For someone so easily distracted, the Doctor was proving quite tenacious in his curiosity about the Oobolat. The more C’rizz tried to move the Doctor along, the more he tarried in hopes of seeing the vicious brute. Even now, when they seemed to have lost the creature, C’rizz couldn’t lose his fear that the Doctor might take it into his head to go looking for it again.
The Eutermisian scanned the vicinity, hoping to find some curiosity other than the Oobolat to peak the Doctor’s interest. Spotting two peaceful creatures, he pointed them out to his friend. “Look! There are more of those animals you mentioned earlier. Raypits, you called them?”
“Rabbits!” the Doctor exclaimed happily. “Oh, yes! And they are being quite rabbity at the moment, aren’t they? Very rabbity, indeed!”
“Are they?” C’rizz asked curiously. “They often play like that, do they, these rabbits?”
“Playing! Oh, they’re not playing!”
“Then what are they doing?” C’rizz tilted his head, hoping to get a better view. Now that he knew they weren’t playing, he found the creatures somewhat menacing. “Surely they aren’t…”
“Oh, yes they are!” the Doctor assured him merrily.
C’rizz felt oddly disappointed in the animals. “They look too cute to be cannibals,” he murmured sadly.
“Cannibals?” The Doctor giggled. “You think the one on top is eating the other?”
“Well, isn’t he? If they’re not playing and they’re not fighting, then what are they doing?”
The Doctor giggled again. “They’re mating!”
C’rizz was stunned. “Mating?”
“You know, creating little baby rabbits that will grow up to mate and create their own babies that will–“
C’rizz cut him off impatiently. “But that doesn’t look anything like mating!”
“Ah, maybe not for your people, or for any of the animals on your world, but that is the way mammals do it,” the Doctor assured him.
“Hmmm,” the Doctor hummed thoughtfully. “They don’t have mammals on your world, do they?”
“I’m not certain,” C’rizz admitted. “I’m not entirely clear on what mammals are, (other than rabbits, apparently.)”
“Warm-blooded animals with an internal skeleton,” the Doctor informed him helpfully. “They have fur on their bodies and nurse their young with milk.”
“You mentioned milk earlier,” C’rizz mused. “In relation to those… cows.”
“Oh yes,” the Doctor laughed. “Cows are mammals too, just like those rabbits. And Charley.”
“Charley’s a mammal?” C’rizz asked in astonishment. He waved a hand towards departing rabbits. “Does that mean Charlotte mates... like… that?”
“Oh, not exactly like that,” the Doctor assured him. “But similar. Or somewhat similar, at any rate.” His friend looked thoughtful. “Well, when I say similar, keep in mind that she wouldn’t find it similar at all! Humans are touchy about mating, and wouldn’t like being compared to rabbits, even if they are, you know, somewhat similar.”
“I see,” C’rizz lied, knowing from experience that that was the best way to shut the Doctor up.
“Now your people, on the other hand, must do it completely differently, or you wouldn’t have been confused by those rabbits over there.”
“Well… yes. I guess we do.”
The Doctor looked annoyed, as if C’rizz should have divined his meaning instantly. “How do Eutermisians mate? With an external skeleton, I mean?”
“In the usual fashion, I suppose.”
“Oh, not at all! At least, I wouldn’t think so.” The Doctor was warming to the subject now. “I mean, your physiognomy is completely different from most humanoids, and I know so little about it. Sentient beings with exoskeletons are quite rare, and peaceful sentient beings with exoskeletons are even rarer. In fact, I don’t think there are any at all in my universe.”
“That’s… interesting,” C’rizz said carefully.
“Yes, it is,” the Doctor agreed happily. “My xenobiology books are somewhat reticent about the Wirrn, or the Scourge--probably because anyone sent out to research them had a tendency to be eaten.”
“That would have a dampening effect upon scholarly pursuits.”
“Exactly. So as you can imagine, I’ve always been a bit curious about the mechanics of sex amongst people who are constructed so very differently from most humanoids.”
C’rizz shuffled his feet uncomfortably. “Um… I’m not certain what, exactly, you’d like to know. Er, first we–“
“A lecture!” The Doctor looked incredulous. “A lecture’s no fun. Practical demonstrations are much more the thing, I think! Do you know, I’ve never before known a peaceful, sentient being with an exoskeleton that was close enough of a friend that I might have sex with him or her or it. Seems a pity to waste that relationship.”
“It’s not wasted, because you still don’t have that close of a friend,” C’rizz said firmly.
“Oh, c’mon! Please.” The Doctor gave C’rizz his best puppy dog eyes. “PLEASE!”
“Aw, but it would be ever so interesting to know how you do it. I bet it isn’t at all like Time Lords or humans or Trakkenites or–“
The unmistakable roar of an Oobolat cut the Doctor off in mid-whine, causing him to break out in a delighted smile. From the gleam in the Doctor’s eyes, it was clear that his interest in Eutermisian sexuality had been completely eclipsed by his previous obsession with the Oobolat.
C’rizz suspected that he was the first Eutermisian in history to be glad to hear that particular cry.