Challenge #02233-F043: Greatest Responsibility

What would an intergalactic nursery look like? -- Anon Guest

Multi-species infant care is a fascinating workplace to begin with. For each species, there are separate demands beyond the standards of clean, warm, and comfortable. There are some general rules, like mammals do best when fed on their parental secretions. Reptilian life forms, for instance, get essential gut bacteria from their parentals' regurgitations. Some, like Humans, thrive with the assistance of gentle physical contact. Others are too frail to be disturbed until they pass certain milestones of early development.

Some species get to choose their infant's gender based on the temperature at which their eggs are incubated. Others, by the temperature in the nest as they proceed past the larval stage and pupate. Some have strict rules about leaving such things to happenstance. It is therefore vitally necessary to know all of this before qualifying for a xeno-childcare license.

In larger space ports and trade centres, it can get ridiculously complicated. Interns and trainees usually don't have to care for more than one species' ward at a time. Unless, like Ka'tho, hir patron hospice is run off their feet with a mutant strain of the Immunoflu and everyone not a vector is set to look to the needs of the smallest and most vulnerable members of society.

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