River Fisher and Blue Dragon

Digital drawing. At center, a bird in right profile, head tilted up, beak slightly parted and holding a slug-like creature. The bird is perched on a patch of earth, at bottom left corner, along the shore of a river. At top of frame, glowing balls of light float through the air. The bird appears to be a river kingfisher of the Ceyx genus. The bird bears feathers of many different colors. The front half of the slug has the shape of a garden slug, with streaks of many colors.The slug’s eyes are directed toward the bird. The bottom half of the slug appears like a blue dragon sea slug with blue coloring and plume-like appendages. Both are speckled with sparks of light.

“Strange,” the many-colored creature said.

It was not the reaction that Halceyx expected.  With her beak full—full of the creature—she could not speak.  But the creature, who was some kind of water slug, seemed to understand the inquisitive squeak that Halceyx uttered.  The creature answered her as if she had spoken.

“Yes, it’s strange that you’re still alive.  You have lucked into grasping me in just the right way.”

Halceyx uttered another query in the form of another squeak.

“I possess many different pockets,” the water slug said, “and I keep poisons in them.”

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Flight of the Stegosaur

Digital drawing. Hovering in the sky, left side view of a stegosaur-like dinosaur with a bulky body, claw-like toes, bony spikes on its tail, a long neck, protruding snout and bony plates along its back. The dinosaur’s mouth is open in what appears to be a smile, eye looking at the viewer. From within the middle of the bony plates there emerge pairs of delicate veined wings like those of a fly or beetle

The stegosaur watched the beetle flick open its hard outer wings and extend the flight wings underneath.  She watched the beetle launch himself into the air and hover, floating to and fro before he droned away.  She watched in study of the beetle’s ability.  And she watched in envy of the beetle’s ability.

She heard pebbles shifting behind her, but she did not turn.

“You’re looking in the wrong direction,” a voice said.

The stegosaur smiled and swung her head around. 

“If you want to fly, there’s the way,” said the little limusaurus.  She tossed her head back as she strode over to the stegosaur.

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Jane knew about the salamander.  The salamander was capable of regenerating its limbs, to a certain degree.  As such, it had been studied by scientists who sought to unlock the secrets of tissue regeneration.  Wound-healing in humans was a messy and half-hearted affair and sometimes lead to more harm as useless scar tissue formed where living, operating tissue had once been.  The process could go so far as to render an organ completely useless, the only solution being to replace the organ.  Even the human liver, with its great capacity for regeneration had its limits.  But Jane worked with a particular group of scientists studying the liver and the salamander, who joined with another group who were studying the effects of aging.  They believed they had struck upon a treatment, a combination of gene therapy, the application of small doses of radiative energy, stem cells, and even specific bacterial cultures to induce regeneration of wounded tissue.

Jane knew about the salamander.  The animal’s mythical association with the element of fire.  Fire cleansed and fire sealed.  It was a good symbol for their project. Continue reading