Challenge #00833-B102: ...Okay?

This post:

(list of weird things humans do like losing baby teeth to grow a second set, then:

“At some point, the aliens aren’t going to know anymore when we’re actually trolling them.

Us: Under certain circumstances, humans have been known to spontaneously develop the ability to breathe fire.

Alien: yeah, okay, that fits in with the other wacky bullshit you guys can do.”)

The humans walked out of the airlock, male and female. Each carrying two human infants.

Pa’rix looked them over. “Your crew manifest says two.”

“These aren’t crew, they’re passengers. Family,” clarified the female. “Remember last time we were here? You commented on my swollen abdomen?”

Oh. Right. Reproduction. “Of course they have galactic passports.”

There was a pocket in one of the infant-carrying harnesses. The male dug out four nearly-identical documents. The only difference was the names.

Even the DNA-scan was amazingly similar.

“Someone is deceptive. These are papers for one infant.”

“They’re identical quadruplets,” the parents said in resigned unison.

“We tattooed a letter into their left wrists so everyone could distinguish them,” said the male. “I have Amy and Dee. Lynn has Bel and Cordie.”

The human named Lynn displayed a tiny wrist with an ornate letter C on the fleshy underside.

“We were lucky we were at Rest Stop when they were due. Bel got stuck and they had to give me an emergency caesarian.”

“Birth surgery,” clarified the male. His documents declared him to be Sizwe.

“How could anyone– oh. Right. You’re Deathworlders.”

“We get that a lot,” they chorused.


The four small humans had been upgraded to crew. One wore a shirt that read, Ask us about our cloning program.

Each filed up to Pa’rix to hand her their documents and have their markings scanned and their DNA files updated.

“I lotht a toof,” said Amy, showing Pa’rix the gap in her incisors. She seemed happy about this.

“I got a loose tooth,” said Cordie. And proceeded to show her how it wriggled.

“I’m already growing a new one,” Dee showed off a ragged line of white in the middle of a blank space of gumline.

Bel just pouted her way through.

“This is normal for you humans?”

“Yes, our children have deciduous teeth. They’ve just started growing their adult set.” Lynn handed across her papers and submitted to the scans.

Pa’rix spent a boggling hour scouring the Wikipedia Galactica for human medical information. What she got was a bizarre list of traits that spoke of millenia’s worth of multiple near-extinction events. And baffling mutations.

And it was in the resultant cloud of confusion that Pa’rix sought out the six humans for verification.

The answers to all her questions were, “Yes.”

“Some of you can bleed for five days and live?” Yes. “Some of you are born hermaphrodites?” Yes. “Some of you are born with mismatched bodies to identities?” Yes. “Some of you can survive, relatively sane, without ever mating?” Yes. “Some of you are born without limbs?” Yes. “Or organs?” Yes.

And finally, “What else are you bizarre apes capable of?”

“Well,” said Sizwe with a straight face, “some of us have been known to spontaneously breathe fire.”

“…Okay?” quavered Pa’rix. She swore nothing more would startle her for the rest of her life.

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