Adapt, Evolve, Terraform (Mars, Part 10)

3년 전

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Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

”You see, this greenhouse is just a temporary solution. The ultimate goal is to turn Mars into a second Earth. The process has already begun, even if your people didn’t see it. If you walk around the surface you will notice that there are lichens everywhere. What you can’t see is that we also spread microorganisms which can survive the extreme conditions. The lichens are removing carbon dioxide and add oxygen while the microorganisms add nitrogen to the soil and turn it into something that can support plant life as we know it.”

”How long will all of this take?” I ask.

”We’ve almost finished the first stage. Maybe fifty more years and we can start planting mosses and bryophytes to further increase the oxygen. That stage will take some more centuries and gives us time to figure out how to solve the problem with the animal pollinators. Flowering plants need those. We brought some with us but they won’t be enough for the entire planet. Maybe we will build tiny robots, maybe something else. Who knows. But our descendants will figure something out, I’m sure.”

I look around the greenhouse. It’s gigantic. A huge glass dome connected to other huge glass domes. Fields of corn and vegetables and fruits. It’s really a sight. And it’s my new job.

Two months passed since I arrived here. Two months since everyone I knew was murdered. At first, I had refused to leave my room for anything but food but soon realized that it won’t change anything. My crew won’t come back from the dead if I isolate myself. My mom won’t start living again. So I left my room and pretended to forgive them for what they had done.

Andromeda was especially pleased, after all, she had been the one who saved me. I do still feel a certain affection towards her but she is also at least a little bit guilty. Everyone here is. It’s all I can think of when I look into their eyes.

After being accepted as a part of their group, they told me that I need to start participating in some way. They first put me on cleaning duty, then moved me into the kitchen. I performed well in both positions but wasn’t too happy about it. I had asked Andromeda if I could do something that involved fewer people and she had sent me here, to the greenhouse.

And it’s perfect.

After being instructed on how to care for the plants, my overseer leaves me alone so I can fulfill my duties. Right now it’s mostly making sure the plants are properly watered and to collect ripe fruit to prevent spoilage. Easy.

It gives me time to think.

These people I have to live with now are determined to terraform Mars, no matter how long it takes and no matter the cost. And now that their spacesuits and buildings are, thanks to the technology of my people, better shielded against space radiation, their progress might actually speed up.

Turning Mars from a frozen desert to a forest, that seems to be the dream. To do that, they’ll need to reach many steps in between but with enough patience, they might actually reach their goal one day, turning Mars into a second Earth, populated by genetically manipulated humans who are all descendants of the same few people. Gross.

But as the atmosphere warms up, the memories how it all started will fade and what was once considered normal, or abnormal in this case, won’t matter anymore. A perfect little society of freaks.

I pour some water on the tomato plants. They don’t belong here either. But they are probably just as genetically modified as the humans living here. I squat down to look at one of the tomatoes. There is nothing unusual about it. A normal tomato, not yet read enough to eat. Carefully, I poke it with my finger. Feels like a tomato. Would probably taste like a tomato too. A Mars tomato but still a tomato.

I pluck it off its bush and roll it in my hand. Then I forcefully make a fist around the tomato. Juice mixed with pulp and seeds runs down my hand and along my arm. I look at it, contemplative.

A Mars tomato, yes. But it’s not sturdier than a normal tomato from Earth. In fact, it can be destroyed just as easily as it’s earth-grown cousins.

The humans should be no different.


Sources:

Stages in the Terraforming of Mars: the Transition to Flowering Plants

The Biological Terraforming of Mars: Planetary Ecosynthesis as Ecological Succession on a Global Scale

Survival of Rock-Colonizing Organisms After 1.5 Years in Outer Space


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It had to be a tomato of all fruits available my absolutely least favorite. Somehow though you made me hungry and want to bite into a mars-tomato while you contemplate how to squish the murdering terraformers!

I just finished the last chapter and you posted this one right away. This is fantastic. Now I feel like I'm waiting for the next GoT episode, you've got me on the edge of my seat.

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At least it's 24 hours and not a week (or years) :D

  ·  3년 전

Oh noes! Will Hannah want to destroy them all now? I guess one person sometimes can be enough.

Lovely tomatoes!!! One of my favorite :)

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It's a stock photo

Thanks for sharing!

@suesa What a wonderful and heartwarming Tale..

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Sure. Murderous teenagers. So heartwarming.

How shiny ,juicy and ripe tomatoes @suesa.

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It's a stock photo.

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I like it in your post as your post is nice

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Perfect stock photo, isn't it 🙄

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Exactly 👍

great post like it and upvoted!

Great post again. Thanks to @improv I found you and your series of Mars. I really like your way of writing.

If you feel like it, you could check out my most recent (fictional) post to: https://steemit.com/story/@pizzachain/the-moon-is-a-pizza

great article. and a beautiful word. I am very interested in your post. indeed you are the one who should be sampled in steemit. I want to follow your trail @suesa

can't wait to read about the pathogens that are about to wipe out the plants @suesa :)

tomato helpful for health.

hi dear @suesa, as usual nice and different with so interest post you shared with us, fresh tommatoes looks so yumm yumm and tasty, your writting skills no doubt appreciateable, my support with you as
Upvoted & Resteemed.