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   Chapter 35 No.35

High Steaks By Christina Engela Characters: 5364

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

"Hello, Ms. De Bris." He said in a warm, masculine voice. She couldn't tell from where exactly in the twitching vegetation the voice was coming from, or what he used to make the sound. If people came with speech bubbles like in cartoons, then Fred's would be a sort of disembodied voice with a wavy outline and no real sharp bit to link it to the source!

She noticed that he seemed to be carrying his pot. It was off the ground at least, and Fred was supporting his weight – standing – on four lower branches. She understood why people would find that such a disturbing sight – even people used to seeing alien life forms – which funny enough, despite all the different skin tones, builds, heights and number of digits – sometimes with fur or scale, sometimes with horns or tails – mostly seemed to be bipedal and symmetrical. Crabby-grass, which was ubiquitous on Deanna and something of an indigenous pest, was-plant-like – but it was still an animal that had simply adapted to look like a plant. Arboria was a planet where plants dominated. Animated, living plants.

Unlike so many other more mobile and compact species in the known universe, which seemed to always be at war with each other over frivolous nonsensical things such as beliefs, territory, wealth or power – Arborians generally lived in peace because the only territory they cared about was the space which they physically occupied and could sink their roots into. And contrary to any laws of physics humans clung to, nothing could prove that more than one object could occupy the same space at the same time, like plants could! And they

He asked. "On the house of course. Can't imagine I'm going to be selling anything here again soon with all that's going on."

"A cola would be nice, thanks." Marla replied. "It's actually strange to see this place closed. It never closes."

"Yes." Fred said, rather sadly. "It's the first time it's ever closed. The door didn't even want to move yesterday – I had to grease it just to get it closed. Anyway, it's better closed – under the circumstances."

"How so?" She asked as he placed a chilled, bubbling glass of cola with ice down in front of her.

"Because I know how these people's minds work." Said Fred coldly, placing his pot on the floor quietly, wrapping his lower branches round it. "As soon as we opened – this being the sort of establishment it is, they would raid it and arrest everyone inside! And whether they simply put everyone up against a wall and shot them – or carted them off to some concentration camp, the end result would be the same – and I have no intention of helping people like them by making it easier to find their victims!"

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