Unlikely Companions

A 4-post collection

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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Challenge #02114-E291: Unlikely Friendship on Courier Fifty-eight

Ship's human and the Anti Gravity Drive keep company. -- Anon Guest

[AN: It's the Gravity Drive, but I get it]

This drive was one of the loners. It did not need constant Nae'hyn attention to do its work. It knew the route better than the Captain. It got family visits, of course, but Human Gar kind'a felt in kindred with it. Human Gar had took this particular mail route because it met her needs for social contact - otherwise known as

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Challenge #02075-E251: Safe Hide

When I first met you, I feared you, for I had heard the rumours and they weren’t pretty.

Then I got to know you. Your compassion saved me, your sympathy broke me, and your songs put me back together again, strange and misshapen but whole once again.

And now, after all that we’ve been through? Well, there’s no one I’d rather have by my side, friend. -- Anon Guest

First impressions are a son of a bitch, sometimes.

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Challenge #01724-D263: Strange Bedfellows

The "Remittance Man": usually the of the English Aristocracy, sent off with a generous "Remittance" - an allowance paid to him as long as he stay Away, and didn't embarrass the Family. (Back then he was usually a drunk, a letcher, homosexual or cheated at cards. The last was unforgivable.) -- Anon Guest

After the Scandal, it was decided that it would be for the best that Reginald be sent away to somewhere remote but civilised for the remainder. It was the

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