Special Delivery

Part Two

He was only a tiny little guy, but he made a heck of a stink when the mood struck him. Sal had hit the knowledge networks to figure out exactly where the coordinates she had would place her, and frowned.

“Dargo III? I can’t go to Dargo III…”

The infant human gurgled. He looked pale. Very… pink. Was that normal for humans? They were such a confusing species - browny black, tannish copper, olivey suede, lighter brown, really light brown, yellowy pink, creamy-colored and you could see their veins through it. Decide, for cripes’ sake! Or have fur or something. How did medics ever figure out if humans were sick? But the infant just smiled wide and passed gas. She figured that, at least, was normal.

“You don’t want to go to Dargo either,” she said to him. “No you don’t. There’s bad guys there.”

The infant threw a Hei-Arboo piece at her.

“Okay, good point. There’s bad guys everywhere. But this,” she said, turning him to face the holo-display. She touched a bit of the map to zoom in on it. “Is Dargo III, and this is us-” She swiped her finger to shift the view. “And this is where we are relatively safe.” She outlined a boundary she’d been made to memorize before Snarf would let her go off on her own.

The human infant launched himself toward the holo-display and it went fizzy trying to obey the thing’s nonsensical commands.

“Ack!” Sal shrieked. And then it threw up on the display emitter.

“That’s it!” She picked the infant up and trucked it to her tiny medical bay. “There.” She plopped it into a shallow but deep enough for the purpose container and put her hands on her hips. “I am too young to be your mother. I’ll just have to take you back to the base and find this Karrlos guy.”

The thing started crying.

Sal knitted her brows and looked around. She didn’t have any infant games or - what did humans eat! Probably just food like regular people. But infants - this thing didn’t even have teeth! Just these little white flat things in his - oh, human teeth. Right. But there was no way his “teeth” could cut through anything she had around to eat.

Broth. She could make him some broth. “Okay. I’ll be right back.” She started to walk away. It started to cry. She turned around. “Okay, I’m back. See? Told you.” She picked him up and carried him into the galley to try to find something suitable. He busied himself with one of her lekku while she hunted down some powdered something or other.

An hour later, the infant was dozing peacefully, full of whatever-broth and once he’d quieted down and stopped fussing, Sal decided he was quite cute after all. And then the ship dropped out of hyperspace.

For a moment, Sal had the sinking sense that it’d been premature and that something was wrong, but when she was hailed by a familiar voice, she realised she’d just lost track of time. They’d dropped out right where she’d meant to.

She raced to the console to receive the comm before it could wake up the sleeping infant. “Vonn,” she whispered.

“What’s wrong, darlin’?”

“Nothing. I just - The baby’s asleep, finally.”

“Baby! You in some kinda trouble, Sal?” boomed the voice.

“No! Nothing like that,” she hissed. “I’m … looking after it for someone.”

“Ooookay,” Vonn replied, lowering his voice. “Well, we got in that kit you asked for.”

“Okay. Let me-”

“Your momma was a friend o’ mine,” Vonn interrupted. “I don’t know what your sister’s doing over there, but your family was always good to us. Always made us a fair deal. Don’t bother tryin’ to offer anything-”

“But Vonn-”

“This time,” he finished. “And you know I love you, darlin’, but you and your sister are gettin’ mixed up in dangerous things. I gotta say it.”

The comm went silent for a moment.

“Vonn?”

“You can’t come back here, darlin’. You can’t. I got my family to worry about.”

“But-”

“I gotta keep ‘em safe. You can’t come asking for stuff, even to trade for it. I’m sorry, Sal.” His voice was breaking up, but not from interference.

“Vonn!” she cried, voice shaking. “Vonn, no - you’re - you’re all we got now-”

“You got each other,” he said solemnly, and she could tell - even though he was doing his best and you could hardly hear he was upset at all, somehow she could feel it like a knife in her gut - he was on the edge of sobbing. “Come on down,” he whispered. “Meerta wants to say goodbye too.”

Part Three

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