Prosper & Thrive by Ginger Booth (Thrive Space Colony Adventures)
English | 2020 | Sci – Fi | ePUB | 2.9 MB
Ginger Booth is a writer and programmer. She’s worked in the seismic industry, semiconductor electronics, academic research in biology and environmental science, and online teaching simulators.
Have warp, will travel! A three-world tour!
Thrive Spaceways proved its new warp gate by saving Sass’s butt on Sanctuary. Now Ben and Copeland seek to turn their invention into a business. The Sanks hire them to visit the European theme world of Cantons.
But first the reunited crews owe a whirlwind trip home for inventor Teke. After 15 years, how does Denali of the pterodactyls fare?
Next stop is Sanctuary. Will the AI Loki let his people go?
And then on to Cantons’ city-states of…pikemen and Renaissance wizards?
The ramp clanked to the stone. Cope grabbed his sons’ hands and strode forth to meet a huddle of waiting hunters, faces garish in the living red, black, and yellow of their bakkra symbiotes. “Kassidy, you’ll watch Hugo?”
“Of course!” Kassidy claimed, still intent on her camera drone deployment. “I thought I remembered the heat.”
The Sanctuary emissary Hugo Silva stood transfixed, gaping at the hellish scene. Pterries dove and harassed each other, maddened by the sonic shield above. One dipped too low.
The hunters suddenly tackled their guests aside as a stunned behemoth crashed between the two starships, Prosper and Thrive. The monster thrashed feebly, a 7-meter wing flapping and sweeping at the ground, screaming agony as it touched dull red hot spots.
“It’s hurt, Daddy!” Sock whispered in anguish.
“Well, it’ll be dead soon,” Cope hazarded, though this wouldn’t comfort the child. Sure enough, Sock gazed up at him, brow crumpled as though betrayed. “Honey, pterries kill people. And they can break a starship.”
He hustled his kids to clear the thrash-zone with their guides. Kassidy dragged Hugo to catch up, until one of Thrive’s lesser guns had a clear kill shot. Gore splattered out, including a gob on Nico’s long pants. The pterry twitched and lay dead.
The hunter guides angrily barked at Thrive through their comms to finish the job. A bloody pterry carcass was worse than a live one. Others would swarm for a free lunch. The gun started up again to cremate the thing where it lay.
“Go!” the lead hunter demanded. He jogged to a couple of stakes in the ground which marked the exit through the invisible sonic barriers.
Trotting as ordered, Cope tried to explain the system to the boys. But they weren’t listening. He remembered well his own first steps into the Denali jungle, astonished and overwhelmed by the exuberant, hostile life crowding vast and aggressive all around him.
Nothing lived on their home moon Mahina unless a human put it there.
Denali was prettier during the polar winter night when he arrived. Not to mention cooler, a mere 30 degrees, or 90° F. Now the summer foliage was furled and ‘cocooned’ to protect tender living tissues from the killing heat of perpetual sun. Brown and yellow and purple seed pods hung like beaded beards from every corkscrewing, zig-zagging, and ferny branch. The underbrush appeared webbed over in thorny dead grass.
Alas, the predators didn’t hibernate in summer. A waist-high fanged ‘skunk’ hurled itself into the sonic corridor and fell twitching to block their path. A hunter lunged to gut it with a practiced swipe of a knife, then tossed it out, trailing brilliant scarlet blood. This excited a feeding frenzy as other animals rapidly converged to feast.