by Beryl Greene
with Earth doomed, a scientist coordinates a massive relocation effort [Incomplete]
| Commanding Officer Rok Nuvo was the first to exit the ship down the extended ramp. Followed by 8 fellow soldiers, it was determined that the group of 9 military men would be the first to proceed onto the planet. Because of their extensive training and experience, and the fact that if there was intelligent life and they were approached with hostility, the scientists and civilians would not make a good spearhead. After all, this was the survival of the Human race at stake, any risks were thoroughly and overly accounted and prepared for.
The squad fanned out from the end of the ramp, weapons armed and scanning equipment activated. Fully enclosed inside mobile-enviro suits they were protected from any atmospheric pressure differences, solar radiation, particle contaminants and temperature on the surface of this newly discovered planet. A planet on which rested the hope of a multitude of species migrating from Earth.
" Give me a reading on the molecular structure of the surrounding atmosphere." CO Nuvo ordered. " I want to know what it's made up of, the pressure, is there enough oxygen to breathe any pertinent information."
Already annoyed with the delay in his response Nuvo shouted "Are you reading me or what Borres?!" Gazing out over the horizon in awe, Gane Borres, the squads technical officer, snapped out of it at his COs’ command.
"Sorry Sir, I was just, that’s something you really don’t see every day, let alone a lifetime." Nuvo walked up behind Borres to see what he was talking about. There, over the horizon was a star rising vertically adjacent to it's companion. A binary solar system in which the two stars were one on top of the other as opposed to side by side in the sky. Highest in the sky was a massive red giant glowing through the atmosphere, following it up into the sky was a much smaller in comparison blue dwarf. Not as big but twice as bright as it’s solar sister. Their contrasting colors turned the entire sky a pinkish purple, with green hues scattered about caused by the heavy sulphuric gasses emanating from the planets vast polar volcanic system. Indeed it was an awe inspiring and fascinating view, by this time all but one of the soldiers’ attention was consumed with the brilliant display.
"Ok, break it up, break it up, we’re not here to sightsee, leave it for the civs and white coats. We have a job to do men, now lets get to it." Nuvo ordered. " BORRES ! I want those readings!"
" Yes, Sir."
After a few short cycles, CO Nuvo determined that the perimeter was secure and the area was stable, at least for the single square land unit that he and his team had assessed.
" Lt. Hinsk, you and Lt. Tren set up the tower sensors with echo team. Nikzdrib you take Borres and bravo team and start unloading our gear, remember, the green crates are us, red and black crates are not. We're not running a bellhop service up here men so don’t even touch non-military property. When your done, assist Lt. Hinsk and echo team with the sensors. Get to it men, dismissed."
With that, Nuvo walked back up the ramp and into the ship.
Inside, the other members of the crew were only just coming out of cryo-sleep. By design the military personnel were awoken upon landing while all other cryo-tubes were kept on stand-by. This way if an unforeseen emergency departure was required for any reason, the entire ships' crew would not have to be re-cryo frozen, which could be a lengthy process. It also allowed the military skeleton crew the ability to manually override the ships' pilot to perform evasive maneuvering and un-charted hyper jumps.
"Ah, Mr. Nuvo. I see that our landing procedures have been successfully executed, excellent work. Have you any preliminary readings of the planets' surface?" Ralleigh Xudozke, or Mr. X for short was the Chief Scientist aboard, also activated upon touch down.
It was he who discovered the planet, assembled the crew, drew up all the tactical plans and procedures, this was his mission and his finger prints were all over it.
" Affirmative Chief, my team has compiled a basic schematic of surface and atmospheric readouts. My men are in the process now of erecting sensor towers along the perimeter of the Base Zone."
" Excellent, excellent Mr. Nuvo. Now if you'll please." Mr. X handed over to Nuvo a small data pad, Nuvo brought it up to his face and a laser beam scanned both of his eyes.
" Please state rank for secondary vocal confirmation" a dry feminine voice from the data pad requested.
