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   Chapter 22 No.22

LARC Transmissions - An Anki Legacies Science Fantasy Anthology for Young Adults By S Shane Thomas Characters: 5777

Updated: 2018-01-25 12:02

"Dr. Keller, let us hope we see something unique and remarkable, " Marcel said, flashing a smile. The Quebec native had brown hair, a slight frame, and a sharp jaw line.

The three remaining crew sat in silence, fixated on the view as they flew a dozen feet over the canopy looking for a clearing to set the shuttle down. Dr. Morin glanced at atmospheric data from the ships instruments on his slate on occasion. Leroy leaned over the railing on the lower observation deck already in full colonial security force gear. His partner, Jillian wore a bright smile as she made a recording on her slate for her friends back on the ship to see later. Her blonde hair rested in a low bun under CSF cap.

The football field sized clearing allowed for sunlight to pour in, seizing the opportunity to shine beyond the top of the canopy. The ship touched down with an unaccustomed squish. The ground, dense with undergrowth of green life, gave no sign of how far down soil sat. After waiting for a few minutes and allowing the ship to settle, Marcel opened the bay doors to the passenger portion of the shuttle, allowing the team access to the surface.

Dr. Morin, Dr. Keller, Jillian, and Leroy emerged from the craft moments after they confirmed the atmosphere breathable. When their boots touched the ground, the squish down ended in a moist suction. Every step lagged a bit by the tiny pull on their boots, and a murky gray substance ringed the soles and shone in the sunlight.

Dr. Morin crouched, filled a small tube he held in a gloved hand, corked, and secured it in his satchel.

Dr. Keller found a small flock of flying animals hovering near the fruit of a massive tree and approached its base. Her boot marks left small pool

k out for thorns, " Jillian said, in a cautious tone.

"Arghh!" Morin jerked his arm, trying to get his hand free from the vine-like limb now entwining itself around him. He jerked harder and cried out as thorns dug into the skin on his hand and wrist, tearing flesh. The plant continued to twist and snare the doctor.

Leroy shouted and began sloshing through the murk toward the two.

Jillian drew her firearm and leveled it near where the branch connected to the water melon shaped stalk.

Before either officer could react, Morin flew across the ground as the branch whipped him toward its stalk like a rabbit in a snare. Its melon snapped open and thin thorny fangs lined three sides that spread like flower petals. A wet pink surface gleamed as Morin flailed toward the green jaws.

Jillian felt her hands rumble and saw the muzzle flare; the sound rang through her ears, through the swampy foliage. Dr. Morin stumbled to the ground with a plop as the water splashed up. The vine grasping his arm thrashed violently about. Purple fluid oozed out of its end and out from the stub near its stalk jaws. The mouth-like center snapped shut.

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