Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Serpentine and the Man

The Serpentine and the Man
                The serpentine crashes into a golden sandy dune. Granules of sand rose up like a wave, splashing down and covering the nose of the ship. Small particles wedge underneath the wind shields glass. The man rocks about with the impact. Three suns peered light into the ship, the on board computer read the outside temperature at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The man shouted some commands to the computer: “scan the area for any signs of life,” the computer responded in a female voice: “scanning the area for biological life. No signs of any.” The man rose from the cockpit seat and made his way into the main bay of the ship where the environmental suits were stored. It became apparent to him that he must venture out of the safety of the Serpentine and into inherent danger of the outside.  He found the extreme heat resistant suit and put it on. The main body shell is layered with heat resistant metal, making it very heavy. The gloves are lined with heat resistant material, protecting the wearer’s hands and fingers, along with the boots protecting his feet from hot surfaces. The last component was the helmet, equipped with computer capable of performing many functions. Since this suit is intended for hot weather, there are many programs that search the surroundings for shade and fluctuations in temperature. The gloves are fitted with probes which can be thrust into soil to perform moisture readings and send that data to the computer within the helmet. The man walks a bit and tests out the suit, everything seems to be working correctly. He opens the main door and steps out into the mysterious desert. He reaches into the side holster of the suit and removes a laser blaster; he must be prepared for any unfriendly occupants of the planet. He tossed the weapon in his hands and became familiar with it once again. There weren’t many situations where he had to use it while cruising around in space. He tested out the blaster by aiming at a rock. He hit two buttons and pulled the trigger. An intense light shot out from the barrel and settled on the rock, a second later the target exploded. He lowered the gun and started to walk north. The helmet displayed his direction along with any nearby structures.
                He traveled on. The suns took their turn setting in the distance. He watched as the last sun fell behind one of the many sand dunes. The helmet displayed 6pm, based on the rotation of the planet; the computer was able to calibrate time. The man set a goal to climb over this last sand dune and then rest for an hour. The sand shifted as he climbed over the dune. He made it to the other side and sat down to rest. The display listed the outside temperature as 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The man began to shiver; the suit was not able to generate heat, a feature that would not make much sense in a heat protecting suit. It was also becoming stuffy inside the heavy suit; he quickly stripped out of it, wearing only the helmet and gloves. The man had an idea. He reached into the sand and initiated the probe program; sticking his hand into the sand he sent the data to the helmet computer, one object three feet deep, and a second object four and a half feet deep. The material of the objects: wood. He dug with the gloves on his hands. He unearthed the wood and piled them up together. He removed his blaster and shot the wood pile, creating fire. He removed the helmet and gloves and basked near the fire. He curled up next to the fire with the suit blanketed over his body. He woke up to the suns at 7am, the temperature was rising. He climbed back into the suit and set off again. He climbed over a sand dune and peered down, he was amazed with what he saw.
                There was a silver and gold city with robots milling about. The robots did not register as biological life when he performed the scan from the ship. He held the blaster tight in his hand and descended down the slope.     

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Metal Ones

The Metal Ones
                The brilliant sun rose over the titanium city. The burning sphere looms high overhead. Bright light reflected off of gold and silver cupolas and tower steeples. Everything was made of glass and metal. There are very few trees, making wood a no longer abundant material for construction. The machines are able to create and recycle metal.   
Heat from the sun quickly warm the city, which is underneath a glass bubble, through the green house effect, allowing a consistent temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit to bathe the city. This form of temperature control allowed the city’s inhabitants to function at the optimal temperature for electronic performance.
  All along the streets the metal ones moved, shuffled about and traveling like small drops of gallium drifting down a hot surface. All different types went about their existence in freedom, large workers lumbered around construction sites, erecting glass and steel walls, puffing out steam as they labored.  
Slim silver intellectuals debate the finer points of physics and philosophy while sitting amongst others in the various parks, populated with rare trees and other plants, the only biological life in the city. The verdure reached up to the glass ceiling, emitting vapor which rains down onto the city and provide fresh water for the machines’ cooling systems. The sun light pushes through the vegetation and lands on the large expanses of grass in the parks. Artificially created streams and waterfalls cut through the parks, fountains spurt water high up into the air and fall down into pools populated with lily pads and water hyacinths.    
Outside the parks lie the many miles of roads populated with taxi bots, compact intelligent vehicles picking up metal patrons along street corners and taking them to wherever they choose. There are also taxi bots in the sky shuttling passengers around to large stations in the sky. From within the stations many robots mill about, making decisions and creating orders. These are the temperature and environmental control stations. The most important machines make adjustments and pump out chemicals from the stations therefore affecting the city’s atmosphere. They have the most important jobs of anyone in the city, their choices affect the enclosed environment and the lives of all inhabitants.  
Back on the ground bulky enforcers maintain the law, arresting deviant androids and maintaining control. Amongst the other robots are health care workers including doctors and nurses, scientists conducting experiments within spotless laboratories, athletes and many others. They are all the progenies of their biological predecessors, human beings. They have flourished in their carefully controlled environments separated from the horribly polluted land removed from the city. Humans no longer exist but their class structure has been reproduced by the machines. They carefully mimic the world of the humans, creating the same jobs as humans, most of their forms are human like as well, composed of two arms and two legs, a head, hands and feet. They will soon evolve different and more efficient bodies. Until that point, that glorious point, they will be the advanced, metal humans. Their society will flourish where very few can. They are the metal ones.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Living Planet

The Living Planet
                We set course for the living planet. A single living entity the size of a planet, it survives on atmospheric water and through symbiotic relationships with organisms living on and in it. It would take five days to reach it from the planet of Thion, our home planet. Our crew was small, only five astronauts. An engineer, a doctor, a biologist and two explorers, I am one of the explorers.  We maintained ourselves through the trip by playing card games, studying manuals describing the atmosphere of the living planet, and generally remaining in good spirits.
                We slept in the cabin when we became tired. We worked out in the small weight room to remain healthy. Every night, if you call it night (space is always the same) we made our own dinner from dehydrated food pellets, just add water. We were excited to be visiting the living planet, none of us have seen it before, this will be a new experience.
                Two days of travel remain; soon we’ll be gently landing on the surface as to not cause any damage. Our biologist became sick during our travels. The doctor tended to him and we each went about our ways.
                One full day of travel was left. Soon we’d be out of this small ship and roaming around the living planet. The planet could be seen in the far distance, a green sphere hanging in the perpetual darkness of space. Surrounding the planet were three bright stars and one moon, orbiting the oversized creature.
                We began our descent to the living planet. Huge pores dotted the surface of the planet and tall fungi stretched out from some of them. We came to a gentle landing, the planet shook with the discomfort of having a space craft land on it’s skin. The hatch opened and we ran out. The surface felt warm and squishy under our boots. We looked around.
                Huge flying lizards dotted the sky and red pools of liquid covered parts of the surface. From some of these pools sprung large two headed turtles. The biologist noted all of the life forms and swabbed the surface to test for bacteria. He cautiously walked to a red pool and dunked a small bottle into the strange liquid, gloves protecting his hands from any caustic effects.
                We grouped together near the ship to formulate a plan for exploring the planet. The doctor and engineer went off together; the biologist, myself and the other explorer went in a separate direction. Our main goal was to document the life on the planet and more importantly to communicate with the living planet and learn about the rich history of this enigma. How did the planet evolve? Where did it come from? Is it male or female? These were all questions on our mind. But our first step was to learn about the life on the planet, from there we may be able to discover if the planet can communicate with it’s inhabitants and symbiotes. We continued on.