A Big Shiny Blue Marble Ch. 31


Even so, you should let her suck sometimes. It's good for both of you and she needs to know that you're her mom. That'll bond you two. You've got everything that you need to start making milk for your uh, little drowling there."

"Everything I need?" Cha'Khah asked, "How? You said that it takes a little time and she will grow frustrated."

"Uh-huh," Rachel chuckled, pointing at Barrett who came walking toward them with Arrax, "but he won't, will he? Let him do the work. He'd love it, and you'll be Mo-Wenn's real mother in no time."

"This is so?" she asked, looking at them all.

"Pft --don't look at me," Selena grinned, "I still haven't figured out everything that I can do with my hands, never mind my tits. But if any of us knows, it's Rachel."

"I do not know of it personally, "Shaevre said, "but I know that it can be done by Xer as well. If a childless pair seeks to adopt a very small whelp, the workers at the home who care for orphans tell the bitch to do the same as Rachel has said, before they take the little one home, so that there will be milk in her teats."

"This is something strange," Cha'Khah said as she held the full cloth to Mo-Wenn again, "See the thong on her wrist. Sheavre, could you please go and ask Vadren to come? I have something to tell him." Sheavre nodded and walked off to find the mage.

"There is something on the beads," Cha'Khah said, "but I cannot see it from here. The mother was a wild elf, but I did not recognize her tribe from her face markings. Of all of the Darthiir, they are the least liked by the other kinds, though they do not seek to kill them as they do us. They are also the most like us in their ways -- at least a little, in how they hold themselves apart and do not trust outsiders.

Xunafae was the mother's name, and it is a name that Drow use as well. Mo-Wenn is also a name known to us, though we write it a little differently. We would tie two names together over it and craft the one from them, like my own name.

For this little one, we would likely name her Moniriel Rah-Wenn in our way of complicating things which are simple and a girl's mother would call her Mo-Wenn."

Barrett and Arrax held out a strange looking bag. "What is that?" Cha'Khah asked.

"It is a water bag, from one of the emergency packages on the skiff. If one is down on a world with no water, it can be used to draw water from the ground as long as water exists there. A tube runs out so that one may drink without disturbing the arrangement. For this, I removed the long tube and kept the short, soft one. The collecting bag came off and the smaller carrying bag went on so that it is more easily managed. There is a valve inside and she will have to suck, just as she would at her mother's teats. The bag is cleaned and we can try a little milk to see if it will work for her."

Cha'Khah and the other females looked at the thing a little skeptically, but as soon as the tube was against the infant's lips, she began to suck at it happily, making busy little sighs as she went.

"So the first crisis has passed," smiled Cha'Khah." My thanks to the two inventors."

"It'll need to be cleaned after every use," Barrett said, "but I guess a mother would know that, huh?"

"A father as well," she smiled, "you can feed her this way just as I can. I am a little overwhelmed at being given a girl to raise. That does not mean that I have become stupid, Barrett."

Little Mo-Wenn stopped sucking for a moment as she looked at Barrett. She pushed the nipple away a little and reached out with both of her little hands. As soon as Barrett brought his face close to her, she stared and touched his cheek. It brought a lot of giggles from her for the way that his beard felt to her, and satisfied after a moment, she remembered the makeshift nipple again and Cha'Khah got it to her mouth. As she sucked, she looked back at them, a tiny elf girl with very dark red hair and large, bright green eyes.

Vadren approached, laughing a little, "I knew that Barrett was unusual from the first moment, but I must bow to the ability of a mighty mage, if he can give you a drowling and with none of the pain of the birthing -- all over the hours of a morning!"

Cha'Khah told him about what had happened, and he examined the beaded strings. "The mother's name is close to our way, no?" he asked as he reached to gently turn the beads on the thong which the infant wore, "Even stranger, cousin. Her name is written here in their way, and it is written as you or I would have written it: 'Mo-Wenn'. There is a bead on the other side with the whole and proper name: Moniriel Rah-Wenn."

The others stared, but Cha'Khah smiled, "As I have said."

"How did you know?" Selena asked.

"I have a feeling that it wasn't just a lucky guess," Rachel smiled.

