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LARC Transmissions - An Anki Legacies Science Fantasy Anthology for Young Adults By S Shane Thomas Characters: 6192

Updated: 2018-01-25 12:02

The colony never had time to maneuver. In short seconds the enormous spider latched onto the propulsion ring behind the colonial starship. It spewed dozens of eater and harvester teams onto the colony's hull. Thousands of the colonists had been lost to the machines or into the vacuum of space before the crash landing.

The ovoid colony detached from its propulsion ring and the hull blazed through the moon's atmosphere. Anything close to the exterior got cooked from heat and radiation. Its emergency departure had been as successful as could be. Our home, though badly damaged and permanently grounded, was still habitable.

The propulsion ring, meant to be our orbital construction site for a future fleet, exploded and tore the life eating menace to shreds. In the months that followed we mourned the dead, nearly one in four of our original number. Humanity built and thrived on our new home. Then we began to notice small metallic spiders.

Metarhizium Anisopliae

Dr. Henry Foster straightened his back and stretched tired arms overhead. Henry and all the other biologists aboard the colonial starship shared an incredible view of the Earth Habitat. He gazed at the familiar rain forest he had spent so many afternoons tending while doing his undergrad and doctoral studies in the ship's university. Now, as a professor and researcher, Foster found only rare occasions to tramp through the habitats. The man rolled his head from shoulder to shoulder before resuming his observations.

On his desk sat a termite colony wedged into glass. Dr. Foster had taken note that one particular termite nest had succumbed to a fungal invasion from metarhizium anisopliae. Despite all the data suggesting larger forms of life enjoyed immunity to its fatal effects, he found a dead woodpecker nearby, eaten from the inside out by the fungus. The mutated

rged on the remains of Dr. Foster and his fungus.

Back in Foster's laboratory, hours before investigators thought to sterilize, a janitor developed a strange fixation for the bits of green fuzzy stuff covering some dead bugs under glass.

More Than Spare Parts

Ronald Greymar and Ron Greymar Jr stared out the view port into a splash of stars. The men shared every likeness from their rusty red hair, freckled complexion, blocky shoulders, average height, even the flat left foot.

Only age distinguished differences between the pair, the senior's hair thinned from the forehead back, crow's feet marked his eyes, and his posture slumped from the progression of time. In many ways the pair resembled father and son.

"Boot camp for the Colonial Security Force starts Monday, " Ron Jr said casually.

Ronald shook his balding head in disapproval, "I know you have more potential than that." The elder reached his hand toward the other's shoulder, but junior evaded the contact. "You've got a brilliant future in the astrophysics department of the starship's university. As department chair I can insure you receive a position as soon as you complete graduate studies, " Ronald said. He gazed at unfamiliar constellations.

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