The Blanket Kit

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Sock of Retribution, Sep 3, 2019.

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  1. Sock of Retribution

    Sock of Retribution Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Here's my second Avali story that I'm only now taking the effort to post everywhere. It's also about Jiro, going into his earlier past. I may actually continue this sometime, perhaps if there is enough demand for that. Hope you enjoy!


    The Blanket Kit

    Chapter I

    April 3, 2253: Kyubino Hospital, City of Saruni, Avalon



    Kolina Kezo, an Avali female in her prime, sat upon a typical Avalonian hospital bed. She was not confined to it, but rather she was simply relying on it for comfort. She was told some days ago that the egg she had laid was scheduled to hatch in its incubator around today. They had told her it was likely to be a boy: ultimately, she liked that. It would give Armali something to play with and take his mind off of stressing subjects for some time. She knew she needed the break, too, and didn’t really care what gender their kit was as long as they had one, for however short a time. She had been told that the nursery and education departments would handle her offspring when she returned to ADF duties.


    Now the darkened ward depended on the warm incubator as a source of light. The lieutenant knew she should be asleep, but the thought of the egg hatching any minute kept her up. She reserved herself as the sole watchlady of her offspring, like any mother should.


    “Mrs. Kezo, you really should think about getting some rest.” The nurse’s benevolent words startled her patient slightly. Her white base coat of feathers gave her the stereotypical nurse appearance.


    “N-no thank you. I’m perfectly content waiting when I’m so close, to this beautiful moment..” Kolina was tired enough that she could not suppress her feelings at this point, yawning a bit as if to contradict her own statement.


    “Alright then, ma’am. Don’t tire yourself out to the point of unhealthiness, however. Just call me if you need anything.” The nurse nodded in a reserved manner and turned away, walking off and leaving the patient to her business.


    Kolina began of everything she could do with her own child. She’d cradle him, feed him, make him giggle, shush him when he cried. Those motherly instincts began to overtake the mother-to-be; she resigned all usual thought processes, focusing on the simpler things she knew now she looked so forward to. Alas, her society dictated that such a relationship would not last long.


    As if her unexpressed prayers were answered, a slight crack was heard in the air. Her ears and metabolism simultaneously rose. Could it be? She looked towards the incubator and saw nothing. Thinking it had been a hallucination, she started to turn back after a few seconds, when the sound duplicated itself.


    Koli instinctively clutched her chest as her heart began to race. She could hear the ripping of the soft, leathery shell. Her dreams were coming true. “Armali!!” She called in a rather weak voice, losing her words afterward.


    And sure enough, her mate entered the room with haste, practically sprinting through the doorway. “What’s the matter, dear?” In reality, he knew there was only one thing it could be.


    The soon-to-be mother pointed quickly to her slowly hatching egg. The gaps in the shell were starting to become visible as tiny appendages showed themselves from behind the surface. She seemed almost terrified by the sight.


    “Oh- oh ancestors. We’re… he’s hatching…” The realization overcame his mind rather slowly. A wide grin formed on his face as he turned to his partner. Suddenly he jumped a bit with joy and hugged her from the bedside, subsequently scampering over to the egg. Not to be outdone as a brand-new parent, she slowly got out of bed and followed suit.


    “It’s happening!” They both exclaimed almost simultaneously, looking at each other with amalgamate expressions of anxiety and delight. And as if urged on, the hatching process seemed to speed up. The nurse from only a couple minutes before rushed into the ward and laid her eyes on the wonderful sight as well.


    “There it is, new life… this is why I work in the nursery, you know?” She looked to the parents with a wide canine-filled grin, her Galactic Standard corrupted with an Irish-sounding accent.


    A tiny avali head poked out of the top of the shell, its eyes and ears still mostly shut. The hatchling navigated its way out of its shell with only the senses of smell and touch. Soon its diminutive pre-claws were poking out as well. as it opened its petite jaw and utters an equally small raptor-like yawn.


    “Ohhh, there he is!” The mother exclaims. “Look at the cutie…” Her expression is one of pure, unadulterated joy. Her spouse is ecstatic by comparison.


