Written to inventrix‘s prompt as a warm-up for that other thing I’m working on for Ix.
“Mom! Uncle Toma! Aunt Jea! Come quick! The spear plants! They’re peeling!”
Bobeh and his sister came tearing across the central commons, skidding into the workshop where Branga and her family cooperative worked. She looked up, not particularly concerned; the kids were always finding something, and it was always a crisis. As long as it involved plants and not the local or imported fauna – or, all heavens forfend, the Renegades – there was probably not anything to be worried about.
In this case, her partner-wife Jea seemed to think differently. “The spear plants? The ones down by the clearwater pond?”
“Those! Seffie and I were going for water, we were being careful,but the plants, they’re all -” The six-year-old flailed his hands in some sort of dance. “Come on, come on, they were going one at a time but they’re probably doing more now!”
“Sorry, Branga.” Jea made a face. “I know we have to get this order out, but this could be important. The spear plants are on the list of Confusing Shit the Grandparents left us.”
Jea’s great-grandparents – as well as Branga’s, Toma’s, and every other adult’s on the planet, including the thrice-cursed Renegades – had been the survey-and-colonize team on this planet nearly a century ago. They had left detailed notes on everything – everything except the Renegades, who had systematically destroyed all references to themselves. And, for the most part, their notes were followed like job orders, or like the Word from On High.
Not that it made it any less sour to put down an order in the middle of the work, but it least it gave them a viable excuse. Branga followed her partner-spouses, who in turn were following their children, out to the clearwater pond.
The spear plants – 10-meter-tall spikes poking straight into the sky, which surrounded the north side of the pond and the north side of every other body of water they’d found – were, indeed, peeling.
“No.” Branga shook her head. The way the pieces were curling downwards, that wasn’t like bark peeling. It was more like a bud opening. “No. They’re flowering.”
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