Last chapter recap: The worm carries Lin deep into the desert to a place of water.
Chapter Ten The Hub
The worm seemed to smell water and sped up from its slow movements. It seemed to charge towards the water.
Lin’s flyers reached the water faster than the worm. From high up, this was a lake dozens of meters wide. There was a circle of green tentacle shaped things around the lake. Those must be plants. In the vast desert, the lake and these plants seem to bring some wonderful feelings.
How could have this formed? Why did water gather here? Lin cared greatly about this. Could water pass through the hot air about the desert, through the sand storms, to the center of the desert?
When the flyer reached the side of the lake, Lin found there were some small arthropods here. Lin had the flyer take a drink. Lin found the water here seemed to be especially clear, with not a lot of impurities. This should have been water made from the water floating through the air.
Now, Lin hesitated.
Since water had been found, should it kill the worm for Leviathan to come out? But the water only took up a small area. There may be many problems due to different factors.
As Lin was thinking, the worm got close to here. It reached its large head out of the sand. It stared at the water surface for a while before diving into the water.
When the worm dove into the water, its entire body came out of the sand. Lin also saw the body of the worm that had been deeply buried in the sand. From head to tail, this organism was more than ten meters long but less than twenty.
How had it grown so big? This was still a riddle. The worm was drinking a lot of water from the lake. Leviathan could sense large amounts of water entering the worm’s esophagus.
Now, the worm’s esophagus truly started to move. Large amounts of dissolving fluid suddenly appeared from inside. It appeared that it was planning to truly digest the Leviathan now.
It hadn’t done so at the start because it had lacked water? The worm had not gone to drink the ocean water. Maybe it was because the ocean had not yet recovered but maybe there were other reasons.
The explorer that Lin had used to test the water was dead. It may have been eaten. Lin had not created more. It seemed there was still a problem with the ocean water.
The worm secreted a large volume of dissolving fluid. It seemed able to turn water directly to dissolving fluid. They could easily corrode the outer layer of the Leviathan and turn chitin substance into dust.
But it would take time to reach the inner layers. All the holes on the Leviathan were able to open and close. When the holes were completely closed, not even a virus could enter. So Lin did not have to worry about the dissolving fluid entering in the short term. It opened its holes slightly and sucked in a bit of dissolving fluid to deconstruct it and see what the kind of dissolving fluid it was.
This was a powerful kind of acid…
The composition of dissolving fluid was very different between organisms. But Lin had not named them, and so they were all called dissolving fluid.
Different dissolving fluids had different qualities, and sometimes, dissolving fluid that could easily dissolve thick armor could be blocked by a layer of cells. Lin already thought of a solution against the worm’s dissolving fluid.
Lin had once made chitin able to stop the dissolving fluid of the Aztec insects. The worm’s dissolving fluid was similar to the Aztec insects. However there were some special substance mixed within that could speed up the rate. It was not very difficult to think of a protection.
However, Lin also wanted to know how the worm’s esophagus blocked its own dissolving fluid.
This might be the key to killing the worm. Since it was planning to kill the Leviathan, then Lin did not plan to stay in its body.
The worm’s dissolving fluid corroded Leviathan’s outer armor layer. Lin secreted a transparent protective layer and also covered some units that were small with the same coating. Lin sent these units through the air holes and observed the changes of the esophagus filled with dissolving fluid.
So this was how it was….
There was a white sticky fluid on the walls of the worm’s esophagus. Clearly, the worm relied on this to stop itself from being dissolved.
Lin scraped some of the sticky fluid from the esophagus walls and then returned into the Leviathan to analyze the fluid.
At this time, the flyer outside was flying around the lake. Lin could see the worm’s enormous body floating on the water surface like it was dead. But in reality, there was something major going on inside. To digest the Leviathan, it was constantly producing dissolving fluid like it wanted to use the dissolving fluid to crush the Leviathan.
But now, Lin had analyzed the sticky fluid from the worm’s esophagus. This was primarily made from some special cells. Lin knew of a special way to take them off the esophagus walls.
Lin started to create large amounts of a special fluid. This fluid was targeted towards the esophagus wall cells and could break apart the connections between cells.
But, just as Lin was preparing to release the fluid, the worm suddenly started shaking. The flyer outside could see. The motionless worm in the water started to twist and dove into the water.
What was it doing?
During Lin’s confusion, it suddenly saw an organism come near the lake. Lin had seen this organism before…
The desert scorpion. This scorpion about the same size as the Leviathan appeared next to the lake in the desert. Clearly, it had come for the water.
Many organisms were used to using fluid to expel the waste from their bodies so they easily lacked water, even though they would have shells that did not leak.
The flyer to see the worm’s blurry shadow get close to the scorpion that was drinking. It clearly wanted to hunt.
Then it would wait for a while. Lin had the Leviathan stop releasing fluid. It would not be late to wait until the worm ate the scorpion.
The scorpion did not sense the worm in the water. The worm’s hunting method was extremely clever. It slowly got close, tensed its body, and then charged out of the water!
The scorpion almost did not react in time before it was bitten by the worm. Then there was the sound of armour cracking. The scorpion was quickly bitten to pieces and swallowed.
Lin saw this and felt a bit scared. If it had not calculated the right time when it charged into the worm’s mouth, it would have been bitten to pieces like this….
After the worm swallowed the scorpion, it shrank back into the water, and continued to float like a corpse.
As the esophagus moved, Lin’s eyeballs, covered with the anti-corrosive armor, saw many pieces of the scorpion get squeezed into the same place as the Leviathan. They soaked in the acid and wereslowly being digested….
Then now, it was time…
Thinking, Lin started to have Leviathan release the special fluid. This fluid would not be affected by the acid and spread out. The cells of the esophagus were connected by a layer of sticky fluid. But this fluid would destroy this layer of fluid and cause the cells to get disconnected.
The esophagus lost the protection of this layer of cells and under direct contact with the acid, signs of corrosion started to appear.
The worm floating on top of the water felt a problem inside its body and made a strange sound.
Leviathan continued to release large volumes of fluid. Large rotting wounds appeared inside the worm, and were expanding.
The worm twisted and charged out of the lake. It climbed out of the water and shook its head. Leviathan could feel the esophagus twisting violently and squeezing everything out!
The flyer saw the worm open its enormous mouth. At the same time, Leviathan sensed a powerful flow of water. Going along with the water, the worm threw up everything on the sand. Leviathan, the pieces of the scorpion, and a lot of acid.
It was possible to vomit from such a deep position?
Leviathan stood up. The white sunlight passed through its corroded pitted armor and burned the cells inside. Leviathan’s inner shell layer could only protect against corrosion, but not the heat of the light.
The worm stood with a third of its body upright. Its red eyes glared at Leviathan as though it knew it was Lin causing the problem. But after staring for a while, the worm’s head tilted to the side, and the body fell to the ground with a boom.
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 15 “Bombardier Beetle”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 14 “Forest Hunter”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 13 “The Twisted Forest”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 12 “The Green Terminal”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 11 “Devour”