    “Would you look at that.” He starts to analyze the hatchling, especially as it breaks more and more free of its abyssal safe space.


    “Ah yep, look at that tan coat. Definitely a by-product of each of your base colors.” It seems the nurse is doing the same, judging from her statement. “Give ‘im some space, tho.”


    As the last pieces of the egg fall to the ground around the baby, it begins to open its eyes and lift up its ears for the first time. The hatchling rather abruptly falls over onto its back, tiny underdeveloped hind paws showing and a bare cartilage tail tucked under his bottom. A small, relatively high-pitched grunt could be heard from the newborn as it became afraid of its surroundings and began to cry and wail.


    “Ah no, there goes the foreign environment alarm…” The white-fluffed nurse with red plumage began to cradle the baby, trying to get it to calm down. “Shhh, it’s alright, young one…”


    “Very much young,” Armali remarked. “Still totally bare of feathers. The poor thing’s gonna have to do some major growing first.”


    At first, it seemed a bit odd to the couple that their baby’s caretaker checked the abdomen specifically. Then they realized the ultimate purpose, both blushing a bit. “It’s a boy, sure enough.” She turned to the couple, noticing their polarizing feather coat hues and inwardly contemplating “Just like ya wanted.”


    As Kolina instinctively reached out for her kit, the nurse understood the gesture and carefully handed him over. The mother held her new son with a rather blank expression at first, just taking in the sight of the child. She suddenly put him up to her head and nuzzled his body in motherly fashion. She didn’t stop until a few seconds later, seeming to naturally calm the kit down; he even began to let out little giggles. “Theeere there, young little thing… everything’s gonna be alright, my son.” And as she broke and looked at the now satisfied, joyful newborn, she couldn’t help but begin to cry tears of joy.


    Her mate did not stand idly by, either; he began to hug her in return, taking a look at his son and experiencing a heart melting. He couldn’t help but get a bit curious and held a claw close, to which the baby held its arms out to touch. “Awwww… isn’t he the cutest thing? And the best part, is that he’s ours…” He inched even closer to the mother he loved so much, and helped her to hold the boy he suddenly loved so much too. “An’ now you’re crying too, Koli?” He giggled light-heartedly and kissed her on the cheek.


    “Zarumi and Rujin would be proud…” she stated softly. Her partner hugs her a bit tighter as the names are uttered.


    “And hey, ya haven’t even thought of a name yet.” The nurse adds.


    “Oh, naming.. That’s a whole different story, ain’t it Kolina?” Armali claimed, Koli giggling in response to her partner’s remark. “I always thought something like, eh.. Ruzomu would be best. And you?” He asked with genuine curiosity.


    “And me?” Kolina replied. “Well, since I’m the mother, my word is final, isn’t it?” Both of them giggled a bit more, already quite delighted about the whole situation. Koli looks down at her son, who is now yawning innocently.


    “I’m thinking of something a lot more mellow, like... Jiroku. Yeah, that sounds about right.” She nodded to herself in a rather reserved manner, then looked back to Arma.


    “Well, what are we waiting for? Name him Jiroku, then!” The male seemed rather serious, but he only seemed to set his partner off laughing.


    “Jiroku it is…” And despite the laughter, they look back to the sand-colored hatchling to realize that he has fallen asleep, the nurse having given him a bright blue blanket to rest in. The baby, of course, had grasped for the black tag instead and it now lay on his muzzle as he drifted off.


    “Jiro must like that thing..” Kolina remarked, simply staring at her newborn child.


    Armali looked to her in a rather firm yet soft manner. “And I’m going to make sure he keeps it. The boy is too precious to have it denied.”




    Chapter II

    October 4, 2253: Kyubino Nursery, City of Saruni, Avalon


    To say the 6-month-old Jiroku lay crying in his beanbag-like crib would be an understatement; his parents inwardly wondered whether their ancestors in the heavens could hear his unceasing, concentration-shattering wailing. The dim lighting did more to accentuate the current mood than the cushioned furniture and floor, which the room’s occupants now completely took for granted. A diligent nurse, petite even by the standards of Avali, tried desperately to calm the infant down. She scooped the child up into her wing, draping a warm light blue blanket over him and letting him tug on it while shushing him with an equally warm demeanor.


