Monday, February 7, 2011

How They Survived

Watching the planet as the ash and smoke cleared the air took me a good portion of the day, I was simply fascinated with watching it all. There hadn't been much to burn up so the ash settled quickly and the smoke discipated, the planet was burning cleanly. The glow of the planet rivaled the glow from the star in this system for us, mostly due to the proximity. The station actually did warm up a bit from all the activity, but it felt good to us because we knew that we hadn't completely destroyed it, only sent it into a cycle of rebirth. The first of their ships was done and they were taking it out and testing it. Our shields had been lowered once the process on the planet had finished and the rest of our technology was being taken down as it was replaced with their own. They had also begun the process of building a dome to house the plants that they would grow and put back on the planet. The terraforming process would end up being mostly technological this time, they were going to plant their seeds and saplings themselves once they could return to the surface. They were already working on the technology they would need to maintain a proper atmosphere without sufficient plant life.

It really was amazing what they knew and were capable of even when they had been living in a low technology setting for so long. The pods, it turned out, were older than any of them, having been a creation of wars once fought long ago by their people. They had simply been updated a bit shortly before they entered them for their sleep. Every once in a while one of them would have to wake up renew the technology that kept it all powered, the one that woke up would be giving his life for it as well. They could have lived indefinitely in those pods if the planet had been healthy, but in order to maintain the power source they were using the one who woke up had to recover a very volatile substance to insert into the device. They had plenty of it left, it was a substance that was a byproduct of some of the technology they had used to mine the planet dry. They remembered each of the ones who woke up to keep the rest alive, their image and biography were stored in the computers, it was the last thing they did with the time they had left. They had pondered before going this route of survival of just dying off, but they wanted to live as long as possible and hoped that eventually the one who woke up would find a world that was more habitable. They knew their chances weren't good of waking to a miraculously revived planet, but still they maintained the systems and kept themselves alive in hope of some unknown future. They never imagined to find another alien who would be willing to help them, but they were pleased we had arrived.

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