MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 43
    "The Rigger party is coming in." shouted one of the military personnel from a tower in the middle of the compound.
    A large ground transport pulled out onto the beach, and drove through the entrance.
    "The Riggers have been out there for three days." said private Ott.
    "For a minute I thought we were going to be the only beings out here.  Again, like on Laytae." said Semma.
    "Great place for R and R.  I won a bunch there once." said private Ott.
    Emerr made a grumbling noise.
    "I'll bet we are the only beings in the universe who did not know that place was a hot spot for entertainment." Emmerr said shaking his head.
    "I would not change a thing." Semma quipped.
    "Neither would I." replied Emerr. " Neither would I. "
    "How many groups are here?" Cree asked.
    "Five at this site.  Probably three thousand on the planet.  Each camp has room for ten.  The reason for the small groups is that small is easer to manage, and having camps scattered all over the place makes research much easier." said private Ott.
   The Riggers claimed out of the transport.  Three headed for their barracks and two came over to the fire.
    "Hi! I'm Fay Rigger." said an attractive intelligent looking lady holding out her had in friendship.
    They all shook hands, and exchanged introductions.  They sat around the fire for most of the night relating tales of Dinos, and cooking a variety of treats they impaled with sticks and slowly roasted.
    "I didn't sleep a wink." MB said as she sat up.
    "Me either." replied Cree adding, "Anyone else up?"
    "Haven't looked." MB replied.
    After a few minutes the whole crew was dipping into the morning stew pot.
    "I walked over by the gate when I got up, and you can see where something was walking around the compound." stated Hiret.
    "Trent, are you getting all this?" asked Cree.
    "Of course.  It's unfortunate you can not see in the inferred and ultraviolet.  I know how much you are missing." Trent replied.
    "Keep it stored.  We'll view it later." Cree said.
    Trent thought to himself, " If they could see what I can, I doubt they would be wondering into the woods.  I'm thinking to myself.  Another advancement. "  He wanted to mention this development to Cree, but one of the other tourists approached.
    "Where you going first?" asked a man with heavy leather like skin.
    "No one has told us anything yet.  Is there a trail you follow?" asked Hiret.
    "Don't know.  First day here, we went along the shore line.  The second day we just bandied about the jungle.  Then to the base of those mountains."  The man said looking to the left of the compound.
    "I want to see it all." Hiret replied.
    "Never a dull moment out there.  I've been here twenty days, and each one is just as exciting as the other.  I'm Lar Lo by the way." said the man.  You could tell he was anxious to get back out into the jungle. 
    More tourists were gathering around, and a few military personnel.
    "Morning there private Ott.  I guess we would like to see a place called the steps, unless there's an agenda to stick to." Hiret said.
    "The steps it is. You're the generals." private Ott replied.
    They finished the stew, and were on their way.
    "What are those guys?" asked Semma, pointing to four-foot high Dinos running alongside the transport as they entered the jungle.
    "Green Nippers.  They run along side their pray, and nip at them till they bleed to death.  The Red Nippers are more aggressive.  They overwhelm their pray in a swarm like attack." private Ott answered.s
    "Don't they realize this isn't an animal?" Semma asked.
    "Shore do.  They know that if they can make it stop, they have a chance of getting us." Ott replied.
    They assault stopped about a hundred yards into the jungle.
    "Wow!  What was that!  It just grabbed one of the Nippers." shouted MB.
    "That was a Stumphead.  They hid in the foliage, and when something happens by, they get lunch.  That was a good-sized one.  Mostly you only see the six or seven footers." Ott said.
    "I only got a quick look, but I can see why they're called Stumpheads," Emmerr said.
    "If they can't grab their pray, they ram it to death.  Their heads pretty hard.  In fact, their the reason all the transports are built so heavy." said the private.
    They bounced through the jungle for several more hours before coming across another carcass
    "We scared off what ever got his guy.  We'll park over there by those rocks for a few minutes.  Maybe what ever it is will come back." said the private.
    Just as they decided to move on, a large green head with black blotches on it slowly pushed through the leaves.
    "Right big I'd say." said Emerr.
    "She's a good sized female Morosorodon.  Males a twice this big." Ott said in a faint voice holding his finger to his lips.
    The Morosarodon bit the carcass, and shook it with violent back and forth motions.  It only took a few minutes to eat what looked like her own body weight.  She backed up a few feet, and made a mooing like sound.  Four smaller versions of herself ran out of the bushes, and tore into the ill-fated beast.
    "How long do they car for their young?" asked Cree.
    "I'm not sure about these guys, but usually, about two years.  Some of the big herbivores nurse their young for four years." said Ott.