Dry, but dense clouds rose from the mushrooms in the forest. Growing on the sides of trees, on the ground as tall as trees themselves the clouds of spores filled the air. “Eidoma!” the called young woman turned to origin of the voice, her father. But in secret she and the others referred to him as their general. Ever since they detached from their slimy fruiting bodies he was always around, not their biological father, but in the empire of the fungal guards, common practice. Quickly she hurried to him, the general didn’t like to be kept waiting, a lesson they all learned early on. “Gather the others, we meet in the dining hall.” she bowed slightly and hurried off.

 

While searching out the others she still found joy in the mushrooms that sent out clouds of spores, along with the mosses. But she personally preferred the smell of fungal spores.

“The general wants us in the dining hall asap!” she yelled to a group of girls she saw at a creek in a ravine.

They bowed before her and immediately hurried on back.

 

Eidoma still missed a group of five after locating more of her peers. Lower in the foothills, on a peninsula where the creek joined with another, she saw them, four of them had cornered the fifth at the tip of the peninsula, threatening to throw him ibzo the ravaging waters of the mountain creeks. “The general want us back at the dining hall.” she descended to them. “But tell me first why you want to throw him in there?”

“Subversion to the fungus.” barked one of them. Eidoma raised her right eyebrow. “Defendant!” in all the years with the general she had learned to immediately seize control in any situation, which is why she often was charged with overseeing the others. The rhetoric she aldo had learned from him, she didn’t speak unless it was necessary, and if it was she didn’t speak unnecessarily much, the cornered young man was accused of subversion, he had to defend himself. “I voiced my thoughts concerning the invasion on the Sundweller Island.” again Eidoma raised the right eyebrow. “Your thoughts being?” she could see him getting uncomfortable. “It was wrong to abduct them, to murder so many.” he nervously shifted from one foot to the other. “Haven’t you heard that these vermin were withholding their nectar from us, so that in the coming time of peril we would die out?” one of the other lads yelled at him, stopped when Eidoma raised her hand to silence him. “Why do you think it was wrong?” she pointed at the lad who had shouted just before so the defendant knew that he should take into consideration what the other just had said. “Abducting helpless women and girls just sounds wrong! Are we any better than they are?” he knew he was defending a lost cause with Eidoma, she was after all tbe favorite of their father. Second in command.

“We safeguard the fungus, we will try to fend off the coming peril, but can’t if we don’t have the nectar the old Albin texts spoke off!” again the yelling lad had shouted out the information that had been fed to them.

“But they were unworthy opponents! If we fought an army, yes, but they were dorsal forest dwellers, none offered much of resistance!” they all had heard of the Albin forces that drove the heroic forces of the guards off of Both’anah, just to claim the nectar all for themselves. But still it didn’t justify the abduction of dozens, if not hundreds, of helpless women and girls. “Seize him.” Eidoma sighed, shaking her head. “Let the general decide what to do.” disappointed that they wouldn’t get to throw the subversive element off the peninsula into the raging waters the others moved towards him.

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