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AUTHOR: August Marion NARRATOR: Trendane Sparks HOST: Norm Sherman Vegetablemen in Peanut Town is an Escape Pod original. Discuss on our forums. For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our Wikia Thank you for visiting us on Facebook and Twitter about the author... August is a native of Detroit who now lives in the Pacific Northwest, and works in the tech industry. When he isn't designing and programming very small computers, he writes stories, and wanders aimlessly (usually not at the same time). about the narrator... Originally born in Texas, Tren eventually escaped and wound his way through a mystical series of jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area where he has worked as a software QA Tester for both graphics drivers and video games, a freelance mascot performer, and several jobs on a PBS kids' show. For most of his life, people have told him that his voice is a pleasure to listen to. But since being a werewolf phone sex operator can get boring, he decided to use his powers to entertain a broader audience. Vegetablemen in Peanut Town By August Marion Otto scanned the grassy countryside for any sign of marauding vegetables. The steeple he and Darby were in wasn't quite thirty feet tall, but it was taller than any other building in Peanut Town, so it offered an unobstructed view of the surrounding farmland. There were acres and acres of genetically engineered, perambulatory peanut plants shuffling around in scattered groups, probing the rich soil for nutrients with their roots. Everything looked perfectly safe. Peaceful even. "Hey, genius." Darby said acidly. "North is that a way." "Oh." Otto said, as he turned around. He refocused the binoculars he was using, and then he saw them: vegetablemen. The same strain that had so annihilated Manhattan that even the rats had given up on the place. There were about three dozen of them scattered over the gently rolling hills. They lumbered toward the town slow and heavy on their long, stout, green stalks. They were still far off, but he could tell from the coloring of the peels around their thoraxes that they were the same cultivar that the king had sown on Manhattan. Otto lowered the binoculars. He swallowed hard. "Well?" Darby asked. "Is them the ones from Manhattan?" "Those are they, yes." Otto confirmed, as he tugged at his collar. He hated hot weather. It didn't fit his wardrobe. "We're going to have to fight them." Darby grinned madly. When word had arrived that the vegetablemen had been spotted near the county line, the whole town had evacuated. Only Darby had stayed behind to defend the town alone. Otto thought Darby seemed a little too excited about the prospect to be sane. Personally, he would rather go toe to toe with a hailstorm of disease-carrying nuclear warheads. Unfortunately, they were trapped. The last car carrying the last drop of gasoline had rolled out less than an hour before Otto and his group had coasted in on fumes. Otto handed the binoculars back to Darby. "I already told you we aren't going to fight. We aren't warriors. We're restaurateurs." He said, and started down the ladder. The ladder led down to a kitchen rather than a chapel, as Darby had had apparently been converted to a diner years before. Aria and Griselda were waiting in the kitchen. "Well?" Aria asked. "It's them." Otto replied. "The same strain from Manhattan. Do you have the grease?" Aria read the order ticket. "You ordered one can of bacon grease carrying the scent of fresh, young love on a dewy spring morning with plenty of dry-aged red meat and smoked cheddar with no loss of its bacon-esque essence." "That's what I ordered." Otto confirmed. Aria handed him a can. Otto opened it, and inhaled deeply. "Fabulous." He remarked. It was exactly what he had asked for[...]