â€œCan we say that on television?â€ Mool asked. He narrowed his eye at the monitor and raised a turquoise tentacle to his mouth as his other three appendages worked the digital controls.
â€œMistep? Sure. Itâ€™s been clear for a decade.â€
â€œBut what about the Xedrin colony? We got an eight percent pull there last season.â€
Nick pondered this for a second. He pushed his rolling chair away from the desk and slid over to the other tech. â€œIf theyâ€™re going to bar us for mistep theyâ€™ll bar us for having a Relana, period. Leave it. Itâ€™s edgy.â€
Mool sighed, a sound that hovered in the air for nearly thirty seconds due to his third lung. He dragged a tentacle over the trackpad and a scantily-clad blue female broke into pixels before reassembling at a different time signature.
â€œMolting season is just an excuse for her to turn down the environment,â€ the Relana complained as her overdue feathers bristled beneath the old ones. Her bare cheeks flushed to an irritated magenta. â€œâ€™Oh, itâ€™s so hot!â€™â€ she whined in a horrid approximation of a Terran accent. â€œYeah, maybe on your ice planet, you frigid mistep.â€
A tap to the panel, and her image froze. â€œNice,â€ Nick said. â€œDo we have a retort clip?â€
â€œWe can skink one. Kelly was malko about the feathers in the sink last week.â€
The cutting room filled with relative silence as the two techs pondered the next scene, Mool still sucking on his fourth tentacle and Nick gnawing on his thumbnail.
â€œDonâ€™t we have a Penguinair ad?â€ he finally suggested. Moolâ€™s skin tightened to inspired attention.
â€œA Texaco heating one, too!â€ he said, and his second tentacle yanked to the advert box. The clips were found almost immediately, and he slid the first cartridge into the control station. â€œWe could run this pleb for centuries,â€ he said, as his mouth opened to a grin. â€œItâ€™s like it never gets old.â€