The Amity Incident

By CM_Weller All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Adventure

5.

That wasn't nearly as arduous as T'reka thought it would be. The clever people who had designed the packs also designed them with motorised legs that, while alarming, transported them to places of safety.
Her new home was halfway up a tree and possessed a retractable, arachnafibre ladder. The whole complex would be invisible in a few weeks when the planters with local flora in them flourished and grew to cover it.
In time, it would be another canopy.
Just like the bio-lab, separated by law and common sense, now resembled a small hillock as it burrowed under the previously pristine soil.
The launch complex and comms tower was higher up her base camp tree. It, too had an arachnafibre ladder that, though retractable, T'reka suspected it may be safe to leave down.
The rest of it was supplies, furnishings and equipment that had to be carted over, up, or around and installed, piece by piece.
T'reka knew better than to install them before the units they belonged to had reached their destinations. The equipment was delicate and the jostling involved in initialisation would have destroyed her equipment at worst and ruined multiple calibrations at best.
So, after the easy stuff in the lab, the rest of it was hauling up heavy backpacks, sorting. Storing them where they more-or-less belonged, and then flying down for the next heavy backpack.
And it all had to get at least put away by night time.
Most predators came out in the dark.
The sun was getting low in the sky by the time the last five backpacks lay nestled in the relative safety of the underground lab. The bare, turned earth above it looked currently unnatural and obvious. T'reka would have to transplant some natural seedlings to the top and hope for the best.
Possibly tomorrow.
As it was, her wing-arms ached. Her legs ached. Her back and shoulders ached. If any part of her body did not currently hurt, it was not her concern. And she had five neatly-labelled backpacks to go.
At least she'd had the sense to sort the comms tower packs from the domicile packs before hauling them by claw up to their ultimate destinations. That meant that the hardest work got accomplished first, when she had the energy to do so. And now, it was all trips back and forth to the domicile.
T'reka reached her future home and forced herself to put the backpack where it belonged, despite the stair-levels involved in doing so.
She glided down, rather than a straight descent via flapping. Another sign of exhaustion. On the positive side, it allowed her to reconnoitre her immediate area and mentally map out points of interest for later exploration. If she had the energy, tonight - a doubtful thesis - she might even translate those to her cartography programs.
T'reka swerved so that she would land almost at the door of her underground lab. Found the next pack to go up, and trudged to the arachnafibre ladder again.
Four packs to go…


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