A colony of Phloran peoples that are a break-away from their normal polity are more open to strangers, albeit very carefully to avoid being eaten. They invite Xue to bring the child to the colony to learn to care for the child.
Sprout wore Toxic Colours, as well as a patch that was their family crest. A Masked Lapwing, rampant, and the words, Death to All Threats on the scrolling underneath. Black for the fields of space, red for the blood spilled by the ancestors, and brown for the people.
Rennie Xue always held Sprout's hand whenever they made port. They always had their guard up, ready to meet any hostility with equal and opposite injuries.
Rennie Xue was looking for something very important and, in the meantime, doing their best. "You're not of my body, Sprout," Rennie said every night as they took their rest. "You are of my heart and spirit, and that's just as important. You are mine, and while I can fight, I will keep you safe." Not that anyone wanted to mess with Rennie.
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