Space Flora | Origins : The Venus Flytrap Apocalypse
Jeremy Powers was the type of guy to push a plant to pay rent. He had conned his sons out of their hard earned money with lofty promises of a family business, and bought as much land as he could in the middle of the Welcome Zone. Here, plants leaving the darkness above rained down in steady streams of space flora, ready to set up a new life next to their terrestrial brethren. The Welcome Zone had been dubbed a miracle. But to Jeremy, the Welcome Zone was just another get-rich-quick scheme to chase.
So, Jeremy pushed the plants for rent. He’d heard stories of their sapience, that these plants, unlike the stupid, wilting stalks around him, were actually smart. Useful. Probably eligible for credit. His first attempts at establishing a chlorophyll slum went disastrously, as no plant could answer him. Jeremy was too impatient to try to decipher the plants, and angrily decided to wait for a liaison of sorts that he could bully. A plant with a mouth.
One evening, as he sat atop his beaten old pickup and schemed, Jeremy looked up at the starry sky above... It would start here, in the Welcome Zone. Then, he’d set up fields on Mars, on Saturn, which had miraculously gone from gaseous to solid. It was only right that the plants earned their keep and paid their way, after all. What makes them so different from humans? Smug freeloaders. No wonder hippies like them.
His eyes began to drift shut, but his lids were pried open by a flashing light! A comet! The sky glowed with another arrival, and this would be a big one! Jeremy prayed it would land in the Welcome Zone. That it would find itself under his jurisdiction. Maybe the universe had finally sent him the liaison he needed to get his business running.
The comet slammed against the earth, carving out a crater for its passenger - a Venus flytrap named Rocko. Or, that’s what he introduced himself as when Jeremy excitedly asked, seeing the plant was armed with a mouth.
“Rocko, huh? So you can understand these plants?”
“Yes, I can understand them and speak with them, just as I speak with you.” The flytrap’s timbre rang low, earth-shakingly deep. The earthy grit in the plant’s voice vibrated with wisdom, all lost on Jeremy’s meagre ears. All he heard was the cash register ringing, and the fawning of the elite that had snubbed him for most of his life. It was time to become the boot.
“Well, you gotta pay rent here. This ain’t a free ride.” Jeremy said.
“Yeah. This is my land. I own it, I bought it. You and your friends, you can all be here, but you can’t just live here for free.”
The flytrap gave a menacing chuckle. He owns it, he says? A grin spread.
“This is yours? You sign off on every tree that grows here, or every animal that sleeps here? No plant spreads its seed without your say so?” Rocko replied.
“It’s none of my business what they do, as long as you and your friends pay for your stay.”
“On what grounds is this yours?”
“It says here in this paper. I bought the land, I own it. The government says so.”
“And because you stain the pressed corpse of a tree with a claim to ownership, you think this belongs to you?”
“I’m not here to argue with a plant! Look, you better figure out how you’re gonna pay for all this, or I’m gonna have to escort you off these premises.”
The flytrap chuckled once more, deeper, stirring with violence. “Okay,” Rocko replied. “Come back tomorrow. We’ll have what you’re owed.”
Jeremy Powers had successfully pushed for rent, in his mind. The business was blooming. He drove off, proud of his entrepreneurship. He slept like a log.
The next day, Jeremy found that Rocko had dug its roots deep, its soil bathed in fury and retaliation. It had grown unfathomably large, and it had grown angry. The flytrap had heard enough of man, it thought... And sure enough, with the flick of a giant, green tendril, it started its rampage by giving Jeremy Powers what he was owed.