Humankind will happily share/shelter tiny pets with/from the universe. Hamsters, flying squirrels, cats, parrots, sugar gliders, lizards and snakes, even dogs. As an unsocial person, I will socialize the heck out off my girl despite my discomfort. As a nonviolent person, I will murder anyone who lays a hand on my baby. How much would I love someone who protected my pet for me? -- Anon Guest
This wasn't the first time Human An had woken up in a medbay. It was the smells that clued him in that this was not his ship. This didn't smell like the Fortune's Favour. An instantly knew that he had failed. The ship had died. The fact that he somehow survived meant that the Tralnith had rescued him from whatever he had decided to do to try and save them all.
Such a pity that traumatic injury wiped out short-term memories formed during said trauma. The last thing he remembered was insisting to his crewmates that he had an excellent idea, even though that was a lie. Therefore it was probably some winging-it thing that almost got him killed.
Tears stung his eyes as he remembered Fluffy. He hadn't got Fluffy out. He had been thinking of all the cogniscent creatures on the Fortune's Favour and not his dear little companion. Oh Powers, no... The others wouldn't have thought of Fluffy either. The Medik came rushing in, a lizard, but not like the Tralnith. Different features and nose spikes. "All is safe," they said in GalSimple. "All crew well. Wish seeing?"
An managed a strangled, "...'es," as he couldn't talk and weep at the same time. The crew were okay. That was good news. Focus on the good news. He could mourn Fluffy later. Celebrate the victory now.
Companion Kriku was the first to enter, bearing a suspiciously familiar net mesh carrying case with a pull-cord luring fan and feeder airlock system. The sight of it alone was enough to spike An's heartrate.
"Staying down, cogniscent," cautioned the Medik, adjusting the bed to raise An into a semi-seated position. "You allowing seeing pet. No allowing touching. Many wounds, being infection, if touching."
Translated - don't touch the pet, you could get an infection. Got it.
There, inside the mesh cube, was Fluffy. A dwarf Oshit bred specifically to be harmless to cogniscent life because Humanity will tame and then mess with the genes of anything it encountered. Human An let vent a happy little noise of no particular language and the reason to weep changed entirely. His voice came back with a definite wobble. "You saved Fluffy..."
"It took five of us," said Companion Kriku. "We understand how deep your pack-bonding is with this... creature."
Yeah, considering that this was An's fifth clone of the homicidal little decapod. "You hate Fluffy..." Now that the carry-cage was on his lap, he brushed the mesh and laughed as Fluffy 'hunted' his fingers. "Hey, baby. It's gonna be okay, sweetheart. Papa's coming back for fun times." To Kriku, he said, "I know what that took for you. I have got the best shipmates."
Kriku submitted to a hug, careful where he put his claws. Since there were more bandages than hospital gown, An could guess it was a rough one. "You said you had a plan, but we knew you were lying. We also knew that you would not leave without your... beast... so I arranged a detail to capture it."
"Best. Lizards. Ever!" An gave Kriku an affectionate noogie, which his lizards assured was a close bonding gesture and pleasurable for them to experience. "I'd die for you all. For realsies."
"Please don't?" begged Kriku. "That would mean we would have to care for your little monster."
[Image c/- Featured Creature ]
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