January By the Numbers Twelve: Giant giraffes gambol gingerly (fiction Piece)

January by the numbers continues (now two days off~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt “Giant giraffes gambol gingerly;” a ficlet


The planet was smack between a planet that had been renowned for its local foods and one that had been amazingly good at providing raw materials, and, as such, it became a way-stop on the transgalactic trade route.

It if had not been right where it was, it was likely it would not have been touched; at least not until a new government came into power back “at home”; the current policy was that one settled on planets but one lived in some sort of concert with the local flora and fauna. Thus, the mining and farming those two bracketing planets did was of the careful, long-term sustainable sort, and the planets were tended with, as one might say, kid gloves.

But this way-planet, this one offered some unique problems. If one was allowed to harvest not more than 25% of the local flora or fauna, what did one do when there were only three plants of any given sort taking up an entire continent? They were, of course, very big plants, spanning miles and miles, but one could not take the root of the plant for experimentation without destroying it unless one was very, very careful.

The companies who did such things preferred working in places where one could simply cordon off one mile out of four and work from there, mining or planting or harvesting or hunting. This planet, thus, would have been left alone for quite some time – perhaps forever, or at least until a more permissive galactic government took over.

But it was at a perfect way-position, and thus one small corner was cordoned off – so very carefully, destroying as little as possible of the local ecosystem – for their space-station.

And from there you could take hover-tours, safaris in very well-armored vehicles. You could, on your long layovers, soar over the giant continent-spanning leaves, watching the giant giraffe-like creatures gambol through the leaves. There were only ten of them on the continent, and they would mouth gingerly at the hover-cars, testing them to see if they were food.

It was a good planet to stop on, and a lovely tour, everyone said.

So long as you avoided the jaguar-creature.


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