The Tigerman Saga

Chapter 35
An Ocean Of Sand
(Making a mountain out of an ant hill)

3D Art And Story Concept By: Catman Webb
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Pelexis approached the bland looking brown planet,
and realized this was not going to be a water planet like the last two.

The atmosphere was well balanced and correct for life, though very low in humidity.

Pelexis knew he was in for a hot dry visit there.

His ship's instruments detected life signs on the planet.
Amazingly, a huge number of life forms were detectable on this sandy world.

Pelexis was curious to see what types of creatures inhabited such an inhospitable place.
There might be some Avatarians who wouldn't mind a warm dry climate such as this.

Pelexis knew his family was well taken care of, so the rest of his journey was a bonus.

Pelexis saw a mountain range in the middle of the flat featureless surface.
He decided to land near those mountains and hike towards them,
enjoying a clear view in every direction.

Finding a place to land on this planet was a snap.

Pelexis took an inspection walk around his ship,
making certain that everything was in proper order.
His solid small ship seemed to be in perfect shape,
and he saw nothing that would cause problems

Pelexis realized that much time had been lost as he traveled long distances
crossing numerous galaxies in the Space Distortion Rivers.
Although it seemed as if only a short time had passed since he had left Avataris,
Pelexis was aware that several hundred years had gone by.

To say that time was against him would be an understatement.

Pelexis decided to start his hike toward the mountain range.
He had a great view in every direction, and that made him feel secure.

As Pelexis started his trek, he could make out moving objects in the far distance.
They looked as though they might be herding animals,
and possibly a food source for transplanted Avatarians.

He was very curious as to what those herding animals could be feeding on,
so headed their way for a closer look.

The closer Pelexis got, the bigger these beasts seem to be.
Large herding animals made for an easy food source for hungry people.

As clouds floated across the deep blue sky, shadows played across
the dry desert sands, causing them to shimmer and change shades of color.

There was a stark beauty to that world,
and surely there would be water or moisture of some sort there.
There had to be. Those large herding animals were proof of that.

While observing them, something odd struck Pelexis.
Those animals were heading in a perfectly straight line

As Pelexis moved in closer, he noticed the herd was turning towards him.
He also noticed the stiff quick movements and spindly legs.

Then he realized there were more than four legs on those beasts.

Those were not herding mammals, they were insects.
Fast moving insects at that!

Pelexis had never cared much for insects. Most insects either stung or bit.
Pelexis saw how fast they were heading towards him,
so decided to run back to the ship.

Pelexis quickly became aware of several things at once.
Those insects were ants.
Big ants.
Big fast ants.
Fast enough to catch up to him.

Pelexis turned, jumped up and down, and shouted at them.
That wasn't working.

They broke single file rank, and all turned toward him.
Pelexis decided, that it was not a good thing.

Those insects were big and fast.
Almost as big and fast as the beasts Pelexis use to ride on Avataris.
This gave Pelexis an idea.

If he could leap on one's back, while avoiding those scissor-like mandibles,
he could use the antennae as reins, and ride one of these creatures.

Since he wasn't able to outrun them, he would try to ride one.
They were quite fast, and it would be better than walking.

Pelexis fit perfectly between the head and a body section of the enormous ant.
As he pulled on the insect's antennae,
the ant traveled in the direction Pelexis turned it's head.

This was an excellent turn of events, and went into Pelexis' report home.
Avatarians migrating here, could utilize these creatures for numerous tasks.

While contemplating this situation, something else occurred to Pelexis.
The mountain range wasn't really mountains. It was ant hills!

Giant ants, giant ant hills.

No wonder his instruments showed so many life forms there.
Those enormous ant hills were full of huge insects.

Urging his trusty steed forward, Pelexis heard some sounds behind him.

Pelexis' heart skipped a beat. Maybe two beats...
The biggest snake he had ever seen, was gobbling up his new found herd.

The giant reptile appeared to be rather hungry,
and it would be only a couple of minutes before Pelexis would be on the dinner menu.

Apparently his mount needed very little urging to get going.
The ant started moving with an increased burst of speed.

Pelexis guided the ant in the direction of his ship.
He knew there was no way he could run faster than that ant.
He also realized that the ant could probably not outrun the snake.

Pelexis hoped that the snake would remain occupied with eating the other ants
while he and his steed made their getaway.

Just as he had hoped, the snake chased the other ants, and feasted on them one at a time.
The snake then raced after Pelexis and his mount.

By the time the snake was nearly upon them, Pelexis had arrived back at his ship.
He dismounted and headed into the safety of his space craft.

He knew the ant was being devoured, as he fired up his ship's engines.
He was grateful that the ant was able to carry him safely back to his ship,
and felt bad that it got ate.

Pelexis was relieved to have made escape though, and prepared for lift-off.

Once Pelexis was free of the planet's gravity,
he banked his small ship off towards a new course.

He put all that planet's data into a report and sent it back to Avataris.

He wasn't able to report on a precise location of water,
but certainly reported on a food source.

Ants were normally edible, and were in plentiful supply on that planet.

That snake was extremely large,
and Pelexis thoughtfully pondered on what it would taste like.

Click To Proceed To Chapter 36

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The Tigerman Saga Show DVDs
View the Tigerman Saga from DVDs,
You may download samples from the internet.
The Tigerman Saga Show is narrated by the author,
has awesome background music, and cool special effects sounds.