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   Chapter 26 No.26

LARC Transmissions - An Anki Legacies Science Fantasy Anthology for Young Adults By S Shane Thomas Characters: 5839

Updated: 2018-01-25 12:02

Rhodo didn't receive a response accepting his plea. Instead images of the stars and motion through the forest mixed with emotions he only recognized from his probing in Jillian Taylor's mind. He felt a determination behind it; those hunters in the hollow hoped to gain their quarry's mobility.

While all they consumed had mobility, the mindless, unaware animals in the brush had never inspired them. Instinct driven animals didn't inspire a sense of curiosity and the desire to explore that drove humans.

Rhodo knew that sending Jillian and Marcel may potentially cause all the visitors harm. He knew that guiding them through the forest on their feet would take more time than his kind needed to corral at least one of the three caged humans into a lethal trap.

Something occurred to him, something from deep within Jillian's memories… It seemed so…unnatural though. Rhodo replayed her memory a dozen times. He saw her and her mother removing plants from small containers and placing them into larger ones. He saw that same plant growing larger in her subsequent memories. He had only known a plant to wither when it separated from the soil that anchored and sustained it.

"Jillian." The voice of the plant rang heavy with fear and desperation, "Please bring me a sample collection pail… the largest you have."

"Rhodo… what's wrong?" Even while she pressed for information the feeling that came through with his request sent her into immediate action.

"I need to go to Leroy. Your companions are in danger. I need to get myself there, and quickly."

Jillian began to ask another question, but withheld her curiosity and dashed into the brush toward the plant. She gasped at the sight before her. Rhodo looked like a spider, holding

ng Leroy had killed and began to make plans for an escape. A rustling near the opening they had passed through caused him to stand and draw his firearm. A branch from his right hand side whipped out and knocked the weapon out of his grip, sending it sliding into the brush.

The branch grasped his wrist, while another wrapped around his neck and shoulder. The attacker had just begun pulling at the arm, trying to tear off a piece of the man that it could fit in its mouth, when Dr. Keller screamed.

Leroy flexed his arm into a curl, desperately trying to keep it attached. Leroy grasped his snared fist with his free hand, pulling with all his strength to keep the limb from extending and eventually being pulled free from socket, tendon, and self. Blood soaked his chest from cuts in his neck, chest, and underarm where the whip-like branch's thorns dug in. He began to see purple spots from blood loss, being partially choked, and from sheer exertion. His knees buckled and the strain on his upper body tore deeper as his weight drooped.

The vine on his wrist began winning the tugging contest and his captured arm reached its full extension.


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