The Terraforming Project

Welcome to September! Lord, but where does the time go? Each year the sand in the glass goes pit-pat just a little faster. So many things I planned to have done when I thought of them in the spring are… not. At last I can still write and record. Another task taking more time than I planned. Friction, as Clausewitz aptly pointed out.

Below, Kira finally begins to talk about a little of what she was shown. As we’ve seen in other stories, yes, the Machines think very fast, but their minds are not our minds. The smart ones, such as Dorina and now Aqua, recognize that and will reach out to humans and demi-humans for points of view they literally cannot imagine.

Some chapters/posts back, we were shown the Martian Central space station, so there’s no reason to dwell on that, again. I think the next few scenes shall see them nearly back to Earth and the breaking of their little band.

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Kira seemed steady on her feet as she slipped back into her suit.  Helmets on, the three plus their guide made their way out to the makeshift runway.

“To think all this will be underwater soon!” Kira said to them all.  “The ecosystem is going to be so complex; I’m sure things will run out of control now and again.  Well, I guess that’s why I’ll be here!”

“You know, little sister,” Anastasia began, “just because your very brief engagement to Les is off, there’s no reason you won’t meet a good man here.”

Kira stopped just before the gig.  They all looked at her.

“No one, not even a Machine can see all the myriad ways, Annie.  So you may be correct.” Kirry turned in a circle, seeing things they could not.  “But that is not for now.  Let’s get aboard.”

Their time on the surface was such Central was now on the other side of the world.  Even with the little motor it would take them six hours before docking.  With no signal on the little vessel, Laszlo had to communicate the old-fashioned way.

“If allowed, what did Aqua show you, Kirry?” he asked.

“Some of it was simple:  the rough timetable for inundations and atmospheric upgrades – there’s another comet inbound for that, by the by – the idea to alter the gravitational pull I did not get at all.” She paused to draw some water from the mouthpiece in her helmet.  “The existing ocean and seas are already seeded with algae, planktons, and corals.  There’s a gengeneered scrub grass prototype on Central which can live in the low oxygen environment already present…”

She trailed off and closed her bright eyes.  Nikita was taking in a breath for a question when she continued.

“I was unaware – and this is probably classified, but I’m not a part of your world anymore – that there is a committee of the Polar Alliance to carve up Mars along political lines.  Proposals range from strict border controls to nearly free travel.” Kira reopened her eyes and smiled, catching Laszlo’s cynical heart.  “I cannot imagine our homelands going for the latter!  Aqua has largely been on the sidelines for these talks, but I know now he has his own opinions.”

“Which are?” Nikita took the obvious hook, shelving his questions until later.

“Closer to Les’s and, well, mine, now too, big brother,” she turned her head a little where Nikky sat at Les’ right.  “Separate races, separate peoples.  And that includes demis, too.  If I had to guess, the Japs and Rus will get two-thirds of the planet.”

“That will not please my mother, Kirry, and you know I’m duty-bound to report what you just said,” Les rumbled.

“I’m aware.  That’s why I said it!  Hee, hee!” she tittered at him.  “Speaking of, it was your mother who is famous for her ’wildness of human thought’ when she took Reina down a peg.  I begin to see that is one of the reasons Aqua wants me.”

“Nothing… physical, little sister?” Annie asked in a mix of mock and real concern.

“Who knows?  Distant cousin Henge pulled it off… but I… don’t think he…” Her head drooped as in the helmets they again heard her deep, regular breathing.

Laszlo pointed at his mouth then ears before making a chopping motion with his left hand in the air:  our talking might wake her; let her sleep.  He took his boyfriend’s hand with his right, leaned back as well he could, and alternately thought and dozed the rest of their flight.

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