Last chapter recap: Lin is extremely bored at the desolate land and returns to water.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, and WanderingGummiOfDoom.
Chapter Twenty – Air Storage and Immune System
The land journey was not completely meaningless. While there was almost nothing worthy for Lin to take note of on land, it still obtained some useful knowledge.
For example, it learned about air.
Lin discovered a long time ago that air would float upwards in water. Lin had not cared about this before. It suddenly thought now, why did air move up and not down? Could air go against gravity?
It was not like this. Air was lighter than water, and so they would be rise out of water. Therefore, the land higher up was completely air.
Right now, Lin’s mothership was slower after it became armored, and its movement was not as nimble as before.
But … … what would occur if air was added?
Lin created an oval-shaped sac inside the mothership, and called it an air sac. Lin filled it with oxygen. This structure could lighten the mothership greatly. Even if the mothership was fully armored, there shouldn’t be any problems.
The air sac had two small ducts, one connected to the blood vessel so it could replenish oxygen for the blood vessels, and another connected to the small hole on the ectoderm armor. This duct opening was usually closed. When Lin floated up to the surface, it could control the air sac making it expand and suck in air.
Lin also constructed a small cellular unit called air storers. They looked like small air sacs that swam outside. The air storers relied on their small tentacles to swim as well as empty tentacles to absorb small air bubbles from the water.
The air storers had hard shells on the outside, and they could consume sand to weigh down their bodies.
After the mothership was covered in its hard shell, it became difficult to take in oxygen. When the air storers were filled with oxygen, they could return inside the mothership and release the oxygen. Also, they could inflate the air sacs when Lin did not want to swim up to the water’s surface.
However, while Lin added the air sac, it had not armored its entire body because it did not have enough chitin material for the shell.
At the same time, Lin added an air sac inside the shell of the protector. But even so, it could not rise up, it could only “float”.
Additionally, Lin added large amounts of exploding balls and acid ejectors in the empty tail of the protector. This empty position was now used to dissolve minerals and create all kinds of shells.
The constructured chitin material would be carried out by a new cell called “painter.” They were used to transport the chitin to the mothership. The painters could then stick the chitin in all kinds of places to form armor.
The protector was now more like a shelled factory.
Lin also considered using gas to attack. However, it did not have many good ideas right now.
The mothership led the protector to slowly swim. Lin observed the surroundings. Single cells were everywhere on sand patches at this depth, no matter if it was within the grains or elsewhere. The life here was so activate, and formed a clear comparison to the desolate land.
Single cells were in much greater numbers than before. In the past, they were not everywhere in the water like now. Now there were many organisms that were stationary and waited for cells to float over to eat.
As Lin thought this, it found a multicellular organism ahead. They looked like tubes inserted into the sand. Their tentacle-like body reached out of the tubes, and caught the passing cells.
This should be called “tubeworms.”
When they felt Lin come close, its soft tentacle body would shrink back into the tube below. Lin tapped the tube that the tubeworm hid in. It found that the tube was hard. This definitely was made out of hard materials.
Lin only obtained small amounts of chitin substances from food. Some non-shelled organisms would contain around 1% or less of chitin. If Lin wanted to quickly make a set of armor, Lin had to obtain raw materials from the sand, or attack those shelled organisms. These tubeworms were fitting targets.
In the next moment, Lin’s hammer smashed down on the tubeworm’s shell.
The tubeworms were slender and not extremely hard. Cracks appeared with one blow.
Lin did not care whether the other’s shell was hard or not because it could dissolve the shell and remake it into chitin and adjust the shell to the hardness it wanted.
Crack … …
The hard shell cracked under Lin’s attack, and the soft organs inside exploded.
The devourers were next. They carried the fragments of the shell back to Lin and, along the way, they tore the soft bodies of the tubeworms to pieces. They came back carrying both nutrients and chitin.
The structure of the tubeworms were extremely simple, and Lin didn’t have any interest in studying further.
The devourers delivered the small pieces of chitin into the protector to be dissolved and remade. Lin’s mothership turned to attack the nearby tubeworms.
After about ten tubeworms, Lin had enough to make an armor that completely covered the mothership.
Lin did not plan to cover the mothership’s tentacles. That would affect nimbleness too much.
When Lin hit the next tubeworm, this tubeworm did not shrink back. It twisted its body and sprayed out a large amount of a blue fluid.
The fluid were made from small particles, and were exploded under Lin’s special eyeball.
… … virus?
The fluids contained enormous numbers of rod-shaped viruses, and a small amount of the tubeworm’s own cells.
Could the tubeworms release virus attacks? No, this tubeworm might have been infected.
In the present environment, viruses were not common. While they could destroy cells, the cells could also kill viruses. When there were large numbers of cells, the viruses were the ones suppressed.
Lin thought that only multicellular organisms like these tubeworms could cause large increases in viruses. Since they ate whatever floated by, it was not a wonder that they ate viruses.
Lin’s mothership never directly took in nutrients. The cells transported everything in. As a result, the mothership had almost no possibility of being invaded by viruses. Lin also had a good method to deal with viruses.
Lin had the air storers take turns moving around to obtain oxygen. Some air storers would always be roaming around the mothership. Some viruses floated in when the air storers sucked in air, and burrowed into the inner layers of the tentacle.
Lin immediately felt when the virus invaded the cells. It quickly covered this cell with a layer of chitin that would quickly harden, and sealed the cell completely before the virus could replicate.
In the end, it would remove the hardened cell. The virus was easily taken care of.
Other than this, a good method was killing the cell immediately. Viruses appeared to only be able to replicate in living cells.
Lin expanded the blood vessel structure sand had the gland cells swim within them. This way, they could transport chitin all over the body, so that cells at any location could quickly absorb chitin and harden. They could effectively block off viruses and other cell organisms from invading.
Lin ignored the virus attacks, and easily destroyed and absorbed this tubeworm.
Following … …
Lin prepared to attack other tubeworm when an emergency signal entered its thoughts. Something attacked the protector behind the mothership.
Lin felt the protector being pulled by a force more powerful than itself. When the mothership turned around, it only saw a sand pit.
Something had pulled the protector into the sand?
Lin was regretting not putting eyes on the protector. It could only receive information that the protector was being compressed by that force, and could not break free no matter what.
This should be a multicellular organism similar to the oval worm or even stronger. Otherwise, it couldn’t have easily pulled the protector down.
Should Lin try to dig it out?
The protector was not pulled any deeper. It should be in a shallow position.
Lin hesitated slightly. No matter what, the safety of the mothership was first.
However … … it would be a pity to lose the protector.
In the end, Lin went near the sand pit. It used the tentacles of the mothership to dig. After pushing aside some sand, Lin saw the body of the protector.
Two enormous round shaped shells gripped the rear half of the protector. Under the pressure, Lin could feel that the protector was going to break in half.
Lin remembered this organism. There had been many of them where the leaf worms had been, and their shells were extremely hard. However, Lin had never seen them move before. Were they a very powerful kind of hunter?
Translator Ramblings: I found this wiki on a game called Subnautica. I know nothing about the game, but this creature called the Eyeye is what I imagine Lin’s observer to look like.