A flabbergasted Skipping:
The metallic, blue space ship whistled out of the stratosphere and nimbly landed on the planet. Six light years ago the memory banks were encoded with the precise co-ordinates of this exact world; Planet Potential X. The Skippings’ planet had lost nearly all of its gravitational pull and Skippings could be seen deflecting off Rope (this was their planet’s name) like rubber balls. Every Skipping had to be anchored by heavy iron boots, which made life decidedly unpleasant and cumbersome. This was the exact reason why the council of elders decided to send their most level headed scientist to test the waters, so to speak, of the planet on which their space ship had landed barely five minutes ago.
The Skipping scientist, upon whom the doubtful honour fell, was named Oxblood Red Skipping Rope. All Skippings carried the surname Rope to signify the planet on which they were born; obviously the middle name Skipping was their race and the colour Red was appropriate to one of the trillion phases of their fifteen moons. Hence each Skipping knew the exact date and time to the second on which he or she had been born. As you have no doubt gathered, Skippings were not your normal, run of the mill race. They were sentient, intelligent beings who were never ever flabbergasted by anything at all. Their expressions were much like those of a Hollywood starlet who had received one too many Botox injections; making their faces rather like blank canvases, really. Concepts like surprise, shock or incredulity did not even exist in their language which primarily consisted of random blips and beeps with the odd burp thrown in for emphasis. Skippings had ropy, twisted hair, purple skin and four legs with appropriate foot appendages (the iron boot business was booming). The rest of their features were fairly humanoid.
It bears mentioning that Rope had no reflective surfaces, no mirrors, no shiny materials and no lakes. The Skippings got their water from tree like plants which shimmered into existence at exactly five nuts past moon ten. A nut is approximately ten minutes of earth time. They had managed over the eons to capture a tree for every household. To be able to tap the tree, Skippings carried a wooden spigot around their necks which they inserted into the trunk, turned the handle and viola, water would be on tap so to speak. In this way large wooden tanks were filled to provide daily water for washing and cooking. The point we were trying to make before we got carried away with a watery issue, is the fact that nary a Skipping in Rope had an inkling of what they looked like.
Meanwhile, inside the space ship, Oxblood Red Skipping Rope prepared to disembark. He inserted the translation bug into his inner ear and felt the ten legged creature squirming for a foot hold. It emitted a low frequency buzzing which caused four seconds of vertigo before its suction pads attached itself to Red’s (for brevity’s sake, this is what we will call our reluctant hero) stereo cilia. Red packed his spectrometers, graphs, microscope and various finicky devices into Bag. This was his Second Bag as he had worn the previous one out by either demanding that she carry too many items or that she kept track of precisely where each item had been stored. She was currently being treated for stretch marks and depression. Second bag, having heard of Red’s scatter brained approach to baggage, was blatantly sarcastic and quoted several of the trade union’s laws regarding use of Bags at the top of its voice at every opportunity. Red had learned by default to under burden Bag; it was the best thing to do to get it to shut up. He also treated it to the odd polish.