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Stardusters… Canto 55

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Canto Fifty-Five – In the Arboretum of the Bio Dome

Brekka awoke and discovered that someone had dressed her in a synthesized Telleron jump suit, the kind that Mrs. Castille always recommended for their propriety and modesty.  Brekka was not amused.

“Lester?” Brekka thought at the man-eating plant who was still cradling her, “why didn’t you eat whoever put these clothes on me?”

“This one couldn’t.  They were two young Tellerons.  They would poison me to eat them.  Besides, they are friends of yours, dear Brekka.”  The plant was only thinking at her, but she heard the voice clearly in her head.

“Davalon and Tanith?” Brekka asked.  She was seething to think the two goody-goodies had done this to please Harmony Castille, Queen of Boob-binding and Skin-smothering Tyrants.  But, of course, she realized that old lady Castille didn’t really understand about young Telleron girls and their needs.  She didn’t even understand that Telleron girls didn’t have boobs because Tellerons had no need for mammary glands.  They were amphibianoids.

“It was not the two friends you suggest.  It was the ones known to us as George Jetson and Menolly.”

“Why, those two evil pranksters!  I will get even with them for this!”

“To be fair, they were acting on the orders of the mother-plant church-lady thing… the one with the stare that could wither this one’s petals if this one gave her any trouble.”

“Well that explains that.  Why didn’t you eat her?  She’s one of those human creatures you tell me taste good.”

“This one would not dare to stir up the wrath of one with so much power in her living aura.  This one was terrified in her presence.”

“Well,” sighed Brekka, “at least that explains why Commander Biznap is so fond of her.”

“Beloved, Brekka… there is something else this one wishes to inform you of.”

“What’s that, Lester?”

“There’s something terribly wrong about Sizzahl’s uncle, Senator Makkhain.”

“Wrong?  What do you mean?”

“Well, in the final battle with the evil General Gohmurt… Sizzahl’s father was not the only Galtorrian this one ate and absorbed…”

“Go on.”

“This one also consumed General Gohmurt.  This one felt it was only fair, because this one didn’t really know at the time which one was evil and which one was good.  This one only knew this one couldn’t grow idly by and do nothing…”

“So what’s your point?”

“This one also absorbed all the memories and personality traits of (shudder) the evil Gohmurt.”

“Okay, tell me more.”

“This one was surprised to learn that someone who is self-serving and powerful could also be so brutally stupid and witless.  He contained secret information about Senator Tedhkruhz’s battle plan.  He knew, for instance, that Senator Makkhain while battling Senator Tedhkruhz and Evil Overlord Rekhpahree was…”

“Was what?”

“Killed in battle.  But also part of a secret counter-insurgency plan… involving an evil clone and cyborg programming protocols.”

“Oh, no!  I have to warn Sizzahl!”

“But, cherished Brekka, this one also knows from Sizzahl’s father that she will never believe the truth about her fake uncle unless someone makes him reveal himself.  Makkhain is the only other Galtorrian besides her father that Sizzahl has ever dared to love.”

“Ooh!  Dang you, Lester!  That problem is too hard to solve with Mickey Mouse Club music and dancing.  What am I supposed to do?”

“This one promises to help you in any way that this one can,” promised the diabolical man-eating plant.  “This one believes that the only proper solution is that you should eat evil clone Makkhain yourself, most honored and well-loved Brekka.”

*****

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Stardusters… Canto 47

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Canto Forty-Seven – In the Flower Garden

“Don’t get too near that old plant again, Brekka,” warned George Jetson.  He shuddered with the memory of it scooping her up in the mouth-like blossom and nearly munching her to pieces as it had done to the scabby.

“Silly boy, the man-eating plant is now my friend.  He… or she… or it… is calling to me, telling me it will never harm me again.  In fact, it wants to help me and protect me.”

As the emerald-green girl tadpole walked closer to the huge blossom, the plant seemed to be smiling with flower-petal lips.  George looked at Menolly.  Menolly looked back and shrugged her bare shoulders.  She appeared to be creeped out by the carnivorous flower as much as George was.

Brekka stopped, naked and defenseless, directly under the giant blossom that was grinning at her.  She reached up with her left hand.

The blossom lowered to her.

“Oh, no!” gasped George and Menolly together.

But the blossom stopped an inch above her hand and let her stroke it… her… or him… under what could’ve been a chin, but definitely had the look of sepals.

“That’s a good boy, Lester… er, good girl… er, well… that’s good anyway.  You aren’t going to hurt anyone ever again, are you?”

The plant pursed its “lips”.

“Well, yes, I suppose you can eat all of those scabby thingies that you want.  That wouldn’t bother me a bit.”