    The kit’s whining was not the only expression of despair in the vicinity; in the meantime, his parents were trying desperately not to pop blood vessels over the information they had just been given. A nursery administrator was present, only to be peppered with frantic questions in the moment.


    “There was a kidnapping?!” Armali and Kolina Kezo inquired simultaneously, standing with eyes and mouths agape. “How could they have gotten past security? How long ago did this occur? Were there any injuries? Deaths?” The alien couple took turns asking questions that their quick, frenzied gestures only vaguely matched. The two pairs of ears they each sported were perked in alert X-formations, as if they were fuzzy radar suites.


    The administrator would try his best to calmly answer all of them. “Yesterday we experienced an intrusion by what looked to be agents, for whom we do not know. They took all the children comprising the Tanalya pack, save for your kit. Ms. Chira - who was your egg nurse, Mrs. Kezo - had been assigned to raise the pack after your recovery. In an effort to defend them she was… tragically killed.”


    Kolina laid a palm on her forehead and closed her eyes, but her spouse refused to assume the worst. “Well, were they caught? Where is the rest of the pack now? Have they been found?” He asked.


    The admin and nurse looked to each other solemnly, and in that moment Armali realized how dire the situation was. The first of the three turned his head back and slowly opened his mouth to speak, catching his breath. “Authorities and the Fleet weren’t able to act quickly enough. It’s as if the perpetrators were able to slip by all security protocols during the incursion. Before we knew it they were off-world. We still don’t know how it was possible.”


    “Oh, for the love of the ancestors, this isn’t happening…” Kolina uttered hopelessly. Her mate, meanwhile, was having to put great restraint on himself in order to avoid barking in anger at the bearer of bad news. It took a few seconds for him to calm himself down and finally react, still harboring a grimace of gritted canines. “Look, this can’t be over yet; either the Defense or Expeditionary Fleet, or both, can work to track this group down and bring them to justice. I know for certain the latter has far enough reach to do so. Can’t you...” He rolls a paw in a “you know what I mean” gesture.


    As the baby Jiroku quieted down, the nurse chimed in, trying to de-escalate the conversation. “I know you’re hurt by this, Mr. Kezo, but at the moment we’ve pushed the issue to both the Fleets as much as is humanly possible from our end. You’re part of the Expeditionary Forces yourself, right?”


    “I know what you’re insinuating,” Armali replied with a snappy tone before catching himself. “Entry-level officers like us can’t push anything up through the command chain, any more than you can.”


    Kolina sighed and finally lifted her head up, putting a wing over her mate’s back. “Armali, dear, you know there’s nothing we can do about it at this point. Leave the poor meds alone: the damage is already done,” she spoke softly.


    “Hmph. Maybe I will, but wait until Kemura gets here. He’s going to give them a real hard time.”


    “Wait, you mean, the rear admiral?” The nurse squeaked in fear.


    “Yes, he happens to be my father.”


    As if on queue, a single knock was made with force on the nursery ward’s door. The administrator activated its neural trigger, causing the door to instantly slide open without anyone reaching for it. An older Avali nonchalantly strolled in wearing admiral’s dress, his toe claws clacking on the cold graphite floor of the doorway. His tail swayed from side to side with impatience. As he turned from the doorway into the group, he removed his triple-feathered headdress and placed it between his lowered paws in front of him. Throughout all of this, the rest of the room grew silent, even the baby.


    He addressed himself simply and without extant expression. “Rear Admiral Kemura Nakti. Well met,” he said plainly, nodding his head towards the admin. “I’ve been lobbying with the rest of the Admiralty Board to take action in regards to this problem which plagues you. The rest say it’s too risky to mobilize a search force, because it could be misconstrued as projecting our power at the border of our own territory, or as trespassing were we to cross it. Disgraceful decision making, very cowardly.” He shook his head in ultimate disapproval and bore a scowl of disgust. “I’d like to see them t-” He stopped himself. “...Ahem, anyhow, I have heard my grandson was spared; is that true?”


