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The Eerily Spectacular Cave Edit

For a short time Blue Tentacles just stared at the rock formations with rapt attention, but then he remembered some of what was bad in his life.
“When I went to study the other students always told me about exciting holidays and caves like this, they made fun of me when I said I’d never seen one.” Blue mumbled, “Dad decided where to spend holidays and dad didn’t like caves.” Purple wrapped a compassionate tentacle round Blue.
“Our holidays were never nice,” Blue continued, “Mother was always crying and nobody would tell us why.”
“I know you haven’t seen a cave like this before, little brother.” Purple commented and tactfully he didn’t mention that many caves reserved for Patricians were far more beautiful than this one in an area where homeless Centaurians gathered. Tactfully also he didn’t say why mother was always crying though all the servants knew, the master regularly went off to the Centaurian equivalent of red light districts leaving mother and the children behind.
“That part of our lives is over now.” Purple added trying to sound cheerful.
“Will they catch us and bring us back?”
“They won’t catch us, we were too fast for them.” Purple tried to sound more confident than he felt, the boy wrapped a tentacle round his head uncomfortably and so Purple distracted him.
“Don’t get miserable, dip that tentacle into the water, you’ll see it’s exciting.”
Gently Purple lowered Blue’s tentacle into the water and for a second time Blue got away from his trouble as he sensed marine animals, some near, some far away.
Purple wanted to say,
“Terrans need special equipment to see what’s going on under water and we can sense it all just by dipping our tentacles into the water.” Purple remembered in time how sensitive Blue was about Terrans and checked himself, Purple just said,
“That’s cool isn’t it?” [1] Again gently Purple directed Blue’s tentacles so he could sense clearly and Blue recovered his composure.
“How did you know that the water is so interesting?” Blue Tentacles asked with the manner expected from a child of the family who wants to find out if a servant has done something wrong, “Have you been sampling Patrician pleasures without permission?”
“No, I would never, do that,” Purple replied, he remembered in time not to add, ‘little master’. Then Purple explained further,
“Frequently I was left to look after the boat while the master’s family or their guests went off to enjoy Patrician recreation and at such times the kinder Patricians sometimes permitted me to immerse my tentacles and sample their pleasures.”
The truth was one of the more frustrating tasks given to slaves was to look after property while the master or friends were out enjoying themselves. Yes at such times temptation to break the monotony by dipping tentacles into water or whatever could become impossible to resist. When Purple was alone looking after a boat in Patrician water he habitually immersed his tentacles and found out if there was anything interesting going on underwater. Sometimes Purple had permission but he would do it anyway, that didn’t harm the master and Purple knew of no chauffeur who wouldn’t do it. Diplomatically Purple changed the subject,
“That should be interesting,” Purple said, “see those Torpedo Hunters chasing a group of Sea Squids.”
“Do you think the Sea Squids will get away?” Blue asked.
“I don’t know, the Torpedo Hunters can swim faster but the Sea Squids are more intelligent.”
The two Centaurians watched as the Sea Squids dashed for crevices and gaps in the rocks where the Torpedo Hunters hopefully couldn’t follow them, some made it to safety but others found themselves in small hollows and dead ends where the Torpedo Hunters could pick them off. Purple watched captured Sea Squids that struggled futilely as the hunters firmly held them. Was it his imagination or could Purple sense the helpless terror in the Sea Squids?

Purple went back into the sub to check how much nearer the slave catchers were to them, he drew his tentacles in with fright as the radar showed him another submarine just out of range of his senses but clearly approaching them. Purple cut out the light, prepared his sub to dive and called to Blue Tentacles,
“Come back in at once, they’re after us!”

Footnotes

  1. It’s not clear how Centaurians can sense underwater, they may detect electric fields and magnetic fields through a Lateral line as some fishes and cephalopods do on Earth or Centaurians may detect distant objects through sonar as whales and dolphins do on Earth. Perhaps on this distant planet in a foreign planetary system life forms have evolved senses that are totally unknown to biologists on Earth. However it was done Purple and Blue could tell in some detail what was happening quite a distance away.

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