Last chapter recap: Lin swims downward to the ocean bottom and seems to encounter an organism giving off bright light.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, and WanderingGummiOfDoom.
Chapter Twenty Four Lava and Madness
The enormous and dim light flickered in the darkness. Lin’s exploring “warhead” slowly climbed near this strange source of light.
However, when the warhead got close to the target, the light suddenly disappeared.
The warhead did not give off a bright light. It only illuminated a small area and could not see the surrounding situation.
Maybe a jellyfish or something?
As Lin thought this, the light once again lit up in the distance. But this time, this light was bright red, another kind of light, and much brighter.
Lin felt the temperature of the water suddenly rise. It had the warhead move towards the new light. When it reached its destination, it saw a novel sight.
A dark viscous substance covered the large area up ahead. It gave off a burning feeling. Lin would occasionally see one or two cracks among the viscous substance. Bright red light came from those cracks. While the cracks were not large, the bright light illuminated the surroundings.
Was that … … lava?
But not the same as the ones Lin had seen before. The lava here seemed to be stationary. When they became grey, they wouldn’t move, but they still gave off astoundingly high heat.
These cracks glowing with red light might have unsolidified lava … …
Many unicellular organisms lived on the solidified lava. They seemed to like the high temperatures rather than fear it.
Lin did not have the warhead step onto the lava. It did not think the warhead could withstand this kind of heat.
Lin hesitated. It wanted to continue to look around, but it wanted to also go around the lava and explore deeper waters.
Suddenly, Lin felt the warhead’s vision shake. At the same time, it felt a pulling force dragging the warhead backwards. Before Lin could see what was happening, an enormous force crushed the warhead’s body.
Lin felt as though something had crushed the warhead. Something had ambushed the warhead from behind.
While slightly regrettable, but the journey to the sea trench had ended … … yes?
Lin would not think that!
Leviathan floated to the center of the sea trench, moving toward the place where the warhead had died.
Leviathan turned its body and opened its hole. Large numbers of warhead swam out, heading towards the deaths of the sea trench.
Leviathan had just created these hundreds of warheads.
Leviathan possessed many traits and this one was of them. It had many reproduction chambers inside its body that could quickly create many multicellular forms, convenient for both attacking and other matters.
The warheads quickly sank into the trench. While Lin had aimed for the center of the trench, most of them ended up landing on the rocky walls.
Lin had them immediately gather in the direction of the enemy. When the warheads reached where they had seen the lava, they found what the organism that had eaten that first warhead was.
This organism was bright red and flat. Its rhombus body laid out on the ground like a … … red carpet.
What was a carpet?
Lin didn’t care so much, it would just call this a “carpet worm.” Had this organism just eaten the warhead?
Lin couldn’t see where its mouth was, and there were no tentacles growing on the surface of the body. Lin could not understand how this organism hunted.
Lin would first kill it and see.
Lin had hundreds of warheads rush forward. Lin had made these warheads specially for battle with sharp blade-like structures at the ends of their segmented limbs.
The warheads climbed on top of the carpet worm and then used the blades on their segmented limbs to cut into the other’s body. Cells flooded out immediately from the carpet worm. The carpet worm wriggled as it felt pain but didn’t make any motions of struggle. Lin had the warheads burrow into the wounds and destroy the interior structures.
The carpet worm suddenly twisted fiercely and quickly swam upwards through the water using its flat body.
Lin had the warheads stop attacking. It felt that this carpet worm’s intentions were not to escape the warheads but had some other goal.
The carpet worm swam upwards furiously at a rapid speed. It quickly swam out of the deepest part of the trench which had no light. Lin found it hard to imagine that an organism of this shape could be so fast.
But once it left the aphotic zone, the carpet worm gradually slowed and then completely stopped all activity.
When Lin was puzzled by this, the carpet worm suddenly exploded and turned into cells and fragments.
This was … … due to pressure?
Lin almost immediately understood. Because bodies were tightly compressed under high pressure, when the organism swam upwards, its compressed body would suddenly expand, causing an explosion.
But why did it do this? Why had it left the high-pressure sea trench bottom to swim up?
Even if it was in pain from being bitten by the warheads, it wasn’t likely. Pain was a signal for organisms to avoid danger, and not to make it go crazy.
Leviathan swam towards the site of the carpet worm’s explosion and retrieved all of the warheads. It then started to study the carpet worm’s fragments.
The warheads could resist the pressure with their water-filled bodies, but when they were in zones of low pressure, they could open small holes in their outer shell, and quickly absorb the gas bubbles in the water as they rapidly released water. This way, they wouldn’t explode, and would rise up so the Leviathan could retrieve them.
These were … …
Lin found many things it was familiar with from the fragments of the carpet worm — viruses.
Not any normal viruses, but the exact same kind as the red viruses in Lin’s infector.
The bright red viruses existed in the carpet worm’s cells, its structures and organs. Was this why the carpet worm had been red? However, the viruses hadn’t harmed the cells but caused it to go crazy?
Lin found many viruses on the carpet worm’s nerves which hadn’t been destroyed. These possibly could have been the reason it went crazy … …
Lin suddenly noticed that “going crazy” seemed to be a new term. It meant abnormal behaviour?
But this hadn’t occurred to Lin’s infectors. Lin had them be quiet and they had always been quiet.
This seemed worthy of study.
Lin could get some other organisms to test their responses to the virus. This seemed … … pretty fun.
But just fun? No, maybe it was a great weapon to destroy the enemy. Lin could inject the virus directly into the nerves of these organisms. Then, they would completely lose the ability to fight.
Also, these viruses would not damage cells. Lin could use them to defeat the enemy and not waste nutrients.
In conclusion, this would be useful study… …
Lin had only explored a small area of the sea trench. There should be more interesting things down there but it would be difficult to see them clearly jut with the warhead which was small and slow-moving. Lin did not want to modify the entire Leviathan to become pressure-tolerant. That was too troublesome, and Lin would have to change it back after leaving the sea trench.
As Lin struggled over this, unusual tremors suddenly came from the water below. Enormous black substances emerged from the sea trench and immediately surrounded the Leviathan.
These black substances contained something strange that would damage the cells if absorbed.
Lin hurriedly closed all the openings on Leviathan and swam using the tentacles to leave behind the area filled with the black substance.
Lin looked back. Most of the sea trench was giving off these black substances.
This was something called “smoke.”
But smoke seemed to be a gas, but these substances were not gas. They were mostly small debris and other strange things. They did not affect Lin’s shell but they fatally damaged the cells inside the suction tentacle.
The smoke … … seemed related to the lava?
Translator Ramblings: The black smoke from hydrothermal vents are usually created from sulfuric acid and other substances. Great stuff … … if you want to die.
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter 42 “The Cracking Lava Salamander”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter 41 “The New Leviathan”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter 40 “Era of Monsters”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter 39 “Ancient Explosion”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume Two Chapter 38 “Goodnight”