MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 46
    The next evening, Ventan approached once again.
    "I looked you up on the link as you suggested.  Apparently, you need to be much closer to your system to get much in the way of information.  It's very far away.  How fast can your transport travel safely?" Ventan asked.
    "When we are within the scanned territory, up to around one or two thousand times the speed of light.  However, ordinarily, one quarter light speed.  To be save.  That's in the open areas.  Around any sort of system, much slower.  It's simply to easy to run into small stuff.  No different than any other transport." said Hiret.
    "We must stay within velocities designated as safe by our transport's scanners.  That is extremely slow by your standards." said Ventan.
    "Traveling from system to system requires patients.  Regardless of time requirements." said Cree. 

Overhead where the security barrier protects the compound, came a squeaking type of screaming noise.  Then a thudding sound in the sand, followed by a gasping for air.
    "What's that?" asked Semma.
    "A Night Skimmer." replied an attendant.
    "Who was it after?" asked MB.
    "Nobody.  It was just on its way back to the sea.  They fly just above the surface with their bills dipping into the water.  Now and again one of them will fly by here.  They can't sense the shielding, so they get zapped." said Ott.
    Two of the attendants carried the creature to an elevated platform.
   "They will care for it until it can fly away.  We do what we can to care for all Dinos.  They're all precious." said another of the attendants.
    Cree looked around, but Ventan had gone back to his comrades.
    "Strange feeling about that guy." said Cree.
    Free and Semma stared in Ventans direction.
    "I have the same sort of feeling about Emmerr.  Somehow though, I know he is really just what I made him into.  I should have spent more time beating him." Semma said laughing.
    Cree laughed as well, adding " Can I beat him if you get tired?" she asked.
    "Of course you can.  Any time you get the urge, just jump on him.  It's more fun when he's asleep." Semma started laughing so hard she feel off her stool.
    "What's so funny?" said MB doing her best to hold back her own laughter.
    "We're bored, so when Emmerr falls asleep, we are gonna beat the crap out of him." Cree said trying to catch her breath.
    "Can I play?" MB asked.
   From the dark came more low bellowing sounds.  It was another large long neck being attacked.  The snippets of barking like growls came from one or two medium sized carnivores wearing down the unfortunate meal.
    "It's probably the one with liver disease.  Sensors picked it up a couple of days ago." said Ott.
    "Why didn't you fix it?" asked Semma.
    "If something is hurt from our actions, then we try to fix it.  Other wise, we let nature take its course.  You don't want bad genes passed along." said one of the attendants.
    "Seems rather crewel." said Cree listening to the agonizing cries from the unfortunate beast.
    "Even if one of the big guys were there, It would be the same.  They can sense that something is wrong.  They instinctively prefer healthy food." said Ott.
    "There's a joke there, but I'll let it go." said Emmerr.
    "Diseased tissues probably smell and taste bad." said Hiret.
    It was about an hour later when the sounds of a much larger carnivore came from the direction of suffering long neck.  Once again came that silence created by the end of a life that will never make another sound.
    "I don't think I could be around so much violent death all the time, like you are." said MB to Ott.
    " Everything dies.  Around here, there is a lot of life, so it seems like there is more death.  In total, the life and death balance is the same here as it is in any other system." said Ott.
    "Just seems so horrible." MB answered back.
    "I look at it like this.  Nothing dies.  Everything is simply being transformed into something else.  One compound is losing it's bond to one substance, and bonding to another.  Energy is being moved around from one purpose to another.  This bunch of elements was doing something else not so long ago." Ott replied holding up a candy, which he promptly ate, adding "Now it's doing something completely different yet again.  On and on."
    "As I see it, there's nothing going on here that isn't going on at the shop where I get my meat.  Sea foods, graffit steaks, and those little smoked links." said Hiret.
    "Just seems different somehow.  I just like the end result." said Semma.
    "I had a summer job plucking hickits.  Worst job I ever had." MB said with a smirk.
    "In the morning we'll find a Landous Barbolous.  There the top predator.  In the brochure, they are referred to as one of the largest and most dangerous predators, but that isn't even close to describing them." said Ott with a grin, adding," Then we'll make camp at Lake Berrel.  On the way there, we can spend some time at observation deck #5, and you can watch the diggers.  There amazing little creatures.  Plus, at the lake you'll get to see a dozen or so different kinds of flyers."
    "In the brochure, there was mention of mammals in several different stages of development." Emmerr said looking at Ott.
    "We will work our way in that direction.  Their populations start popping up about fifteen hundred miles from here, and you need to ware protective gear.  We want to protect them as much as possible." said Ott.