I have lived on the southwestern edge of the fourth continent all my life. Crocodylia is not a easy world or a safe one. I had lived on the single one hundred kilometer wide strip of solid ground on the continent. While the plesiosaur might resemble old earth dinosaurs there were differences. The neck was shorter and stronger, the head wider and larger.
The scientists had brought in plasicrete and other material. They made a one hundred meter diameter cylinder they sank into the water off the southern end of the land. It was one kilometer out from the shallows where the swamp began. The water here was fifty meters deep and right on the edge of a drop off into much deeper water.
The scientists were here to study the marine animals in the ocean. My fifteen meter skiff accelerated out of the swamp towards the plasicrete rising up twenty meters out of the water. I had killed a seventeen meter croc and was returning before the weekly supplies got here. I opened the comm, "professor Donaldson?"
It was a few moments before he answered, "Tallon?"
I shook my head, "look at the perimeter scan. I need to know if any of the larger sharks are near."
"I do not see anything."
I nodded and hoped he was paying attention. It was not long before I sent the signal and the outer net dropped. I did not slow as I went through and into the boat room and shoved the grav into reverse as I started closing the outer net. I glanced back and almost cursed as the huge maga shark fin went past the opening.
I sent the signal and the solid outer door dropped down and sealed the room, "damn scientists."
I moved the skiff to the dock and secured it before going to the dead croc. I used straps and the dock lift to raise it and move it to a sturdy cart. The croc weighed over fourteen hundred kilograms and that was after I had gutted and removed the innards. I would get a third of that after removing the bones and skinning it which was still more than enough.
I pulled the cart after me and into the side room that was my work area. I stopped beside the long center table and used the grav hoist to move the croc. I removed the straps and began skinning it and removing the four large clawed feet and the head. I set them aside and struggled to move the hide to the outer wall.
I used another lift to put it on the work bench before carefully cutting the four legs off the skin. I started to work it into a wide machine and went back and forth to push and pull it through. I rolled the tanned hide after the last was cleaned and tanned. I left it and went to wash my hands and arms before bringing containers using the cart.
I glanced at the door when professor Donaldson walked in, "you missed a mega shark."
He blinked as he looked from the skinned body to me, "I did?"
I shook my head as I turned to the croc and picked up a knife, "did you need something?"
He walked closer as I sliced down the leg. I made four cuts down it and then two around the bone before pulling each large piece of meat away. I laid each out beside the croc and used a sonic cutter to make thick steaks. I put them in a container and moved to another leg, "professor?"
He followed me and grinned, "sorry. I have never seen this done before."
I shrugged, "the legs and shoulder I cut into steaks since everyone wants them."
I cut up the other three legs and then removed a large front shoulder. I cut it off the bone and used the sonic cutter to make large thick steaks. I took all the full containers to the cool room where they would stay for at least a day. I came back, "so what did you want?"
He smiled as he followed me, "my daughter and professor Higgins daughter should be coming out with the supplies."
I glanced at him and moved to the croc, "one of the best cuts is along the spine."
With a seventeen meter croc I got over five and a half meters of meat. I cut it into one meter long, twenty centimeter thick pieces. Once I was done with both sides I gestured, "see the belly?"
The professor nodded and I began cutting it out, "this is what we make croc bacon from."
He grinned, "I like that."
I cut it into large slabs before putting it in containers, "we put these aside to cure."
I moved containers again and returned to the table, "next is the ribs. They used to cook the bone and meat together but the croc bone is to dense."
I sliced down each rib and rolled the body over and sliced the membrane on the inside. I repeated what I had done on the other side and worked the meat out and peeled each piece away. There was a hand width space between each rib so there was a lot of meat. I set it in containers and turned to the tail, "the most tender meat on a croc is the tail."
I had to make four long cuts down the tail spine before removing the meat and cutting it into roasts. I took the containers to the cooler before returning to start removing the bones. I carried them up to the roof and tossed them over before going back for more. From the roof I could see the mega shark still circling the building.
When I finished and cleaned up I returned to get my rifle from the skiff. I went up to the top floor, the whole floor was mine, that was my deal with the scientist. The kitchen, dining and living area were in the center and all the bedrooms were around the outside. I stopped by the comm and opened the channel we used with the closest trading post, "Victor?"
He answered a moment later, "Hey kid, we are almost there."
I smiled, "we have a mega circling so come straight down when you get here."
I sat and began cleaning the rifle and by the time I was done the flyer was landing. I went up to help unload and move the supplies and found two stunning girls with Victor. Jana was professor Donaldson's daughter and sixteen. Michelle or Mike was professor Higgins daughter and fourteen. They were both brunettes with long hair.
After we sent the stasis boxes down in the lift I escorted the two girls down. The living areas for the scientists were on and just below the ocean surface level and very sparse. My living area had grey marsupial skins on the floor. The couches and chairs were covered with croc hide. I helped Victor load the croc hide and the feet and head from the one I had killed.
He paid me in shells or supplies like vegetables, salt or spices. After he left I put my supplies away and went down to the cold room. I pulled out the croc belly containers and started mixing my family recipe for the cure. I glanced back when the two girls walked in. I went back to rubbing the cure onto the meat and putting it back into the containers, "bored already?"
They stopped beside me to watch what I was doing and Mike cleared her throat, "dad said the top floor was yours?"
I nodded and Jana touched my shoulder, "can we use a bedroom?"
I looked at her and she blushed, "it does not look comfortable in the rooms they showed us."
I smiled, "scientist do not tend to look at things that way."
I finished and sealed the container and they followed as I went to bring out the rib meat and put the belly meat away. I set the container on the table, "I have room so sure you can use one. If you call the trading post they can send you a list of things. Beds, coverings, furs for the floor. Just let your fathers know."
Mike started helping as I mixed a marinade sauce and then poured it into the container. I worked it on and into the meat before sealing the container and washing my hands. I put the container away and started pulling out containers with the steaks. They stayed and helped as I seasoned or treated and marinaded the meat.
I was finished and heading upstairs when Professor Albert called to say he was taking a sub out. I sighed and turned to head down and the girls followed. I sat in a sim seat and brought the drone sub alive. I put the sim helmet on and open the comm, "let me take the drone out first."
"I am waiting."
I shook my head and turned the drone towards the sub bay hatch. It slid open and I started moving out while looking around, "okay come out."
I could hear the girls whispering as I watched the professor emerge and turn to head for deep water. I went after him, "on the bottom professor."
The other sub dipped and sank to just above the ocean floor as it continued to go deeper. I stayed to one side and followed while constantly looking around. There were fish of all sizes including several larger than the two subs. I followed the professor to several of the remote sensor arrays and then back home.
I had to remind him several times to stay on the bottom. Once the sub bay doors were closed and the drone docked I shut it down and pulled the sim helmet off. I stood and headed for the stairs. The girls had left but when I walked into my kitchen I found them. I hesitated since they were both naked and cooking.
I went to the pantry and pulled two of the three cooking aprons off a hook. I handed them to the girls when I came out and started helping as they stopped to put them on. Dinner was strange since I was used to eating alone but it was nice sitting with them. We cleaned up after and they went to put clothes away.
I walked into the huge common room and switched on the holo table. I sat and started watching the planet news update. I shook my head at some of the things the tourists had done. Like trying to feed a croc or one who thought he could swim with them. I looked at the girls as I switched to a sat look down.
.... There is more of this story ...