Challenge #02099-E275: Important CriteriasteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction3 years ago


"Ok guys, for this little crisis I'll need [huge lion-like deathworlder] and [humanoid havenworlder] to stay back and help Sgt Jeanne taking care of the child escapee that we saved from those abductors, while I and the other help remind our "friends" why it's a bad idea to try to eat other's children."
"But... I'm a warrior !"
"First, it will be indoor combat in a really humid space, that's not your forte. Second, if some of them escape us and reach the child, Sgt Jeanne might not be enough and I trust you with that. Third, you are big, soft and fluffy." -- Anon Guest

Sgt Jeanne was one of the few among them who even knew how to interact with children at all. Aslan (a nickname) and Tillo were kept apart from the combat for very different reasons. Tillo because she was frail in the first place and usually the distant, technological backup and occasional sniper. Aslan because of the aforementioned humidity and close quarters.

She was the one who was chafing the most. "It's sexism," she grumbled. "I get crap at home 'cause I'm a maned female. Now I get relegated to babysitting with all the other females in the troop. Humidity. I can deal with it fine."

"You have run out of your electrolyte solution," Tillo pointed out. "And your cooling packs have expired. Were it not for the heat vents in your livesuit, you would be in great medical peril."

Aslan produced a low growl that indicated that, though Tillo had a point, it didn't mean that Aslan had to like it. "What makes him think I'm any good at babysitting anyway?"

"We're not babysitting," said Sgt "Blue" Jeanne. She was dandling the escaped kid on her knee and spoonfeeding them mush made from their MRE's. She was also speaking in a soothing singsong. "We're the last line of defense for this little scrap." Her voice was gentle, but her eyes and face were hard. "And we will fight to the death to see that this little one gets to live."

Tillo unpacked her scoped firearm and flitted up the tallest tree. "I'll chirp Oscar Meyer[1] if I see them, then start shooting."

Sgt Jeanne nodded. "Give us five minutes to hide the kid."


Aslan checked her weapons and charge levels before attaching some cables to the solar panels of their camp. It was better to think of it as a last, best line of defense. It was not babysitting. It was putting the best warriors over what needed the most protection.

Blue said, still in the conversational sing-song that meant that she was soothing the kid, "Once upon a time, childbearing females were seen as only useful as primary caregivers. The other portion of the population saw this as a good reason to prevent them from doing many, many things."

Aslan didn't know whether this was a story about Human history or her own. She imitated the singsong voice. "Many still see it this way, even though technology has made it possible for just about anyone to make and grow a baby. They think females can't be warriors. They think wrong."

The child, now done with food and submitting reluctantly to the application of a cleansing cloth, blinked at Aslan. Their eyes brightened as they made a connection and said, "Kee'yka'!"

This was a low-level livesuit. Designed to protect Aslan from the elements and some of the allergens, this leaving her mane out in the open air. "Yeah, I'm a feline anthropod[2]. You can call me 'kittycat' 'cause you're small and cute and probably don't have many words yet."

"She's at scribble stage," informed Blue. "It's good that she's talking. That's a good sign."

"Kee'yka'," the kid wriggled free of Blue's grasp and toddled over to Aslan. Where she proceeded to climb up so she could lay hands on Aslan's mane.

"You're lucky you're cute," Aslan growled.

The kid only giggled, bringing her hand up and down on the swathe of Aslan's mane.

She was only this bold because she somehow knew that Aslan would protect her. That, and she was big, soft, and fluffy.

[1] One of the many easily-recognisable musical motifs in Galactic Society.
[2] As opposed to 'humanoid' which is very egocentric of us.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / amyinlondon]

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