Summary: A scientist, Dr. Branner, discovers a new species of carnivorous plant living in the Amazon. He takes it back to his lab in the VanAndel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to study it. The plant seems to have animal-like characteristics, including the ability to sense its prey nearby and snatch at them quickly as they go by. The plant had contracted a strange virus that caused these abilities. Unfortunately, the virus is sensitive to gamma rays, and when the plant is accidentally exposed to a gamma generator it starts growing, as well as its appetite...
The phone on Chief Officer Thomas McGrady's bedside table rang. He awoke slowly, rubbed at his eyes and picked it up. "Hello?" he said, irritatedly. "Unless this is important, I'd like to be left alone."
"Officer!" came an exasperated voice. "Officer McGrady, there's an emergency!"
"If this is another false alarm..."
"No!" replied the voice desperately. "This is serious!"
"What is it?"
"Two scientists have disappeared from the VanAndel Insititute last night!"
"WHAT?!" exclaimed the officer, suddenly wide awake.
"Yeah, that's what happened! All that remained was—ugh—their skeletons!"
By now, McGrady was jumping out of bed and reaching for his clothes. "I'll be there as soon as I can," he said urgently. "Do you have any idea of how this happened?"
"Not really," answered Officer Brenton on the other end. "But whatever it was was able to digest them at an incredible rate!"
"All right, just sit tight until I can get there," replied McGrady, pulling on his pants. But he knew what it was. He had had an encounter with the one responsible before.
When Officer McGrady arrived on the scene, he could sense an air of fear and dismay. Officer Joe Brenton was standing in front of his cruiser, talking on his radio, and a crowd of people had gathered in front of the building. "Okay, clear out everybody," he shouted, waving his arms. "We'll take care of this. Go back to your lives."
"What's going on here?" a voice from the crowd demanded.
"A couple of scientists are missing. That's all you need to know. Now go on!"
There were several loud mutters, but the crowd eventually scattered.
"Now what have you found out so far?" he said, turning to Officer Brenton.
"Nothing more than what I told you," said Brenton, panicked.