The Amity Incident

By CM_Weller All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Adventure

21.

T'reka had finally assembled the traps. Cage traps. Noose traps. Complicated, self-digging pit traps. Encapsulating traps.
There were so many.
She had to be careful. Some were big enough to trap herself, and she didn't wish to perish from her own incautious behaviour.
They would be marked, of course, so she wouldn't blunder into them by accident. But not marked so obviously that it would scare the local fauna away from it. T'reka put the larger pit-traps closer to her camp, lest something large and predatory sneak up on her while she was engaged in her work. Not that there seemed to be much of an avenue for large predators. This world, like all seeded worlds, had yet to evolve any large predators.
But then, you never really knew what was there until it turned up.
The immense trap was better at concealing itself than the lab. A note T'reka would have to send on to the critical design offices. She brought out a fake marker-flower from her pack and placed two on diagonally opposite corners. No creature would be tempted to eat them, because they both had no smell and no nutritional value. It blended in well enough to the undergrowth to remain unnoticed by anything big enough to trigger the trap. And yet, it was visible enough for T'reka to notice and avoid, even in a state of panic.
She could, if she remembered her wits, even lead an animal pursuing her into the trap while she avoided it.
Others like it quickly became key points of defence, as well as a few on the wider game trails for pure data collection.
The sun was getting low in the sky by the time she finished placing traps and markers. Time to go home and review any and all data for brisk analysis.
T'reka stopped halfway up the ladder to her domicile.
Not even a month, here, and she was thinking of this place as 'home'.
Well. As long as she didn't carry on complicated conversations with beach toys, she would be fine.
T'reka used her water reserves to indulge in a proper, soaking-bath. With a generous portion of her rationed oils to keep her feathers bright and neat. She usually dust-bathed and got on with her work, so the oils had remained largely neglected. That was, she realised, a mistake. Busy citizens with office work could get away with dust-bathing because their time was important.
She literally had her entire lifetime here to study everything. Which meant that, should the need arise, she was perfectly allowed to soak the aches away and look after herself.
But not too often.
Once a week should be sufficient.
And she could politely request extra oil when her supplies ran low. After all, the experts in Kal'rike had sent the oils in the first place. They would not have sent something that was not intended for use.
And she would use that logic on anyone who wanted to tangle her in administrivia.
But all that would wait until what-ifs became definitely-so's. Right now, she had a hot bath and the gentle perfume of her feather-oils and most of the night to finish her set work.
T'reka let out a soul-rent sigh and tried not to fall asleep in the tub.


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