    The nurse held the baby up slightly so his relative could see him. Kemura nodded and waved for him with an index talon, which she complied with. He held Jiroku, wrapped in the blanket, tenderly and gently kissed the young kit on the forehead, uncharacteristic for someone of his demeanor. The infant cooed and purred; the frantic twitching of his ears and widened eyes suggested he was startled by the gesture. “How will he be raised, now that the rest of the pack is lost?”


    “The best course of action at this point is to find him a replacement pack,” answered the administrator. “You’ll need to act quickly because the pack formation stage of his brain development is already underway; if too much time passes he will become mentally compromised.”


    “Can’t you see he’s already mentally compromised?” Kolina suddenly cried out. “He witnessed the kidnapping of the entire rest of his pack as well as a cold-blooded murder! How do you think a 6-month-old brain will process that?!”


    “Koli…” Armali attempted to calm his partner down, holding her gently.


    “She’s right,” Kemura interjected. “And frankly, I can’t believe this whole thing has been allowed to occur. How could the bureaucracy, and Kyubino, be so incapable of resolving the situation in the proper manner, let alone prevention in the first place?! What in ancestors’ name does it take for you to get off your a-”


    As the rear admiral raised his well-trained assertive voice, Jiroku began his infant wailing once more. The nurse rushed to take him back and calm him down, but was interrupted by his mother’s quiet request. “Give me the baby..”


    “Give her the baby, Dad,” her lover reiterated. The nurse backed away to give Kemura space. The elder sighed, looking down at the distraught infant before starting a slow walk to Kolina and giving her what she had asked for. She took out a small dreamcatcher and attempted to distract him with it.


    “There are other methods of handling the baby’s rearing, though they are more complex and involved for the tribe,” the nursery head stated regretfully. “I’m sure the community would be willing to help in raising your child. Pack education is largely handled publicly nowadays anyhow.”


    “Like a military tribe will have any resources devoted to the education of a kit that ideally needs rehab too,” Armali replied. “We’ll be jumping from station to station so much that no public education could keep up. The kid’s gotta be raised by someone in his own family, to a large extent. That’s just how it works in active duty.”


    “In that case, we can register you as a guardian if that is the path you wish to take. Obviously, at least one of you will need to take the time and effort out of your schedule to do so.”


    “But we’re just about to redeploy; my maternity leave is nearing its end,” Kolina explained stressfully. “We won’t have the time for that and worrying about Jiro.”


    “Who ever heard of parents raising a child by themselves anyway?” Armali added. “It’s a tribe effort or at least a pack effort. They should be able to help us somehow.”


    The head proposed a half-solution. “We’ll likely have to bring a tutor from outside the tribe. Those few well-versed in your military culture are more likely to work part-time, and will fetch a high pay grade either way. I’ll bring up some contacts and see what we can do about it. For now, we will leave you three in the company of each other, since I have much business to attend to. I’m very sorry about your experience, and I hope the nursery as a whole will be able to work out a plan you are comfortable with.” The empathy he felt toward them was genuine, though the words in which he expressed it may have made it seem artificial. He bowed respectfully and quietly exited the room with the nurse.


    “I don’t know what’s going to happen to our kit, Armi. I’m so afraid for him… what do we do now?” Kolina lowered her head and began to cry, holding her baby tight in her wings as he looked up to her with an open mouth, tugging with his mouth and claws on the blanket he still possessed.


    Armali touched his forehead to hers, bowing his head with her. “How ironic is it, that we should follow our greatest ambitions in the line of duty, only to discover the child we longed for together shall be swept from our hands and we are expected to continue on as if he never was?”


    “Such is the way life is sometimes,” Kemura remarked, standing separately from them and maintaining his composure.


    “I should at least, wish to see him every so often, if I cannot be an active part of his life…” She stuttered out shakily between her sobs.


    “If he can’t be raised by us, then it would at least be nice to delegate the task to a relative or someone else we trust,” Armali mused. “That way we could have more peace of mind.”


