Challenge #02755-G198: Five Under Five

There were four of them. They were definitely human, and the biggest was still less than 1.5 sidu tall. Probably. The biggest one was also at the bottom of what could only be described as a pile of babies. The second biggest and the smallest were using the biggest as pillows. Those three were asleep. The second smallest was reclining on the second biggest, and giggling at a repetitive song accompanying dancing cartoon fruits and vegetables playing on a tablet.

This scene would be less of an issue if it wasn't in the middle of a walkway, and accompanied by a distinct lack of guardian.

On questioning by security, the second smallest said "shhhh, sibling sweeping" and "mama feel sick" before pointing to the nearby restroom. As if on cue, the sound of violent retching emanated from the toilets.

After a small amount of panic and a large amount of ruckus, not helped by the sleeping children waking up (and being corralled by the largest one, who turned out to be younger than estimated by size), the medical team that was summoned determined that the human in the restroom was pregnant, and suffering from rather severe "morning sickness", a clear human misnomer given that it was the middle of the "night", and hadn't been able to keep anything other than cold tea down for almost two days. -- Anon Guest

[AN: Corrected to Sidu (from SDU - Standard Distance Units) because Siwu is for weights. It's a cultural peculiarity that things are measured in Sidu and -somehow- people are measured in ancient Terran Imperial units (feet, inches, pounds, stone etc). It's weird and Humans are very likely to blame. For those wondering, the largest sibling in the prompt above is 4'11"]

This is the Edge. There are all sorts here. If that isn't enough warning, then there probably never will be enough of a warning. Such was nearly the case for Plem, who was 'browsing' through some of the extended pan-polity markets in this particular ramshackle trading station. They had been doing rather well, absorbing some of the local customs by osmosis, and remaining out of trouble... and then they took a turn to an alleged shortcut and encountered what appeared to be a living roadblock.

Plem would later learn that this was referred to as a 'baby pile'. Four bodies in various stages of undress, one in hygenic pants only, were tangled together and blocking the pathway. Not one of them was taller than Plem. The tallest of them had fallen asleep, arms wrapped around two other sleepers, one of them rousing at Plem's approach. The smallest shared possession of a datareader with the tallest, and the screen seemed to be displaying anthropomorphised foodstuffs singing repetitively and bouncing about in time to their song.

The second-smallest rubbed an eye and stared at Plem, who was busy trying to figure out this particular puzzle. Plem consulted their datareader and found salient information that these beings were Humans, and worse - Human young. Very young, as it happened. Every single one of them was likely preliterate and at least one of them was preverbal. Worse and worse, they had at minimum one parental, who was nowhere in sight. They had to be cared for and their carer was nowhere to be seen. Humans were Deathworlders and Deathworlders were even more dangerous when they believed their young was threatened. Plem risked, "Where being parental?" in GalSimple.

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