The plant rubbed leaves together to get an actual chirping sort of sound.

“Oh, really?”

“What did he say?” Menolly asked Brekka.

“He says he… or… she can provide cuttings and runners to make baby plants that we can eat.  She says she… or… it can process carbon out of the air with photosynthesis and make plenty of food for us…  It says it… or he… um, can feed the whole Bio-dome if we want it to.”

“That’s good…” said George, “but if the plant is our friend now, wouldn’t that be eating our friend?”

“Lester says the plants on his… er… her world do it all the time… eat each other, I mean.”

“That will help with some of the food shortage problem, won’t it?” asked Menolly.

“Sure,” said Brekka.

“Maybe we should go talk it over with Sizzahl?” suggested George.  He really wanted to get himself and the girls away from the creepy plant-monster.

“You and Menolly go,” Brekka said.  “I want to stay here and play with Lester.”

“Are you sure that’s safe?”

“Lester can’t eat Tellerons without getting really, really sick.  So he will never again try to eat one of us… er, she won’t.  As long as we keep Sizzahl and the Morrells away from it… er, him.  Geez, the boy-girl thing is really confusing.”

So, George seized the opportunity to get away.  He dragged Menolly with him.  Brekka seemed happier with Lester anyway, and George was thinking… well, maybe he and Menolly could try some more… kissing.

*****

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Stardusters… Canto 32

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Canto Thirty-Two – In the Main Flower Garden of the Bio-Dome

There were three large red-and-yellow blossoms on robust stalks in the center of the garden.  Everything else was either withering and brown or completely dead.  George Jetson felt slightly creeped out by the three giant, healthy plants in the center of so much death and rot.  Still, he didn’t object as Brekka and Menolly danced and sang as they moved towards the bright colors of the three blossoms.

“Georgie?  Why aren’t you dancing with us?” sang Brekka.

“Yeah, why not?” added Menolly.

“I don’t need to dance with goofy girls right now.  I… I’m supposed to guard you and keep bad things from happening.”

The girl tadpoles scoffed and continued to dance towards the blossoms.

George watched the leaves of the flowers, easily the size of dinner plates, begin to twitch and move.  It was almost as if they were trying to detect something either by feel, maybe of vibrations in the air, or possibly by smell.  George knew from his educational programming that leaves had openings called “stoma” that sniffed the air as they breathed carbon dioxide in and oxygen out.  It wasn’t an important fact, was it?

Suddenly there was a large, burly lizard man bursting in through the far door into the flower garden.  He was completely naked, for reasons unknown.  He was also obviously a scabby with the tell-tale white, filmy eyes and desiccated patches on his naked scales.

“George!  Help!” cried Brekka.  She had danced so far towards the three live flowers that the interrupting scabby had her cut off from Menolly and George.  George leaped forward to engage the monster in hand-to-hand combat, but pulled up short when he noticed the huge teeth and long, scimitar-like claws on both hands.

“Brekka!  Run away!  We will catch up to you on the other side!” screamed George.  “Menolly!  Come here to me!”

Brekka broke toward the flowers and ran.  The scabby followed her.  Menolly reached George and threw both of her green arms around his neck, making him unable to either flee or fight.  Both of them watched the pursuit of Brekka with absolute horror.

The largest of the three blossoms moved its huge flower-face closer to the fleeing Brekka.  The four main petals of the blossom formed into two sets of opposing jaws.  As Brekka moved close enough, the blossom engulfed her entire body and lifted her into the air.  Her screams were muffled by the blossom that seemed much more like a gigantic mouth.

“Oh!  No!  Brekka is gone!” cried Menolly, sagging against George Jetson.

“It ate her!”  George was too stunned to move.

The flowers were still in motion.  The two remaining blossoms grabbed the scabby, one seizing its head, and the other grabbing a leg.  The two blossoms pulled in opposite directions, splitting the unfortunate lizard man in two, then settling down to munch contentedly and smack their petal-lips.

Menolly was devastated and sobbing uncontrollably.  George didn’t know an awful lot about the hugging and kissing stuff that Earth humans did on their television shows, but he felt the urge to try.  He held Menolly tightly with both arms and pressed his mouth to hers.

“Mmmph!  What are you doing?” Menolly moaned.

“I’m comforting you, dummy.”

“Well, don’t stop!”

When the blossom that had engulfed Brekka began making retching noises, George was almost too lost in the entire kissing thing to respond.  He felt rather funny in his lower stomach as the two tadpoles pulled apart.

The blossom vomited Brekka onto the walkway.  She was clearly still alive, but covered with sticky-looking goo.

“Ooh,” moaned Brekka, “that was not very fun.”

*****

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