Traveller: Thaer of Tomorrow

This planet is sick. It’s not just the plants, it’s everything. It’s all infected: the soil, the animals, the people, even the damned cities.

The “Yellow King” isn’t a tree, nor is it any longer a man; it’s a dendriform virus. It certainly possesses arborescent qualities but it is no more a tree than a stick bug is a stick. It has deep roots than run beneath the entire planet but they gather no water and serve as an anchor only incidentally. It has a glorious crown of branches that reaches to the sun, but its yellowed leaves render photosynthesis impossible. It has spread its poxy pollen across the universe but it pollinates nothing; instead infecting the unknowing masses with a disease of dissolution that has transformed them into a lifeless legion of soon-to-be trees. The entire planet is part of its system and the new law of the jungle is the posthumous fever dream of a single man. Everything about it is wrong and that’s not even close to the worst part.

For all its power the Yellow King is only an outgrowth of something much older and more powerful. Something took him, made him into the thing he is today, like it was some sort of recompense for the children he freed from its grip. It sprouted a planet-consuming monster appendage practically overnight. What could possibly do something like that? And, the worse question, what would?

-personal diary of Dr. Lorenzo Luminato

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