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   Chapter 25 No.25

LARC Transmissions - An Anki Legacies Science Fantasy Anthology for Young Adults By S Shane Thomas Characters: 5493

Updated: 2018-01-25 12:02


Keller and Morin spoke excitedly among themselves as Leroy Phillips guided them according to Bloom's direction. The elevation began to rise as the three explorers ventured toward their last meeting before they were to return to the shuttle for the evening. As the ground rose, Leroy noticed that the spongy floor had been replaced with firm roots underfoot.

He asked Bloom aloud, "What lies under all the vegetation?" He knew he had only to think his query in order for her to hear it. In fact the Venatorrhodon couldn't hear in the physical sense, lacking sensory organs.

"Under the growth is an ocean that covers the entire planet. My species has speculated that vegetable life grew uncontested for millions of years until species evolved that rose out of the water on the backs of their ancestors. The ocean animals must have developed later and made a living for themselves consuming vegetation, until Venatorrhodon evolved to even the score."

"Plants and animals evolved alongside one another on Earth. The carnivorous plant species Earth hosts are small and non-sentient."

While Bloom did not convey words, Leroy felt a sense of amusement through the connection they shared.

They drew near to their destination and an image of a narrow pass appeared in Leroy's mind. "I will let you advance on your own now; the Venatorrhodon you encounter will share the experiences of Dr. Keller and Dr. Morin in order to communicate. I must hunt for another meal in order to finish developing my seeds."

Leroy felt her mix of joy and pain and knew it must trouble Bloom deeply to know many of the children being created would not mature i

ut in the forest and creatures flew from their perches, taking to the skies beyond the canopy. Leroy had unloaded four shots into the attacker's jaws. Green ooze leaked from the bullet holes and he raised the heel of his boot, smashing into the center of the four shots.

Keller gasped in relief as the grip on her leg slackened. The entire mass of foliage drooped as he stomped the mouth apart, covering his pants in its green slimy blood up to his waist. Leaves rolled up into straws and clung tightly to their branches.

******

Rhodo shuddered at the realization of intention. Two of the cluster had learned of the humans and still they wished to prey upon them. His mind reached out and met with the beings in the hollow. He felt the other Venatorrhodon and their anticipation, now laced with an eager desperation at what the prey had already cost them. He felt the fading presence of the aggressor whom Leroy had destroyed.

"Stop this! There is plenty to eat in your hollow." Rhodo pressed the thought into the minds of his brothers. He felt Bloom reaching out with similar pleas.

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