The Planet Seeders
Organism feeding was definitely her favorite part of the routine .
Energy from the Center's powerful source region – a combination of modulating randomly shifting blue and green lights, together with humid breezes and spatial harmonic sound, were fed into the protozoa’s area and a wonderful feeling of serene alpha wave non-activity always filtered into Arnoth’s mind.
The plankton lake was dotted with islands of what appeared to be every conceivable Terran environment. On the horizon a tropical volcano jutted from the water, while closer it was possible to distinguish the three jungle islands with their impenetrable foliage and what must have been flocks of birds soaring above…
Looking from Arnoth’s perspective they appeared like kaleidoscopic colour transformations as they wheeled and turned.
Sector 3 of the gravity wheel was home to only three Seeders and yet took up a full 120° of arc space. This was because the giant Seeders (whose diamond-fingered robot arms measured 2100 meters from shoulder to fingertip) liked a bit of room to relax away from their simple chores during flight.
Arnoth was to create the fresh water pathways on TILMUD (4th planet around XYGAR main sequence 13th°star galaxy 1/101C), whereas Benile had been allocated all salt-water regions. It was Crien’s turn to shape the land; the continents with their mountains, the islands barely above sea level and the gently rolling habitable and fertile places. Land design was considered most creative of the Seeders’ jobs, so they rotated each task in fair fashion.
After the proscribed 20 hours of alpha communication with the others, Arnoth left the edge of the lake for the zero G region, floated comfortably back to the energy tap and received for four hours. In her dreams the future stretched out forever, then looped back on itself to the beginning like the Wheel itself… the continuum of space-time another circle.
The three Seeders turned off their energy taps as one and left the Wheel, falling towards planet Tilmud. Feeling the gradually increasing pull of gravity, the tractor beam from the Wheel arrested their velocity until they touched down imperceptibly on the dusty rock below.
It would take the full 20 hours at maximum speed to prepare this barren, cratered, lifeless ball for seeding and the detailed plan of action was immediately implemented. Arnoth strode to the agreed boundary between land and sea and dragged a massive finger in a squiggly line, while at the same time using the other hand to scoop up the rock, forming a topography which matched their agreed creation. Meanwhile, Benile was working next to Crien, scooping great holes and smoothing the continental shelf next to continent #1 (yet to be named).
Crien was certainly enjoying the privilege of land design and, in the 20 hours, had piled the rock into the exact shape of the Tilmud Plan. As they felt the reduction in their weight and as the Wheel’s beam started to lift them towards itself they joined once again in alpha. In four hours it would be time to seed Tilmud, until then it was time to receive.
The three Seeders watched from on high as the automated planting process went into operation. The atmosphere of sulphur was removed and a new one consisting of carbon dioxide, water vapour, oxygen and nitrogen was replaced there, all the while cooling the surface temperature of the planet as clouds began to form. They watched as rain began to fall and the planet’s appearance in space began to change. A colour was appearing below them, the colour blue.
It started as hundreds of disparate specks, growing in size and shape in a way that only water-filling irregular shaped holes can do, until the bold outlines of the landmasses could be seen through gaps in the clouds. Gradually the clouds began to disperse; except for the poles of it’s axis where clouds of white remained, Tilmud became still as it turned below them. Sunshine heated land, water rose, clouds were forming, weather became dynamic, and it was time to enjoy habitat design on the planet’s surface.
In excited anticipation, all three floated to that sector of the wheel where quantizing would hasten them back to the mini environment where they could rejoin human time, and therefore human interaction. Individually they prepared to join in alpha, as transmitting, quantizing, and receiving, returned them to what was probably another universe, and yet had the same planet circling below, the same sunshine, dark clouds, and white clouds as they had become familiar with; only completely different.
Looking incredulously at one another as the quantizing began all three began to laugh spontaneously with the joy of rediscovery as they felt a rush of ecstasy … back to the real world.
Incredibly it had been only 72 hours since they had left this habitation sector, and from where they now sat, surrounded by that other world somewhere in that same wheel, they discussed the way Tilmud would have its life introduced.
The entry vehicles had now to be loaded by each population group and decisions that had been talked for generations on The Wheel were coming to fruition.
Given a brand new planet with no buried resources, only seeded ones, time would be needed to establish a true self-regulating biosphere. So microscopic sea animals and plants were the entry vehicle’s first cargo.
Benile was present during the entry for the first time by such a vehicle and felt a surge of conflicting emotions as she realized that she herself had scoured those deeps in another life. She remembered back to her two partners Arnoth and Crien, and experienced a redoubling of emotion anticipating their return to this, the other life.
The pilot didn’t even touch down on his first run. The craft jettisoned its cargo and returned, passing others going the other way. Picking up a cargo of plankton would make time enough for her to meet the others in the habitation sector and share her emotions, before departing again.
On the plankton run, the pilot brought the craft to a hover just above each polar region and engorged half his load into each. Benile knew that next would come a load of plankton eaters! Such excitement! She winked to the pilot as they returned once more, once more passing others coming from the Wheel.
This time the enormous craft stopped off at various locations on the equator where the water temperature was warmest and dropped off many fish species. She watched in awe as the giant blue whales were released in the temperate zone along with their slightly less majestic but nevertheless awe-inspiring krill-eating cousins.
Time was irrelevant as the ocean’s species were added to; seal, squid, every fish species known from whale sharks, to black death fire fish, to angel fish, to star fish and sun fish, all were represented until seals sat on rocks and it became time for sea birds to take their place on the cliffs and ledges.
So it continued, Arnoth too had joined a craft and was populating the rivers and lakes with all manner of wondrous fish and reptiles.
There were; hippopotami, dugongs, beaver, duck-billed platypi, all to be gently coaxed into their new homes – the Tilmud Plan.
Of course Crien presided over all non-water dwelling animals, plants, insects, and birds, and experienced now the thrill of depositing the locational biosphere modules according to the charts in front of her. Her pilot was entering coordinates, which were determining the planet’s field strength, vital for many species.
From the wheel, observers noticed a new colour appearing … the colour green.
So ends one chapter in the history of the Seeders of Planets. They of course left Tilmud with the Wheel, their job done and the populations living as they chose.
History has many branches and this branch had sprouted a new bud.
Before they departed, Arnoth, Benile and Crien circled the globe at low altitude many times remarking on the beauty of the Plan. The polar cap had formed massive ice cliffs, rivers flowed, and even the centers of continents away from the sea were filled with abundant life.
Benile pointed out her beloved blue whales beneath the icebergs and then again in the temperate zone. Crien and Arnoth enjoyed the elephants and hippos in a great tropical river. People floated by wearing large hats in small boats.
Then with bittersweet sensations each bade Tilmud goodbye and was gone… to the Wheel.