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Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual
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Enlarge: Gwen and Rusty assemble the Chemical Communication Analyzer

The Retropolis Civilian Conservation Corps might be underfunded, Gwen thought. She looked at her vintage Hepmobile. But where it counted, the Corps did have some awfully useful tools. The Chemical Communication Analyzer was one of them.

The CCA absorbed the chemical messages that plants send to one another and then translated those messages into human language. The messages were usually pretty basic, like 'Beetles over here!' or 'Get ready for the creeping fungus!' but the plants could surprise you. The redwoods, for example, had turned out to be pretty deep thinkers. Though a bit on the judgmental side.

Gwen blushed when she remembered what the redwoods talked about when they didn't know anyone was listening.

They unloaded the CCA, which was a substantial piece of equipment, and put it together: this was good experience for Rusty even if their plan didn't work out. The CCA would gather the slow-moving chemical breeze and analyze the results. Gwen placed it near - but not too near - the path of destruction, and once they'd admired their work she and Rusty set off to finish their rounds for the day. Rusty was showing a lot of promise. Gwen was going to file a first-rate evaluation for him.

Reader Comments
There are 3 reader comments on this page.
Bradley W. Schenck says:
February 8th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Wow, that looked so much like spam you’re lucky it posted :). But yes, that’s the ticket: like that article says, this isn’t really news. Plants really do communicate in a way that spreads the word about threats to their welfare.

That thing with the redwoods, though? I don’t think we’ve figured that one out just yet and I expect that’s just as well for our peace of mind. Those are some crotchety trees.

elizabeth says:
February 9th, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Thanks, Bradley, and not so much lucky, as fortunate… and crotchety though they may be, redwoods are my favorites

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