MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 110
" Perhaps there is another reason. "  OM suggested.

Trent looked at the sand around him.  It began to move.  Then suddenly thousands of small worm like creatures emerged and headed for Trent.  They attacked the shielding when they made contact with it.  They had round mouths lined with rows teeth, and were quite fast for their size.

" These are unpleasant little critters. "  Trent stated looking all around as he stood.

" More on the way.  I guess you smell good. "  OM thought.

" How about primates?  Are there primates headed for this body style. "  Trent said referring to his own.

" There are several primate species.  The closest to your form is on the other side of this planet. "  OM said.

Trent boarded Ship and was there in a minute or so.

" There are five in a meadow just beyond those trees at fifteen degrees to the right. "  OM thought.

Trent landed and advanced on foot.  In the meadow were the five privmates.  They had killed and were butchering their pray.  Trent slowly entered the meadow trying not to alarm primitives.

They stopped working on their pray and turned their attention to Trent.

" Hi there!  Just passing buy.  Do not let me slow you down. "  Trent said as he walked in a straight line, not in their direction.

OM can you stop that mammal hidding in the grass? "  Trent asked.

" Done. "  OM answered.

Trent picked up the mammal and held it out to he primitives.  Then he slowly walked toward them.

The small one took a couple of steps toward Trent and made a growling sound, and bared his teeth.

Trent held the animal up with one hand and continued toward the group.

" I bring you this offering as a token of peace, and I know you do not understand a word I am saying. "  Trent said in a calm voice.

They stood in a defensive manner, with a body language inferring minor agitation.

" So, you killed this thing with a sharp stick.  I bet it tastes pretty good cooked over an open fire.  So, you live around here? "  Trent asked not expecting much of a reply.

The largest, all four feet of him, reached down, grabbed a large hunk of meat and offered it to Trent.

" Thank you kind sir. "  Trent said as he took possesion, then added, " I will just step over here and cook it. ".

Trent walked to a fallen tree, snapped off a branch and stated a fire by concentrating his shield energy to the part protecting the tip of his finger.  He was careful not to let his new friends see that happen.  There was no sense in doing something that might scare them.

They watched Trent with piercing interest.  Soon they were gathered around the fire with more of their kill, obviously wanting to participate by cooking same.

Trent made welcome motions, and the need for more wood.  The primitives had a basic language which depended to a great extent on hand gestures.

" There tools seem to be natural.  Their spear is sharp because it broke off that way.  The cutting tool is just a sharp rock.  They do not fear fire, and I doubt they could make it on their own.  They probably get a lot of lightning caused grass fires. "  Trent thought to OM.

" I am not sure about the quality of the transmission this far from Loma Dena, but if they receive it, but I am sure they will be intrigued.  This is a true opportunity to observe a step in the evolutionary cycle. "  OM stated.

After eating their fill the primitives grabbed as much of their kill as they could carry and headed into the jungle.  Trent followed.

" I will just tag along if you do not mind.  I would like to meet the family. "  Trent said in a hushed voice so as not to attract unwelcome company looking for dinner.

After an hour of filtering through the trees the primitives suddenly crouched and waved for Trent to do the same.  Sitting in a clearing was a dinosaur about twenty feet long.

" Are there more like this one in the vicinity? "  Trent thought to OM.

" Yes, but they are trying to catch a bunch of even more primitive primates. "  OM stated.

They made their way around the clearing and up a steep hill.  At the top were a series of caves with a few dozen primitives squatting at the entrances.  When they seen Trent they scurried into the caves.  The group with Trent made screaming grunting noises while holding the catch over their heads.  One by one the other came out of the caves and rushed their returning hunters.  After a few minutes most were surrounding Trent and touching at his clothing.

" Can you scan their DNA? "  Trent thought.

" It would be better to get a sample I can put into the analyzation chamber. "  OM answered.

Trent spent a few hours socializing then wondered off into the jungle with a finger from one of their dead which they dragged to the edge of the jungle.

" Night fall is only thirty minutes away.  There are a whole new set of creatures beginning to stir.  There are many between you and Ship. "  OM stated.

" I will cloak myself to get a better view and elevate with my shield. "  Trent answered.

" Just to your left is a dinosaur nest being pilfered by small mammals, and there is another mammal slowly approaching from the shrubbery.  Plus there is a bird watching from directly above them. "  OM thought.

" The web of life. "  Thought Trent.

The mammal in the bushes rushed out and grabbed one of the smaller mammals raiding the dinosaur nest, and the bird got another one.  The rest ran into jungle.

" I will bring back with one of these broken eggs to analyses as well. "  Trent thought.

" There is a beached mammal being attacked on the beach right in front of us. "  OM thought.

" On my way. "  Trent replied.  When Trent got there he asked OM to put the creature out of it's misery.  Watching a critter being eaten alive little by little was more then Trent felt like dealing with.

" Put the samples in the tray below the blue light. "  OM said