Challenge #02292-F102: Dem Deathworlder BonessteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  5 months ago 

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'What do you mean, "Earth was more dangerous before humans arrived"?'
'One word of you bro; "Dinosaurs".' -- AmberFox

Here's the thing about Deathworlds - numerous extinction events make the surviving branches of the evolutionary scrublands stronger and more terrifying than the ones that got wiped out. Sometimes, that isn't always that obvious.

So when Havenworlders see the reconstructed skeletons of saurian life from the increasingly aptly-named Terra, it's understandable that they freak out more than a little. There's nothing like seeing the ossified remains of a Triceratops and subsequently learning that those were "harmless herbivores" from a nearby Human. It's worse when the Human in question is aged 7-10[1].

Mediks are on hand for the under-prepared. There are even a few Humans who are underprepared for a small child infodumping vast amounts of paleontological information at anyone who asks a simple question.

Vrrri practiced her breathing as she looked at the bones turned to stone. Meanwhile a small and slightly sticky Human was explaining that these weren't the real bones. They were replicas made of far sterner stuff, moulded from casts that they took of the originals, and didja know? They never found a complete skellington. That's a projection of what the whole one could look like based on like five partial skellingtons and a lot of scientific ex-trapping-lateness.

This particular Human was five, and had apparently absorbed all this information with little in the way of assistance. Their parental, sitting on a comfy bench with a big, thick book, absently corrected them with, "Extrapolation."

"Yeah, that one," said the child. They took another inhale-of-doom[2] and took up from where they left off. Didja know? This one is one of the ones with a modern relative? Like some survived the K-T asplosion - explosion, corrected the parental - and they turneded into ducks. Not like magic or anything, they evolved to fly and eat more food and got small over billions of years. That old duck could eat us up in like four bites -nyarng nyarng nyarng nyarng - but if you throw a modern duck a piece of bread, you could make it real sick.

The most disturbing part, Vrrri and other Havenworlders reported, was how graphic and simultaneously delighted the young Humans were to impart this information. What they may lack in vocabulary, they made up for in descriptive mime and vocal onomatopoeia.

[1] Humans aged 7-10 have a boundless enthusiasm for dinosaurs. It's as natural as small girls being magnetically attracted to pink. Some may even grow up to be palaeontologists. Be prepared.

[2] People who mention someone's topic of obsession are familiar with this. That deep and rapid intake of air that means, "Someone has mentioned a thing I love beyond logic and reason and I MUST SHARE EVERYTHING I KNOW!" Those people know how to make themselves comfortable for the nodding and smiling they must subsequently do.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / giorgiorossi73]

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Those corrections sound like me and my kids 🤣

Though youngest is still struggling with “specific” 😆

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I've done those corrections with my kids ;)

For the record, I still struggle if I have to say "the thesaurus" at any kind of speed.