Please Don’t Adopt the Space Velociraptor (pt. 4)

Oya everyone!

It is Space Velociraptor time again, and things are popping off.

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When Benji woke up next he noticed two things; one, he could smell some sort of hot food, and two, all of the aliens were making noise in one area. His stomach twisted at the smell, growling and begging to be filled. Benji wasn’t even sure what the smell was. Some sort of meat, maybe? It reminded him of the smells outside the restaurant he would sometimes walk by back home. And bread. Oh the aliens had bread. All the hunger he’d been ignoring, trying to satiate with tiny bits of stolen fruit, suddenly showed up and it hurt.

He gritted his teeth and carefully unwrapped himself from his thin blanket. Moving stealthily was second nature to him now but he still worried. A few slow minutes of crawling later and he identified where the noises of the alien crew were coming from; the cockpit. He couldn’t see inside, they’d blocked up the vent with something (which he was kind of worried about, didn’t they need the air to circulate into all the rooms?) but he could hear them clearly. There was Birdy One’s light voice punctuated with chirps and trills, Tall Idiot’s deeper rumble, and the sharp, slightly scary voice of Cape Thing that he hadn’t heard very much. 

They were all in the cockpit. 

And the painfully delicious food smell was not coming from the cockpit. 

Maybe it was a bad idea, maybe he was being reckless, but Benji was so hungry. He set off towards the smell, hoping that whatever it was could be quickly grabbed and squirreled away in his hidey-hole. If not, he might have to take a chance eating it outside the vents.

The food smell was coming from a room that wasn’t the kitchen room or any of the bedrooms. Benji didn’t think he’d explored this corner of the ship before, but the vent leading into the room wasn’t locked or covered up, only latched like usual. A quick peek inside showed it to be empty, nothing but a few large crates and a table with weird looking chairs around it. Not a dining room, probably, more like a place you’d look at maps and lists and things. At least Benji thought so. But to be honest he wasn’t thinking of much except for the food. 

He could see it now, some unfamiliar dish in a bowl just sat there steaming. A couple plates sat at the table, as if maybe the aliens had been about to start eating and were interrupted by whatever was happening in the cockpit. 

Which meant they would be coming back soon.

There was no time to deliberate any longer. If he had, maybe he would have realized that it was awfully convenient that they would have blocked up the rest of the vent openings and left this one open. He probably would have realized that it was unlikely that they would try to drag a dangerous human out of their ventilation by force, and that it was very likely that they would try to lure him out. He probably would have realized that it was a trap.

But Benji was hungry and tired and he realized none of those things. 

Unlatching the grate took seconds. Sliding out of the opening took fewer seconds, though the landing made him gasp in pain, his poor leg almost giving out beneath him. He took two steps towards the table.

So suddenly that it took him a moment to realize what was happening, something was wrapped around his chest, pinning his arms down. He shrieked, kicking as he was lifted off his feet, squirming against the hold, mind filled with nothing but utter panic. 

His feet made no contact as they flailed. Benji tried to twist his head to see which one of the stupid aliens had grabbed him. 

He looked into nothing. 

The nothing had eyes.

Big, white glowing eyes. 

He screamed again. 

Slowly, his brain caught up and he realized that it was Cape Thing. Cape Thing was just nothing under the cloak, except that the nothing was somehow very strong. He continued struggling frantically as Cape Thing started to move, floating somehow like it was a ghost or something. He managed to squirm enough to slide down a bit, his bare feet able to touch the freezing cold, smooth floor. He jammed the arm holding him into his mouth and bit down hard.

A horrible screech sounded right in his ear and then somehow the arm just . . . wasn’t there anymore. Except it was because it was still holding him firmly, almost crushing against his chest, but it wasn’t there.

“Let me go!” he cried, pushing his voice as loud as it would go. The other aliens couldn’t handle loud noises. “Let me go! I’ll kill you! Put me down! You stupid alien LET GO OF ME!” 

The only response was an angry-sounding grumble and the wrong, not-there-but-there arms repositioning and holding him more securely. Benji kept screaming, spiraling into nonsense but he couldn’t think, couldn’t do anything but fight and scream. 

He vaguely registered that the other two were there now, keeping a safe distance away and mumbling to each other. Benji bared his teeth at them and growled, kicking in their direction as if he had any hope of actually hurting them. Birdy One flinched back, but soon reached out again, cooing like a pigeon or something. Benji snapped at the stupid clawed hand and Tall Idiot pulled it back out of his reach, saying something to Birdy One that sounded angry. Or maybe worried. 

Benji didn’t care. He couldn’t breathe and he couldn’t think. They were going to lock him up, or kill him, or eat him. And there was nothing he could do but cry. Because he was crying now, uncontrollably.

“Please,” he begged through sobs. “Please let go! Please!” 

They couldn’t understand him. Benji was afraid that they wouldn’t listen if they could. 

