Tigerwolf stood in the transporter for a moment looking at Timgee with a huge sheepish grin that stretched nearly from ear to ear. Watching as Timgee became increasingly agitated at his silence, he strolled non chalantly over to the control console and set down the sacks of food he was carrying.
"Well....???", begged Timgee at once both pleading and threatening.
"We died!", said Tigerwolf in a matter-of-fact tone.
"What???", puzzled Timgee as he began examining the sacks before him.
"We died, I said."
"I heard what you *said*! What do you *mean*! Now stop teasing me or I'll bite off one of your ears....right after I finish with this..."
Timgee began rifling through a sack bearing a large Krystal logo. He lifted out a wrapped sandwich, labeled Krystal's Burger Deluxe, sniffed at it warily, and curled his lip. "Probably not too bad if your real hungry.", he mumbled half out loud. He put the sandwich down and began looking into another bag. He pulled out a bratwurst, smiled, held it by one end and held it up at arm's length and rotated it back and forth, examining it as if it were a glass of fine wine. "Now this is more like it!", he said. Still holding the sausage by one end, he drew it across and under his nose, inhaling the spicy aroma. "Mmmmm.....", he said, licking his chops. He bit off the end and began to wave the rest pedantically at Tigerwolf who could barely contain his amusement at his hungry friend.
"Will you *please* tell me what's going on!?!", Timgee implored.
"I think we died and went to heaven...", said Tigerwolf, "only heaven's down there." He pointed out the window at Furry MUCK.
"Ok, fine!", Timgee growled. "The air is obviously breathable, and you were obviously able to communicate to some degree. Since you're still alive and not all bloody, the inhabitants must not be excessively hostile;" Timgee speculated, "...and they make damn fine sausage.... So what else? What are they, human?"
"Well, some are. But not many.", replied Tigerwolf. "The greatest number are *JUST LIKE US!* Part human and part animal, I mean. There's hundreds...thousands of them...a whole civilization. They call themselves 'furries' 'cause so many have fur. Some are really strange combinations, not just human-animal like us. Some can change their forms like we can, and some can even fly. I fit in so well, most didn't even notice I was new there unless I told them or gave myself away by asking some obvious question that everybody else already knew."
"So the translator worked, I guess." Timgee concluded.
"Didn't need it much. The language is very simple to learn, but one furry told me we will need to get a 'client' program for the translator to try to keep things from being scrambled up at first. But, even without one, I did pretty well. A lot of the communication is non-verbal."
"Sign language?" guessed Timgee.
"Only partly." replied Tigerwolf. "They nearly always wave greetings at each other, but there's lots of hugging, and skritching, and tail batting too, so it is much more physical than just signing. From what I've seen so far, it is a very friendly place. In fact, some furries are very, *VERY* friendly!" he said, looking at Timgee with a glint in his eye.
Timgee knew that glint well...he understood exactly what Tigerwolf meant.
"I'm sure we'll like the place then.", he laughed.