The interruption confused Trak; most species approached first contact situations with a measure of formality.
Trak also wondered why his translation subroutine hadn’t cleared up the creature’s speech. There was no reason for “ess” to sound like “esh”.
Perhaps the creature had a speech impediment.
Unless the subroutine was in error …
“Welcome to the beautiful …” the creature paused and looked at the ceiling for a second.
Then, as if remembering something, it started speaking again, “Welcome to the beautiful, shterile washteland of Containment Fashility One, you poor Mek.”
The creature bent in the middle, a common practice among many species called “bowing.”
The motion caused its body to dip and bob, and it tried to steady itself.
Not the most graceful of beings, Trak thought.
"I'm Riox the General,” it said, and burped. “And … there was shomething I was shupposed to shay.”
Trak’s translation subroutine told him that in Riox’s language the final syllable of “General” denoted a member of the male sex.
Trak’s subroutine didn’t translate the burping sound.
After a moment's analysis, Riox's slurring and lack of focus made sense now.
He was intoxicated.
The translation subroutine was not in error; it was giving Trak an approximate interpretation of Riox mangling his own language.
Despite the creatures obvious drunkenness, Trak resolved to continue treating Riox cordially. Future diplomatic relations could be hurt by a lack of respect.
Riox burped again.
Maybe in Riox’s culture, drunkenness is a sign of respect, Trak thought.