"Commanding Officer, 1st rank 8th brigade, Rok Nuvo, 8-0-0-1-0-8" Nuvo spoke loudly and direct.
" Secondary vocal confirmation, affirmative. 8-0-1-0-0-8, Nuvo Rok, 8th brigade 1st rank, Commanding Officer, confirmation affirmative."
Nuvo handed the data pad back to Mr. X who followed the same procedure, after the voice finished reading back his information a green light turned on. With that, the artificial habitat auto-enviro system activated. Huge pumps began sucking in the atmosphere, filtering and converting it into oxygen circulating through the ship. The passenger hold for the flight folded down, walls retracted in certain areas and formed in others. Crew members were scrambling around doing their different duties, carrying cargo, moving fixtures and so on.
When the process was finished the ship had taken on a different look altogether. The honeycomb structure of rooms and halls was gone for the most part, remaining only on the upper decks. Transformed by removing all the walls were entire decks wide open, from one side of the hull to the other, some extending the length of the ship. Of the 50 decks filling the ships’ vast interior, 35, over half were done this way.
The top 15 decks were left in operating order to maintain the multitude of systems needed to keep the ship running.
These "hollowed" out decks were the grand plan of Mr. X, who based his designs after researching for over 25 years the effects of human behavior when taken away from culture and society. Placed in isolation, large groups of people would go through many changes psychologically, physically and socially.
Mr. X used massive populations of refugees in extremely controversial experiments. Separating families, creating groups of male and female only communities, populations of children left to create their own structure through hardships endured with no help by the scientists who were constantly keeping watch. Standing idly by as children would commence in savage killings over sparse food supplies. Watching once knowledgeable humans degrade into primitive, animalistic shadows of their former selves.
To protesters and activists seeking justice for inhumane acts, Mr. X simply claimed that without his research mankinds’ time would be finite. Survival was possible only if a population could leave the doomed planet of Earth. With the precise mental make-up of people, the exact male to female ratio and a logic-based age limit to ensure maximum re-productivity. These and many other crucial details, including the simple fact that Mr. X was absolutely correct, allowed him to continue his "research" for nearly 25 years. Primarily funded by the governments of the world. And through that research Mr. developed the Human Civil Regeneration Project. Essentially concluding that with a precisely formulated population and properly coordinated civil structure, mankind could re-locate, re-populate and re-generate on another world, ensuring his survival.
By hollowing out decks of the ship, the people would live in a communal society, wide open space allowed the building of large tent structures. Multiple levels were used as growing nurseries for plants, fruits and vegetables, serving as both food supply and energy-saving oxygen generator. Two more levels were converted to raise live-stock, which were cryo-frozen as embryos and bred with a minimal amount of adult animals aboard to maximize the payload of species.
Giving the population common goals and needs to survival and forcing the necessity of relying on one another, Mr. X theorized communal bonds would grow strong and a society would thrive. Packing it all aboard a ship ensured that in the event for whatever reason the planet they landed on was not compatible for humans, they could go on for years and possibly coordinate an evacuation to another location.
In these early stages of transformation the ship was bustling like an ant colony, everyone had a specific task to accomplish towards a common goal.
Based on Nuvos' teams' preliminary findings, the atmosphere, at surface level, contained oxygen and was at a slightly heavier yet acceptable pressure. A strange atmosphere though, the higher the elevation from the surface the stronger the pressure got, and at only 300 ft. the pressure was so immense it would kill a Human. There was life on this planet however, and plenty of it, but no signs of any intelligence or civilization. Tree like organisms rising high into the air encompassed all the land as far as the eye could see. Massive ranges of steep and jagged mountains rose out of the thick tree cover creating large valleys where deep deposits of liquid methane formed lakes essentially in the sky. Below the canopy of the trees were a wide variety of strange plants, with different colored flowers, leaves and buds. Even several species that produced fruit, in all colors of the spectrum.
This scenic recording projected from the holo-comm on the main deck and the crew was struck with awe, a truly remarkable sight.