Jatydid took a deep breath. While his greenhouses were currently devoid of plants, the garden beds were now full of fresh soil. It smelled slightly damp, full of potential, full of hope.
Something about breaking up the dirt with their tentacles put Jatydid in a trance. It was great to have something to do while waiting for their spouse and child to return.
If Jatydid had been paying attention, they would have seen through the glass, someone approaching. This Qwortarian was dragging themselves across the ground with the only two tentacles they could form in their weakened state. Their eye had retreated inside their body, half open to try to avoid being punctured as they moved. Their beak was also inside, bobbing around as they got closer to the greenhouse Jatydid was in.
Finally, when they were close enough they banged the outside of the glass with their two tentacles as hard as they could. The bang and little rattle of the glass caught Jatydid's attention. They quickly traversed to the nearest door and peered out.
“Rolyn?” Jatydid asked the clear near puddle pooling at the edge of their greenhouse. “What-”
Rolyn’s beak sploshed out of their body. “Sabotage!” It was a raspy yet forceful whisper.
“Sabotage!” A limp tentacle almost raised off the ground. “Our food…” Rolyn’s gelatin body shuddered, and Jatydid reached out, but there was nothing they could do as the proteins and fiber making up the lining holding a Qwortarian’s body together finally broke apart.
Jatydid was left staring down at a collection of organs, a partially open beak, and a still open eye covered in the inner fluids.
Jatydid’s world view had changed at the hatching of Skylar, and it had changed as the famine raged, but now it was changing all over again.
Without war, without a grudge, without any conceivable reason, to do something so awful to innocent bystanders, Jatydid was at a standstill.
If someone managed to decimate a planet’s food supply, what was to stop them trying to destroy the supplement plants coming from Earth?
Word count: 345