Chapter 5 The Eve of Darkness
The chargers saw the desert scorpion being attacked by the meganeura from the sand hills and waited for Leviathan to arrive.
The desert was extremely hot. While it was not fatal like the warm water, it still stopped Leviathan from moving quickly. If it moved too fast, its body heat would be too high. Lin thought there was a need to study a structure to lower temperature.
When Leviathan reached the sand dunes, the desert scorpion was on its last gasps. The meganeura were no longer dodging, and were feeding from the wounds on the scorpion’s shell.
Lin found that the meganeura were just squeezed around the wounds, and did not have the ability to create more wounds. It appeared that the scorpion had been wounded by some other organism, and the meganeura were just taking the opportunity …
No matter what, this was a good opportunity. If Lin could capture these meganeura …
But when the Leviathan took a few steps forward, several of the meganeura had flown away. Their eyes seemed able to see widely and were hard to ambush.
Due to this, Lin used a tactic it had never used before — changing color.
Lin had known how to create color back when it created the photosynthetic cells. It could easily change its own color. However, the Leviathan’s shell had no cells so it needed to create a new unit type.
This kind of disc-shaped unit thirty centimeters across had a ring of eyes that could observe the surroundings. It could change its color to match the environment and move using the limbs underneath it.
Leviathan created a hider and placed it on the ground. It immediately turned the color of the surrounding sand, each grain being perfectly drawn by the color cells. With this kind of color covering the entire body, it wasn’t possible to see that this was a living organism.
The hider’s eyes could observe every direction, and could change color at any time in different environments.
It slowly climbed off the sand dune closer to the meganeura eating the sand scorpion. The meganeura did not notice the hider. Just as Lin had thought, they frequently flew through high elevations filled with turbulence and their sense of smell and hearing were not very good.
The hider slowly went closer to the corpse of the sand scorpion. The nearest meganeura on the scorpion’s back was only ten meters. It continued to get closer … five meters, three meters … two meters.
Within the range of shooting!
The disc body of the hider suddenly opened from the center and a needle covered in hooks shot out. This needle immediately stabbed into the slender tail part of the meganeura.
The meganeura was shocked and started to struggle furiously. The surrounding meganeura were frightened and flew into the sky, but the stabbed meganeura could not fly. The needle of the hider was connected to the hider by muscle cells. Due to this, the meganeura could only pull on this line and struggle.
Just as Lin had imagined, the meganeura was extremely light. The thirty centimeter hider could stop it from flying.
The trapped meganeura struggled furiously without any effect. It did not have enough power to pull the hider up. It fell powerlessly to the ground once it used up all of its energy.
Leviathan walked down the sand hill and sent gatherers to break up the meganeura.
Now maybe Lin could fly.
During the breakdown process, the gatherer could study the structures inside the organisms. Lin was concerned with the transparent structures on the two sides of the meganeura. There was a term for them, “wings.” Just like the fins, it was used to move air to fly.
So this was how it was. Almost the exact same as moving through water, the body just had to be a bit light in order to fly.
So simple. Lin should have thought of it before.
The meganeura did not have a “lung” structure and relied on small holes to absorb oxygen like Lin did. It appeared there was no problem of oxygen when living in the sky.
Now Lin would build one to try.
Lin started to combine cells together in the Leviathan’s body. Lin had many types of cells now, more than several hundred, and over two hundred trillion in number. Most of them had evolved in the billion years inside Leviathan. So it was very easy for Leviathan to mimic other organisms.
As the Leviathan was combining, a sound suddenly came from the side. The sand scorpion that Lin had thought was a ‘corpse’ suddenly moved.
It hadn’t died yet? After enduring so many wounds and being bitten by the meganeura for so long on the hot sand, it really had endurance.
The sand scorpion struggled up on its segmented limbs. It turned around, and used the eight eyeballs on top of its head to stare at the Leviathan and the pile of gatherers breaking down the meganeura underneath the Leviathan.
The sand scorpion and the Leviathan were close in shape. Lin did not feel that it would make any attacks. Lin also did not want to attack this seriously injured organism. If it did not fight organisms who were full of energy, it could not test its own strength. Leviathan was overweight in nutrition. It had to turn the extra nutrients into the green carpet later.
However, this sand scorpion was very interesting. It did not run away or fight. It just stayed there and looked at Leviathan.
The gatherers had only taken off the meganeura’s wings. Lin threw the corpse of the meganeura in front of the sand scorpion. Then it pulled back all of its cells and turned in the direction of the spiked pillar wood.
When Lin returned to the spiked pillar wood, it felt the surroundings cool down quickly as though that pile of pillars blocked the heat of the desert outside.
In the cool spiked pillar woods, Lin continued to create the unit that could fly. Because this was the first time, Lin did not make anything complex. The flying unit it created was almost the same as the meganeura, except it was very small, just ten centimeters long. It only had a circulatory system inside. It was extremely light. The wings were primarily constructed of a layer of hardened transparent cells. The base of the wings were controlled by muscle cells so they could move.
Lin put this small “flyer” on the ground, and then copied the meganeura in moving the four wings at a high frequency.
… It could not fly.
Lin continued to move the wings, but the body only swung around and could not rise.
Then Lin had the Leviathan grab the flyer and throw it into the air before furiously moving the wings. But the flyer only spun in the air before crashing to the ground.
If it did not move, the flyer could glide for a while. But in the end, it would fall to the ground.
Maybe its movements were not correct.
Lin thought back to how the meganeura had moved the wings. It had been unique. They had moved their wings according to a certain rhythm, and not randomly.
Lin could not learn such a technique from studying the structure. Lin had to practice for itself.
This was very simple. Lin created some more flyers and had them change their postures and move their wings. Sooner or later, one would fly.
It would first spread out its green carpet.
Leviathan had too much nutrients inside. Lin compressed some of the nutrients and then created a green carpet seed. It placed the seed underneath the spiked pillars. This way, it could slowly grow, eating the moss on the pillars, and replacing them to absorb nutrients on the pillar.
The green carpet Lin had previously created using the transporter had covered half of that spiked pillar. Up until now, Lin had not discovered any organism eating the green carpet. If this method had no problems, Lin would have them cover the entire pillar wood.
The moss would secrete a kind of toxin as a defense. But there was no effect as Lin could easily defeat this kind of toxin.
After placing the green carpet, Lin had to start preparing for night.
There were organisms here during the day, but rare. Lin had only encountered a few after moving around for half a day. This place could not compare to the variety of organisms in the ocean. But at night … that was hard to predict.
Those arthropods might be the first to appear. Lin had prepared many units to deal with them. One of them was called a “stabber,” created specifically based on the attacking habits of those arthropods.
Now, it would wait for the arrival of night …
Translator Ramblings: I’m sure there are easier ways of flying than copying a dragonfly …
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