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Chapter 99: Energy Ores
Dias returned before Beaver could leave the team’s starship. After communicating with Beaver, Dias summoned all of the operation personnel, summing up both the analysis team’s findings and Beaver’s findings before explaining them to everyone.
“We’re not facing just one high intelligence species, but two of them working together with each other during the previous operation.” A so-called high intelligence animal was determined by an animal’s standard, and not a human’s. While a high intelligence animal might not necessarily be smarter than a human, it was definitely not stupid either. Dias called out the birds and red-and-black alien beasts’ pictures on the huge screen and said, “There are two more photos that were captured from high altitude, and I believe that you’ll have a more direct understanding once you’ve seen them.”
On the screen, there was a stone circle formed from many huge rocks inside a basin, and the horny skinned beasts were captives inside it. There were some red-and-black alien beasts pacing back and forth outside the stone circle.
The image cut to a new scene. It was a cave, and its surroundings were filled with those eagle-like birds. They used their sharp beaks and claws to tear apart the horny skinned beasts from their skin before tossing them down into the cave. Their movements were practiced, and it was obvious that they had done this many times before. The team did not know what was deep inside the cave, but they knew that it was a snake den looking at the things that had crawled out of the cave.
There were many types of snakes that would not consume dead or still objects, but it was obvious that this particular type was different. They would fall over and fight each other for the mincemeat when they were tossed into the cave.
“These two life forms do not stand at the apex of this planet. There are plenty of other bigger and deadlier life forms than them. However, these two life forms lived very comfortably due to their mutualistic and cooperative relationship with each other. When the birds encountered their natural enemies, they would escape to the red-and-black alien beasts and seek protection. The birds would also warn the red-and-black alien beasts in advance when large-sized creatures that could threaten the red-and-black alien beasts were nearby. Through a long period of evolution, their interplay grew more and more practiced, and their intelligence grew as well.”
Dias cut to another new image, “This is a scene of them retreating when the commander came to help us. Look at this big fellow’s eyes when they’re retreating; it is a reluctance that is very much like a human’s. An animal’s intelligence can be determined from their eyes, and the more intelligent they are, the better their learning capabilities are.”
Dough zipped right behind Beaver’s pants after seeing those eyes. It’s so scary, it looked like it was going to jump right out and eat it.
Meanwhile, the gray cat only glanced at it once before yawning and returning to sleep. One must sleep after they eat. Yep, that’s the truth of the universe.
“No wonder it felt like we were being played.” Cary, who had finished treating his wounds sighed on the chair.
Eudy looked at him from the corner of his eyes, “Now you know what happens when a Hunter is stupider than his prey?”
Cary’s face contorted as he thought of giving himself a slap there and then. Why had he chosen this moment to speak up? It was like he was asking to be scorned upon.
Dias’ words gave everyone in the team much to think about. It would seem that they would be facing these two mutualistic high intelligence animals in combat, and they knew nothing about their trump cards at all. But if they wished to understand this Rank B planet, then they’d have to face these two life forms.
A lot of people were thinking after listening to Dias’ briefing. Cillin was also deep in thought, but he wasn’t thinking about Dias’ words, but something else.
Although his eyes were staring at the huge screen, his attention was placed on the invisible surveillance probes outside the ship. They were sent out to orbit around the planet and monitor certain phenomenon such as images, local weather conditions, energy detection and so on.
Cillin had given the matter special attention ever since listening to the gray cat about machine language, and he realized that at the peak of his concentration, he really could ‘hear’ certain things. He was able to convert them into words and images, and although he couldn’t make heads or tails of these scenes at all, it was enough to excite Cillin. He was sure that this was the machine language the gray cat was talking about.
The gray cat who was lying there sleeping suddenly flicked its ears and opened its eyes. At first it was looking strangely at Cillin, but then it seemed to understand something and became at ease once more. Then it buried its head and continued to sleep.
After explaining things for a little while longer, Dias turned serious. Cillin thought, here comes the real show.
Dias cleared his throat and said seriously, “We’ve talked enough about the animals, so let’s talk about the main point now. The analysis team on the main ship deduced that there may be a large amount of energy ores on this planet. It’s just that we are temporarily unable to detect it for some unknown reason. Therefore, our latter missions will involve returning to the planet and performing a more in-depth energy reading. The technical team has already modified our scan parameters and optimised our scanners. They will be delivered to us by the morrow, so everyone should take a good rest before the new scanners arrive. Once we return to the ground, we will be facing more than just two intelligent life forms.”
The instant the gray cat heard about energy ores, its ears flicked upwards as straight as an arrow. Although it was still in the same eye-closing and head-burying posture, its ears had betrayed its current feelings. Cillin sighed on the inside when he saw this. It’s a cat alright.
Once the team meeting was over, Cillin had just returned to the lounge and sat down when the gray cat jumped onto his thighs, “Are we just looking for one type of energy ore?”
Cillin give it a thought and said, “I don’t know, but the six teams will split up as before and perform scans at different areas. It’s possible that the other teams are responsible for seeking out a different type of energy ore. How many types do you know of?”
Cillin had seen the images captured by the orbiting observation satellites and a few simple parameters. From these parameters Cillin deduced that there might be more than a type of energy ore on this planet, although the exact numbers were unknown. The data they had were limited after all; the analysis team on the main ship would probably have a more precise conclusion. However, Cillin trusted the gray cat’s judgment more than the analysis team’s.
The gray cat narrowed its eyes, “I didn’t run too far, but I detected two types of energy ores in the area. One is in that jungle, and the other is in that green river.”
Cillin nodded. Those two places were a little strange.
The moment the gray cat thought that so many of its energy ores would be confiscated, it grew a little dejected and dispirited.
Seeing that the gray cat’s discontented look, Cillin pulled its ears and said, “If you can find the energy ores before the scanners, then you can eat some yourself first.”
“Really?! I won’t be kicked out of the team and left with those ugly creatures on the planet?”
“Relax, as long as you limit your consumption, I’m sure the commander and the others will understand.” Seriously, who in their right minds would kick out a cyborg? There were plenty of smart people in the B Squadron, and they all knew where their vital interests lay.
“Hehe, that works for me. I will definitely find the energy ores before those dumb machines first! I’m going to eat first when that happens, and I’m going to inform you guys only when I’m full!”
Sigh, this guy’s so proud it lost measure of itself again.
“Idiot, keep that last sentence to yourself, or you’re gonna get beaten for it.” Cillin cupped the gray cat’s head with his hand and said.
“Mm hmm, keep it to myself. I’ll keep it to myself and not say a word.” The gray cat was happy now and thus did not mind Cillin messing around with its head.
During the time before they returned to the planet, the gray cat was in a highly excited state. It would patrol the B Squadron’s starship three times a day, although by now everyone had gotten used to it. Cary even brought food to the gray cat everyday to thank it for saving his life.
When the aircraft landed back on the ground, the gray cat was gone the second the hatch opened.