Challenge #02630-G073: A Questionable Survival Mechanism

in #fiction2 months ago

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As the Galactic, not a deathworlder, but not a delicate havenworlder either, looked down at the infant human, they had to wonder...
"How does something so small and delicate grow into something so dangerous?"
The infant, seemingly in answer, smiled, then reached up and gently hugged the sentient holding it. Before releasing a truly noxious fart. -- Anon Guest

Every species not equal to a Deathworlder tends to look a lot like a Havenworlder to the Deathworlder in question. Some Deathworlders are even aware of this. Like Human Lyn, who was sharing her infant with her Galactic coworkers aboard the Valiant Seeker. The child no longer needed help supporting their head and had been cleared for social interaction at a skin-to-skin level with the rest of the crew.

To Keryx, the wobbling creature before him was next to helpless, and almost Havenworlder levels of squishiness. Though not as small as a newly-birthed Human, this small being was still less than a quarter of Human Lyn's total body mass. The smaller Human treated the sight of Keryx, a saur-avian cogniscent, the same way they treated anything new. They reached out for him and cooed.

Keryx took the precaution to wipe the much smaller Human hand free of their perpetual slobber before accepting temporary custody of the child. This was how Humans pack-bonded at the most basic level. Touch and accustomisation with socialisation. Keryx quickly learned that even a small Human could become incredibly heavy in a very short amount of time, even with their alleged assistance by clinging to his neck.

"Hello, small Human Yan. I am Keryx, your mother's Companion." He did not expect a response. Human Yan was pre-verbal, but verbal communication was important for development anyway. "How does something so small become such a fearsome deathworlder, hm? How does a creature so vulnerable and delicate grow into something so dangerous?"

"Blx ptht," said Human Yan, and there was a rumbling noise from their rear. After a moment, a truly noxious combination of gasses answered Keryx's question.

"Ah," croaked Keryx, trying not to breathe. "Chemical warfare. I see."

Human Yan apparently thought this was hilarious. Human Lyn flicked open the protective clothing on Human Yan's rear and said, "No, that was just a fart. No danger."

"There's more dangerous things this small Human emits?"

"Buddy, you have yet to be downstream of The Squirts."

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / yellowj]

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