As we broke through the atmosphere I could see huge islands sprinkled all over the planet. The islands were surrounded by a deep green sea.
As we came closer I could discern enormous plant growth. You couldn’t see any ground that was not covered with plants.
“The plant is called a Tokkz by the Rahic. There is one that grows on each island,” Attalla explained as we descended. He pointed at the center of the island to a group of huge round grayish-green plant pods covered with lethal looking thorns. “Each pod is hollowed out in such a way that it does no damage to the mother plant. That is where the Rahic live.”
He pointed to the long tendrils that ran from one group of pods to another. “Those are the offshoots of the pods that are created by the Rahic by pollinating the mother plant. She shoots out the tendril, sinks in roots and produces another living space.”
“Stellar,” I said in admiration.
“The tendrils are excavated and are used as tunnels to travel from pod to pod. In the process the Rahic pollinate the plant further because they have been to the flowers,” he pointed to a huge bloom growing off one of the tendrils. It was easily as large as my landing pod and was reminiscent of a Venus flytrap. “They go to the pitcher of the flower each day to collect the nectar they live on and sell as the liqueur we call Tokkzic. During the collection process they get covered in the pollen of the planet. As they pass along the inner portion of the tendrils the pollen brushes off them and onto the plant’s underbelly.”
“Drop down into that opening there,” Attalla instructed. “Switch to hover mode and direct your engine exhaust down so you won’t damage the plant.” He was pointing to what looked like a huge cylindrical part of the plant that appeared to be hollow with an opening at the top. “It is the Rahic’s route to the surface for this plant so we want to be careful not to damage it or any inhabitants that are using it as we land.”
“If the plant has a pitcher, what does it eat?” I asked as I maneuvered into it and started our descent.
“The cool evening breeze off the ocean sends a fog over the island. It is very mineral rich. It catches on the thorns of the pods and the hairs of the tendrils. The plant drinks it in as the morning temperatures rise. The same fog fills the pitcher with dew. The plant mixes its juices with the dew to make a vat where the plant catches mostly birds that come to drink from the pitcher,” Attalla explained.
“So the Tokkzic liqueur is basically stomach acid,” I said wrinkling my nose.
“Don’t knock it until you try it,” Attalla said.