Challenge #01842-E018: A Place to FitsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction6 years ago (edited)


The adventures/escapades of a Numidid raised by/among humans -- TheDragonsFlame

[AN: This continues on from this thing ]

Family is more than the people that excreted you, so goes the galactic saying. Family can be a bunch of loner weirdoes and their adopted Numidid keet called Pip. Scavenger M. DeVries and his daughter, Pip, cut quite a figure in the news, and they did so for all of forty-eight hours.

Because that was when the Galactic Alliance rediscovered a colony world named Amity. It wasn't a Terran colony. Not precisely. It was also a Numidid colony. One that welcomed avian scientists. DeVries read the news out loud to his daughter as they shared breakfast. A rich and aromatic Bug Stir-fry with all the little extras for a growing Numidid and a side-dish of supplement stuff for each of them.

"Tall-mama new home?" Pip asked. She huddled close in the special pouch DeVries had made for her comfort and security. She was practicing her Numidid at every chance. Heritage and all that noise.

"Reckon I could make enough to move there, maybe. Their ambassador's coming here. Maybe you could appeal for retroactive citizenship. It's happened before."

"Numidid, tall-mama..."

DeVries sighed. He was worse at it than his kid. "Making money... maybe go. Talking ambassador? Having chances."

Pip hooted at that. She gained great amusement out of her Pripa making worse mistakes than she did.

DeVries loaded up their shared Let's Learn app and set to figuring out what they should have been saying. Which included learning the phrases for "I'd like some employment from you," and other vital necessities. He had sold his scavenger ship to get them a home. Even if it was a home where neither of them were particularly welcome. In a domicile nobody wanted because it was right on the border of the Deathworlder Ghetto.

He realised that Station Admin would probably be glad to see the backs of both himself and Pip.

It took a lot of juggling, in the end. The domicile could not be sold - not yet - so half was paid out and the other half held in escrow for maintenance. Which meant that DeVries and Pip had to hitch a lift with Mama Tatyana. One of DeVries' old drinking buddies. She was getting on in years - for a scrapper - and getting bored. And during the trip by way of the Long River for the most value they could grab, she came up with The Plan.

"Little Bird needs parentals, right?" said Mama, one morning, apropos of nothing.

"Yeah, well... she has me," Davies allowed. "I'm her Pripa."

"Not a lot of call for scrappers out by Amity way," allowed Mama. "But freighters? They always need freighters. And she need to learn the difference between girl-humans and boy-humans, son."

DeVries blushed. "Uh. Yeah. That's... that's a sticking point. The primers were old and free... andum..."

"Sexist?" prompted Mama.

"Yeah." DeVries considered it. "You want to cohabit with me 'n' Pip? We'd be like... the worst influences on this child."

Mama laughed. "You say that like it's a bad thing."

They never quite made it planet-side. There was something about an open sky that struck abject terror into both Max and Mama. Pip didn't mind it, though. She loved the open air. She loved flying lessons with the others, and loved the training courses with the humans and their wingsuits. Even though she was an 'outsider' and therefore more fragile than her Amity playmates, she toughened up quick.

She even volunteered for shots that would fortify her bones so that she'd be equal with the others of her new home. Shots that were given to any Numidid who had spent time in microgravity, thereafter. But keets like her were the guinea pigs for the research for the rest of Numidkind.

Pip spent her summers surfing and her winters up with her parentals, hauling goods from here to there and back again. Learning and translating the latest of the Dirty Spacer Ballads for the education and horror of her classmates on the surface. She was just as rough-and-tumble as her Pripa Max, just as gung-ho as her Secpa Mama, and almost as incautious as a human, which was saying something.

And she was twice as curious about everything as any scientist on Amity. In brief, she became something of a legend in her lifetime.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Wampa]

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