"Perhaps it was, I do not know." Cha'Khah smiled as she bent down to kiss the little head, "But that is what I would have named her. Well met we are, little Moniriel."

Vadren looked again at the child, seeing features and thinking over what came to him from the beaded charms. "The beads are common for their kind, and are used to make their charms. All of these are the same in the way that they ask for the same things -- a little protection and a hope to be loved."

"I do not know what she was doing here, but the mother was far from her tribe. They are the one tribe closest to ourselves of the Wild Ones. How did she speak?"

"She spoke almost as we do between us, Vadren," Cha'Khah said, "We had no trouble between us with it." She looked at Mo-Wenn, "I think that we have missed finding a friend by only minutes. I wish that I could have come in time. We called each other 'sister' as though it was the truth."

"I knew a Xunafae once, before we left with Azrael," Vadren said quietly as he looked from the infant to his cousin. He looked down and Cha'Khah knew what he was sensing.

She reached for Vadren's arm, "This has been an evil day, cousin. She mentioned you to me by your name. The father was Aldred, but he was killed by her brother and they cast her out of her tribe. Xunafae said that she came seeking you. That is perhaps the reason for the hope that you feel in the enchantment on the beads. She came all of this way alone hoping that you might want her. I cannot think of where she must have been all alone to birth her daughter when her time came to her. If it were not for the pack of dogs and her weakness, this day might have brought you happiness."

Vadren nodded, "Who can say? Xunafae was not what I would have wanted for myself, but that was there and then. Today, I think that I have missed helping a friend and it might have turned into more than we had."

He sighed heavily, "Instead, two of my friends are dead, and here is a little one who needs much. I would say this to you anyway, Cha'Khah, but this girl will have my love as well, whatever I can give is hers for her, for you, and for the memory of her parents."

He smiled a little then, "I rejoice anyway for what has been saved and has come to you."

Mo-Wenn stopped nursing, and Rachel showed Cha'Khah how to burp her. With that done, Mo-Wenn became sleepy in a couple of minutes and Cha'Khah held her as she sucked at her nipple a little half-heartedly and placed her hand on her adopted mother's breast and fell asleep.

"Will you keep the name?" Selena asked, "I like it."

"I must," Cha'Khah said, "I have been given a gift from a mother's failing hands. Knowing her name and taking it from her to give her another would shame me. Keeping the name honors us both."

She looked at Barrett and he smiled, "Why do you keep looking at me? These complicated things are no business of mine. All I know is that I have a daughter. I couldn't think of a nicer name for her to save my life. I'm over the moon with her, and I can already see that you love her. Mo-Wenn is her name, and it stays."

"You have fallen in with a pair of fools, Mo-Wenn," Cha'Khah smiled quietly as she looked down, "but you have gained a wonderful male for a father, and come into a fine family."

She looked at her husband, "I hope that you are ready for what comes with this one if she got even a little from her mother, besides her fine looks."

"Uh, what do you mean?" Barrett asked, a little uncertainly.

Mo-Wenn opened her eyes and gave a satisfied little grunt, as she filled her swaddling rags with a rather wet-sounding noise. "You see?" Cha'Khah chuckled, "She makes sounds like you already."

As they looked at her, Mo-Wenn squinted a bit and her tiny hand waved a little in space, as though she was reaching for something. The shadows shifted around them, and as they looked for the cause, they saw one of the two florescent fixtures looking as though it was being pulled toward them on its chains slightly. It hung there, quivering a little for a moment, before the tubes shattered and broken glass rained down next to them all.

With the harsh light out of her eyes now, Mo-Wenn moved her little hand and took hold of a bit of Cha'Khah's long white hair and held it against her new mother's breast. She closed her eyes and after a few more sucks, she fell back asleep in an instant.

Vadren laughed quietly, "We had all better be ready, and Cha'Khah and I will need to teach her how to be a Drow, though that is not far from what she is anyway. You will have to teach her how to be at least a little human, my friend, and we will all need to learn patience," he chuckled.

He pointed with a soft smile, "Enjoy this while it may last. They are not called Wild Ones for nothing."

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