Explanation: I joined the fanfic100 community on livejournal. They give you 100 one-word prompts to start you writing stuff. This is the first challenge; expect to see more.

/028. Children

Irkens didn't have children, not in the conventional sense. They had smeets, but smeets leapt with all their knowledge from the ground and went to ships and stores and mines to do their jobs as adults. All they needed was practice and they were good to go. There wasn't any of this messing about with childrearing, no coddling of soft white pupae until they were old enough and responsible enough to look after themselves. Smeets got electricity tearing through their bodies and an identity and then they were cast out into the world.

Electricity made Dib jump and shudder. Zim watched him curiously, fidgeting his claws and pricking his antennae up to catch every garbled word and groan. It was repulsive, really. Dib smelled of pain and the shit and urine he had fouled himself with. He was twitching spasmodically, belly-down on the metal floor. One hand clenched and relaxed again and again. The fingernails were torn back and blood was leaking out, diluting orangish and spreading slowly. He was still alive. If he were dead he wouldn't be bleeding.

Zim went to him, toed him in the side with one black boot. He knelt and lifted Dib's head up by pulling his thick black hair. All the blood vessels in Dib's eyes had broken, so that formerly-white sclera was pinkish and foul looking. His eyes were rolled so far back in his head that pink was all that showed. It was a sickly color, pre-Irken, babyish. Electricity was what made humans work, in tiny amounts; but you gave them too much and they broke so so easy. Dib hadn't even turned twelve yet.