It was very easy for me to get distracted when working in a spaceport, getting caught up in the sensory delights that it provided; the constant hum of background voices intermixed with frequent multilingual travel announcements, and the continuous flow of air being shunted about by moving bodies as they hurried from one terminal to the next. Then there were the smells these travellers carried with them; the scents of refreshments and stimulants, fresh excitement and sweaty exhaustion.
But alas, I wasn’t here to enjoy all of the interesting sights and sounds – rather, the creatures creating them. Few galactic environments offered a better cross-section of alien life than a spaceport; they were the hubs between solar systems and planets, necessary stopovers that travellers had to pass through. As a xenologist, this was both my playground and my observatory – I could watch, interpret and visually dissect their biology, their culture, and their behaviour. And more importantly, I enjoyed myself while doing it.
Today was no different; the ‘typical’ array of alien species were making their way through the port, including the Adraela – green bipedal reptilioids; the Va'alorn – grey-skinned hexapod carnivores; and the ancient Ka'org – the synthetic successors to a long-dead race. These were some of the common species, spread across multiple planets, with well-established colonies and thriving populations. In the crowds there were also rarer species, like Yulites – large rotund insectoids, who hadn’t expanded beyond their home. Or rarer species still, like the Prolinn – short and furry thieves, driven from their world, but who had gained a second life in stations like these.
As I scanned the crowd, admiring all the usual suspects, my eyes caught sight of something different; a lone figure stood in a quiet corner. They were covered in a large, flowing purple robe, and a matching headscarf that covered all but the top portion of their face. The gap in their clothing revealed their bright blue plumage with orange and white highlights and their piercing yellow eyes as they scanned the crowd. I couldn’t quite believe it as I realised what I was looking at: a female Rav'ian. She was, without question, the most unique creature I had ever seen, for she was something that no other creature in the spaceport was – the last of her kind.