"Good Lord!" Vio leapt back from the puddle of slime and debris. He gasped when it extended a febrile eyestalk. "What is it?"
Yotl flushed a darker orange. "A homeless veteran of the Shhshs wars. Pass him by."
"Hunh," Vio said, glancing over his shoulder. "I've never seen a Shhshs without a shell."
"He is Zssvhs. He saved the last remnants of his kind when he shed his shell to slip between the joints of the flagship and manually eject the core."
"A hero!" Vio was aghast. "And he just lives on the streets?"
"He shed his shell," Yotl said.
Avian Advent Calendar – VIII
5 hours ago