mating rituals. They collect it from small glands on their backs and store it for use at a later date. When the first visitors to the planet observed this ritual they assumed it was massage. The doD’s unable to verbally articulate the purpose of these rituals were overwhelmed by the visitors offer of their oil rich bodies.

When visitors to their planet allowed the doD’s access to their bodies it was assumed that they were granted permission to collect the oil.

At no time did the doD’s intend to hide this fact or acquire the oil without permission as they believed they were already granted permission by the simple act of offering your body to be touched by a doD.

The doD’s wish to apologize to anyone that feels that they were in some way deceived by their actions and hope that this will not prevent future visits. To better promote an understanding all oil collection will only be done with the express permission from the client.

When the PR man finished reading the statement all the reporters were quiet and somewhat reflective, but only for a moment until one reporter’s voice broke the silence and asked that one question.

“What do the doD’s do with the oil?” He asked

The PR guy started to speak but you could see that he hesitated for just a second, perhaps to better formulate his answer and then he responded.

“Because oil on the planet is so rare the dodD’s have been quite overwhelmed by the amounts they have been able to collect since First Contact. Before that the amount of oil they collected from each other was so small that they only used it as part of a special and very infrequent ritual. Now that oil is more abundant they perform those rituals more frequently.” he said

“But how do they use the oil in those rituals?” asked the same reporter.

This time you could see that the PR guy appeared to be a little uncomfortable as he grabbed the podium with both hands and said.

“Ah, they use the oil to cook eTuesses with” he replied

As you may already know, eTuesses are the ever present bowls of what most assumed were crispy snacks that are found everywhere on DodddodnthinTintag, like the bowls of peanuts you would find at a bar. No one questioned them because they were delicious and everyone just assumed…

You have to give credit to the reporters for their quiet calm at that moment or perhaps it was just taking a little while for their brains to process what was just said. Several of them very quietly moved towards the nearest trash receptacles to dispose of their half eaten eTuesses. An incredulous voice from the back of the room yelled out “You mean they use the oil to cook their snacks with?”

The PR guy responded with a subtle nod and the room exploded with laughter. Those who were still holding an eTuesses now raised it to their eyes and looked at it a little closer before they too dumped it in the nearest trash bin.

“Ah” the PR guy continued “and the eTuesses aren’t exactly snacks either”

Everyone in the room froze in place and several reporters replied in unison “What do you mean they aren’t snacks, what are they?”

“It’s a protein” he hesitantly offered

“A protein?” one of the reporters asked weakly

“Both the oil collection and eTuesses are part of their mating rituals” he replied

“Ah jeeze you’re not saying what I think your saying” one reported replied

“The eTuesse is a protein that is collected from the male during the mating ritual and “fried” in the oil, it is then placed in an offering bowl” he continued

“It was never intended as a snack, it is an offering to their fertility gods. They are, as everyone knows are just so accommodating, they just didn’t want to upset their guests” he added

Well as you already know the secret of the doD’s created only a minor inconvenience for business on the planet because it only took a month for customers to line up again for massages and skin treatments. Some enterprising cruise lines set up orbiting restaurants because it was pretty much a given that you don’t eat anything on planet DodddodnthinTintag.