Soon Cape Thing brought him into a room. This room was small and mostly empty, with the vent in the high ceiling instead of in the wall. It was furnished with a large cot, obviously made for somebody much bigger than Benji, and a box filled with things that he didn’t care about right now. He needed to get away.

But once Cape Thing was in the room, it just stayed there. It didn’t move, didn’t make any noise. Just floated in the middle of the room, bobbing up and down ever so slightly as Benji thrashed with everything in him. 

Eventually, struggling became harder. His voice was scratchy and almost gone now. His limbs felt heavy, and his chest heaved with the effort of fighting. Cape Thing made some noises that were probably meant to be comforting, but Benji just growled weakly.

Soon he hung limp in Cape Thing’s arms, head dropped back on its chest, too exhausted to keep fighting. Cape Thing made a clicking noise, then gently set him on the cot and . . . vanished? 

Benji scrambled to his feet and stumbled to the door, but it was already shut and locked. He pounded on it, slamming his little body into it, crying and pleading for them to let him out.

Nothing happened.

Eventually he staggered back to the cot, curling into himself and giving in to exhaustion. 

.

“It’s so small,” Torve whispered. They were all still stood in front of the storage room door, pretty much shocked into silence. The screaming and awful, awful wailing noises had finally stopped. The little thing had probably fallen asleep or something.

Lydra hissed, clutching her arm close to her torso. “Got jaws like a tre’eat, even if it is a pup.” She had immaterialized in time to prevent most of the damage, but a little trickle of black blood was oozing from the strangely shaped mark. 

Krel fluffed. “Human bites are venomous,” he chittered. “We need to clean it right away.”

“You didn’t mention that before!”

“Well I’m sorry we were a bit preoccupied!”

Torve put a hand on each of their heads, rumbling deep in his chest. “No arguing. There is a baby human locked in our storage room, we don’t have the time for arguing. I’ll help Lydra get the bite taken care of. Krel, go turn off the recording in the cockpit and then start unblocking the vents.”

Krel’s wings mantled a bit. “By myself?”

“The human can’t get out,” the older boy soothed. “You’ll be fine.” 

Krel ducked his head and ran off to the cockpit.

As soon as he was out of earshot Lydra hissed, bashing her head into Torve’s side. 

“Skies, it hurts,” she wailed, muffled against him. The jarring frequency made him pin his ears back trying to block it out. 

“Let’s go clean it off, then. Come on.” He tucked an arm around her, pulling her along to the medbay. Or, well, the corner of the galley with a medkit. Their ship was nowhere big enough for a proper medbay. Lydra bobbed along, mostly immaterial, though Torve knew that being intangible didn’t mean she couldn’t feel pain. It likely hurt more, honestly, because the specific wounded part of her didn’t exist, so she felt it everywhere. 

He churred comfortingly to her as best he could, trying to imitate a frequency that was more normal to Halos. 

Sweet skies there was a baby human in their ship.

Torve needed to call his dad. He needed to tell somebody, this couldn’t be okay, right? It certainly wasn’t legal. His tail bapped rapidly against the floor as he disinfected the bite. He couldn’t really bandage it, as Lydra was having difficulty existing at the moment, but the human’s blunt little teeth had only barely broken skin. He figured it would be okay. Maybe. He hoped so.

Krel came back a few minutes later, much longer that it would have taken him to just shut off the recording.

“Is she okay?” he asked quietly.

“I’m fine,” Lydra said, eyes glowing dimmer than usual. She was probably tired, it had to have taken a lot out of her to hold on to the human until it wore itself out. Even as malnourished as it probably was, it was so strong, with a concerning amount of stamina. Torve couldn’t imagine even moving in that state. 

“It’s . . . it’s asleep,” Krel said after a few seconds. “I checked the camera, it fell asleep. I . . . do you think it’s okay? It looks sick. Like, I don’t know, I don’t know what humans chicks are supposed to look like. But it looks sick.”

“Oh, goodness, did it infect me with something!?” Lydra’s eyes narrowed. 

Torve rumbled, “It’s probably just hungry and neglected. If there’s a baby human in space, by itself, illegally, I doubt whoever had it before was taking very good care of it. Why else would it be so afraid of us?”

“It didn’t look afraid to me!” Krel protested. “It was trying to eat Lydra!”

Torve flicked his tail. “Different species have different fear responses,” he said simply. “Humans are violent. They probably fight their way out of everything.” Which is why we need to tell someone about this, someone who knows what they’re doing, someone who will save us if this all goes wrong. 

Lydra let out a small mewl sound, a signal of resigned agreement. “You’re probably right. But we have it now. We’ll feed it when it wakes up, and maybe get it to realize we’re not going to hurt it and then it won’t want to hurt us.” 

Or we could just call my dad. We could call him and he would save us and we wouldn’t even have to worry about it.

Torve worked his jaw, not saying anything. None of them did, for a while. 

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Benji in a box, what will he do?

~Ace

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