|Then she pulled a large sprig of Aniseed Fire from her belt, lit it and handed it to Will. "Wave it around. We've been lucky so far, but I'm not taking any risks with you here."|
|— Martha in Freefall, page 71|
Aniseed Fire - is the common name for a species of endemic plants that grows in the Seven Sisters. It was first introduced by Martha in Freefall, and later Drake improved its formula making it stronger.
It contains DEET, an insecticide, that is released on oxidation. If a person burns the stems of this plant, it produces a scent so strong that keeps spider-monkeys away. It can also be used by waving the sprigs and making the smell spread around.
Similarities with real plants Edit
Aniseed Fire plants are depicted as similar to the Agastache foeniculum. Surprisingly, this plant is commonly called anise hyssop, because of its smell. Anise hyssop was used medicinally by Native Americans for cough, fevers, wounds, diarrhea. The soft, anise-scented leaves are used as a seasoning, as a tea, in potpourri, and can be crumbled in salad.
Agastache also look similar to lavenders, which are known for being a natural repelent to some insects.
- Theoretically, Aniseed Fire does not work on Brights. The difference between these creatures and spider-monkeys is that Brights don't give up on a prey, and they keep hunting them, even if the smell bothers them. However, when Drake improved the formula, it showed to be specially potent against them, killing them in a matter of seconds.
- Little it's known about Aniseed Fire appearance, although it's depicted as blue and it glows when shaked. It smells like licorice.
- The one who found out the Aniseed Fire was Nathaniel, Martha's son.
- "If you don't watch it, the spider-monkeys gather in the ceiling vents and suddenly drop on top of you. The fumes from Aniseed Fire keep them away. I grow it in my garden, you know." (Martha, Freefall, page 50)
- "If I hadn't found out about Aniseed Fire, I wouldn't be around to tell you about it. Nathaniel collected specimens for me whenever he went on his expeditions. I've still got a lot to learn about their properties, but time is one thing I'm not short of." (Martha, Freefall, page 52)
- "I need to pick some Aniseed Fire from my garden." The boys watched her as she stopped halfway down the garden path and began to harvest her plants. As she lopped their stems, the vivid blue glow the Aniseed Fire emitted was instantly dulled, slowly fading away to nothing. (Martha, Freefall, page 96)
- "We ran some tests on the sample of Aniseed Fire and found that on oxidation it releases large amounts of N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide. DEET, for short. It's a common garden insect repellent, but the stuff in those aerosols is industrial strength. Handy if you come under attack. You could also try spraying you clothes and kit with it. Should keep the spiders at arm's length, and your friends too. Just avoid getting it on your skin. Understood?" (Drake, Freefall, page 188)
- "Acting purely on instinct, he gave it a full burst from the aerosol. He'd fully expected the creature to zip away, but it didn't. It hung there for what seemed like seconds. Then the strangest thing happened. Will could only compare it to when salt is sprinkled on a garden slug and the poor animal froths up and eventually bursts into a messy splurge. In the same but much more immediate way, viscous fluid oozed from joints all over the Bright's body as it shook frenziedly. Then, piece by piece, it simply fell apart." (Will using the improved formula of Aniseed Fire, Freefall, page 213)