An alien race with cognition tied to ballistics. Many eyes, many limbs. They communicate by tossing objects at each other, the details in the graceful arcs of falling objects, the spin, the drop, the object shape. They juggle their language. Their poets throw talking blocks out into air geysers to bend meaning as the words are blown off-course.
They meet humans who think it’s a game of catch. Who insult by dropping. Who don’t know what they’re saying at all as they chuck a word block back.