"Abandoned," Molly assured him. "The Hallucigens wiped it out six seasons ago. The only remaining nests in the gorge are well to the east and west, clustering around the Null Zone boundaries. And the western ones are empty too now, according to the recent Morpher Net chatter -- the JIM apparently pulled up stakes to invade the area of the Cunt to the south."
"Yes, we heard about that," said D.J. "That was our initial reason for seeking a more easterly crossing."
"There seem to be an awful lot of weird plants and things here," Dabbler noted.
"Steer clear of them," Molly warned. "The JIM cultivate gardens, of a sort, but the sort of things they cultivate are invariably poisonous to other life."
"Surely those pretty little bulbs couldn't be harmful," Sindy protested.
"Surely they could," said Mort. "Those are Areolas, and they're in bloom. Pick 'em and they'll squirt you with acidophilus."
"That doesn't sound so bad--"
"Emphasis on the 'acid.'"
"Then those mushrooms that look like breasts, that smell so heavenly--?" Dabbler enquired.
"Death Cups," Molly told him. "Eat one and soon the only things that will be left of your would be your breasts, which would smell just as heavenly to the next victim."
"And the penile-like ones?" asked Diana.
"Gonorrhees. Don't be tempted to put one of them up your--"
"JigSaw!" shouted D.J. "Didn't you hear Molly? Don't touch that thing!"
"I wasn't going to use it," JigSaw sulked. "I do have my own thing, after all."
"Yeah, in a jar, and for good reason, remember? What's wrong with you, you know sex makes you sick now!"
"Yeah, but I just get the feeling somehow that around here it wouldn't."
"That," said Molly, "would be the spores, pollen and pheromones talking, from the JIM garden. Believe me, you would get sick, and worse than sick. It was a mistake to bring you here."
"Yes," said D.J. "This is no place for a break. Best we get across and continue onward as soon as possible."
Molly nodded and glided on ahead, barely visible in the stronger light of the clearing.
Tue Jul 8 15:00:32 2003