Soft Teddy bears given to people in stress, usually children who are hurt or rescued. The thing about Teddy Bears is they don't judge you, they are just soft, and smiling and invite a shared hug. -- Knitnan
Pulled from a lifepod. Still in shock. Bright lights and confusing noises and too much. Far too much. Way too much to deal with at once. People in frightening suits all getting into her face. She didn't know anyone. Didn't know where she was or what anyone was saying.
All she wanted was something familiar. She did not get it for an emotional forever. Not until one of the strange shapes in her periphery handed her something soft. It was big, and squishy, and a little warm. Sh'heth curled around it with all five limbs. The warmth and the softness was comforting enough to relax her. She cried out and struggled less against these oddly-shaped strangers. Let them help her.
It was only later, when these strangers had set her aside into a comfortable and dimly-lit room, was Sh'heth able to analyse the object. It was an effigy. Four limbs, just like the strangers. Fluffy and fuzzy with thousands of little hairs all over its surface. There was a snout with a shiny black triangle on, and two dark, shiny buttons that could do the work of eyes. The nubs on the head and the nubs on the bottom of the torso evaded Sh'heth's understanding.
Sh'heth didn't understand what it was meant to be. Was it a copy of these strange creatures? Or was it some form of guardian god meant to protect the innocent? Too many questions for a child. The bed was soft and comfortable and the effigy was nice and warm and pleasant to the touch. Sh'heth curled up and went to sleep. Maybe things would be better when she woke up.
There were others like her, at least. Fellow survivors. Sh'heth didn't know them, but familiar-looking faces were reassuring. Other children like her had the same kind of soft effigy that she had. They were all different colours. Some not found in nature. Sh'heth's effigy almost matched her own skin markings, but some others were monochromal. Some were garish to look at.
Nothing made sense.
The older ones had them, too. They were debating the purpose as Sh'heth sat with her age-mates and attempted to make a new creche from a group of strangers. As time passed, more of her people came into this space. More survivors from the wreck of the Hesshai. None of them familiar to Sh'heth.
It was only when they reached the saftey of S'th'rth Station that Sh'heth re-united with her surviving family and creche-friends from the wreck. And then she found out what the species who saved her was.
She almost lost her tail from the shock. Sh'heth and her fellow survivors had been in the clutches of humans! The deadliest Deathworlders in the known universe. And they'd helped her and given her medical aid, and one of their strange effigies.
Sh'heth still treasured it. It was soft and warm and comforting. And the fact that these Deathworlders knew it and gave it to her in her utmost time of stress... it made her question everything she heard about humans for the rest of her life.
If you like my stories, please Check out my blog and Follow me.
Send me a prompt [12 remaining prompts!]