    “I can take him in,” Kemura spoke up. “The Board is… inactive these days. I should have enough time to raise him and find him a new pack in the meantime.”


    “You? Really?” Kolina looked up skeptically. “You hardly even let me marry your son! What makes you think I would trust you with my child?” Her feelings of sadness started to boil into a fiery temper.


    “And where was the rest of your elder pack in all of this?” Kemura answered a question with a question. “Armali was always the ‘omega’ in their eyes. I was the only one supporting him every step of the way, giving him a sense of self-worth. I only wanted him to branch outside of his pack, see what great people out there might possibly be lying in wait for him!”


    “And did you ever stop to think that my own pack might have been my greatest comfort in all of that?” Armali retorted. “We loved each other just fine, and still do. I’ve always been perfectly happy with her. You don’t have to worry about me in that regard anymore, Dad.” He turned to Kemura and put on a reassuring smile.


    The older male would return the gaze. He let slip the faintest of grins, staying silent for a few seconds before clearing his throat. “Yes, well, I’m not sure exactly how relevant it is to the topic at hand, though.”


    “It means…” He held the word out for longer, indicating its role in leading to the next topic. “...that I can trust you to be overprotective of this little boy here.” The young adult male looked to his spouse with a subtle pleading expression; sure enough, she passed him the infant to carry, who at the moment was again crying. “But not to any unreasonable degree, right?” He leaned to his father before whispering his next words, pointing to the baby. “Or else I’ll end up sounding something like that.”


    The rear admiral couldn’t help but chuckle. “I’ll care for him as if he were my own; that much I promise to you two.”


    “Kolina, are you alright with this?”


    She took a deep breath. “Well, we hardly have a better option…” She rose and slowly walked up to Kemura. His weariness of whatever action she could take proved unnecessary; she shook the elder’s hand, before taking him into a hug that caught him completely off guard.


    “Kolina, err…” After recovering from the shock, he hugged her back.


    “Awww, you guys… Oh hey, looks like your hug got Jiro to quiet down again!” Armali continued his cheerful demeanor, helping to brighten the mood. “It’s a double-miracle! And thank God too…”


    Kolina took back the infant, with the two males watching her closely. “I’m still worried about his mental health after all this, though.”


    “I think he’s young enough to the point that his brain can repair itself after the damage. He might suffer repercussions from the experience, but I trust the soldier’s blood in him will allow him to persevere and bounce back. Sometimes you just have to have hope for that… I know from my own child.” He looked back to Armali quickly, who batted a paw at him in a “stop embarrassing me” gesture.


    “He should be okay in the mental realm if he can tug onto that blanket so hard in the physical. Look at him!” The infant’s father turned his attention back to the child, attempting to start a small tug-of war with him over the blanket. Armali giggled as if he himself were a young Avali.


    “Armi! Stop that and let him have it.” Kolina exercised her motherly instinct, smacking Armi’s paw as the male yelped out an “Ow!” She would instead tickle Jiroku, causing the baby to giggle and utter high-pitched chirps of delight in between his attempts to eat the blanket’s tag. “Only I’m allowed to assault him.”


    Kemura placed his paws on his hips and shook his head. “You realize I have to nickname him the Blanket Kit now.”


    “Oh, we already nicknamed him that a while ago,” Jiroku’s parents said in tandem. “He’s practically inseparable from it now.”


    The elder raised his brows in acceptance of the fact. “Then so it shall remain…”
     
    Roke Eagle and -Redstar like this.
  2. -Redstar

    -Redstar Void-Bound Voyager

    well that certainly took a turn
     
  3. Roke Eagle

    Roke Eagle Tentacle Wrangler

    Good story! I hope you will continue writing it. I need stories like these to read when i have nothing else to do. Unlike everyone else at school, i stand and read something on my phone. School has those boring breaks between lessons. By the way. I'm Latvian so my english is not as good (nor as bad) as i think it is.

    I just need something to think better. These stories help.
     
  4. -Redstar

    -Redstar Void-Bound Voyager

    any chance this one will continue?
     

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