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.