The Goatmen of Aguirra is one of my favorite stories and, based on comments, popular among my readers (thankee!). It appears in my self-published Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, as an individual ebook The Goatmen of Aguirra: A Tale Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires, and was serialized in Piker Press in 2019.
I’m sharing it here because a friend is having some challenges using 1st Person POV, and The Goatmen of Aguirra uses 1st Person POV throughout.
Hope you enjoy.
The Goatmen of Aguirra (Part 3)
725015:600 – They stood outside the blind for a full day, leaving only when the inversion storms formed on the horizon and coming back when the storms dissipated, seating themselves in the extended root systems of the succulent where their coloring makes them damn near invisible. We realize now they may have been there since before our landing, hence the blind is moot.
As I stated earlier, Aguirra is a testament to adaptive evolution. These creatures – we call them ‘Goatmen’ now that we’ve been able to observe more about their physiologies – are the best blend of North American mountain goats and South American camels.
In this land of high, thin air, little food, cold, and treacherous terrain, these Goatmen have developed enlarged hearts and lungs – my guess is that they couldn’t survive at sea level.
Their coats are fine and dense with two layers; the outer layer is comprised of long, oily, water repellent guard hairs, the inner layer is comprised of dense hollow hairs to provide both thermal insulation and protection from parasites. At least the insects don’t seem to bother them. The coat won’t collect moisture and sheds condensation, the principal elements of the best insulations known, and is thickest across the shoulders where the guard hairs may be ten to fifteen centimeters long. The coat thins as it moves out to the muzzle and legs.
Toe walkers. Their feet are like their hands, although the toes are broader, flatter, and rubbery in their ability to grasp the surface they walk on. Their legs obviously evolved from something quadripedal in recent evolutionary time.
Chromotographic analysis of their respirations – only two to three per decminute while observing us, apparently a resting state – shows a ninety percent CO2-O2 exchange. Without dissection I can’t be sure, but I would guess they can force oxygen into their tissues in much the way deep diving cetaceans do.
I would almost believe they live on the Towers, although there is no evidence of this other than the telemetry of the casters.
It is obvious they know we are here. This blind serves us nothing. I’ve asked Sanders to allow attempts at communications. Although they haven’t made obvious communication amongst themselves, their behavior leads me to believe them intelligent.
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