Lydia Alexander grabbed her blanket and stood up. “We’ve scared the poor thing.” She started to walk towards the silvery-skinned reptile.
“Don’t get near it,” Grant snapped, “it could be very dangerous.”
“You’ve seen too many monster movies!” She took a step closer. The infant blinked at her, but didn’t move. “It probably thinks I’m its mother.”
“I still don’t trust it.” Grant leveled his gun at it. “If it attacks you, it’s dead.”
“Don’t be silly,” she snapped back. Turning to the infant, she cooed, “it’s okay, I won’t hurt you.” It remained still while she swaddled it in her blanket and soon fell asleep in her arms.
“Sooner or later, that thing will get hungry,” Grant paced the floor while he continued his argument,” what do you intend to feed it? We have no idea what it eats.”
Lydia gently pried apart the lips of the sleeping infant. “From the looks of its teeth, it’s a herbivore. We should probably give it some soft fruit. Don’t we have some canned peaches or pears left?”
The infant cooed quietly in her arms while she carried it around. The crackle of the radio brought her out of her reverie, “Oh, shit.”
“Hello? Is there anyone there?” the voice on the radio shouted. Grant quickly grabbed the microphone and answered back, “hello, this is Grant Alexander. I’m here with my wife, Lydia. We’re packed and ready to leave.”
“We should be there in an hour. See you then.” The radio went silent.
A look of panic appeared on Lydia’s face, “I haven’t finished packing everything. Here, hold the baby,” she pressed the sleeping infant into her husband’s arms while she ran about the room packing everything that she had left unfinished the night before.
Grant stood watching her scurry about, still a bit stunned to find his arms full of something he was more than willing to kill if necessary. The infant cooed and snuggled up next to him. “How do we explain this?” he asked while gently bouncing the infant in his arms.
The infant whistled in response and wriggled about in his arms. Lydia caught it just as Grant let go. “Honestly, Grant. Would you have dropped her if she had been our baby?”
The whistling was replaced by a trilling as the infant struggled against the blanket to free its legs from the swaddling. Lydia loosened the blanket and out popped two pink hands. She put the infant down on the bed and continued to unwrap it. “How long have we been here?”
“We’ve been working these caves for eighteen months, chamber by chamber.” Grant paused and took a step closer to the bed. “Why are you asking that?”
“How old do you think she looks? I mean, she’s quite big for a newborn. And look, she holds up her head!” Lydia was holding the child up so that her toes were just touching the blanket. The eyes weren’t quite human, but the giggling was unmistakably so.
When the helicopter finally arrived and was packed with the samples, Grant, Lydia, and the as yet unnamed Chase Alexander climbed aboard.