Across The Universe

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 22 (v.1) - 22

Submitted: July 09, 2018

Reads: 55

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Submitted: July 09, 2018



There were multiple pulls and diversions in the magnetic field of Terra Mage, therefor making traditional compasses useless as the iron needle fought the various 'norths' to find the true one. 


The rovers and drones mapped the landscapes and waterways, leaving human eyes to search for landmarks when left without digital maps.  Though, the general rule was to stay within sight of the hub when traveling on foot for safety sake.


In concentric circles around the hub, the land was tilled, and after it had rested, the plants were set in the ground, and event that was much celebrated by everyone.  The little dots of green were captured by the eye of a drone, and the image was sent into the hub for the humans to witness.  Those first plants were a sign of many things, but mainly hope for the future.


Six people under Evers supervision went over the broken arm of the shuttle, trying to figure out the exact cause for the trouble that had nearly killed two people.  In all honesty, it did not look good; either it was purposeful sabotage on behalf of Niemand, or it was willful neglect of his duties, which could have resulted in dozens more deaths.


Evers ordered silence on the proceedings, until he could get to the bottom of it, but he had never investigated anyone before, and he didn't know where to begin.  All he knew was what could happen if wild accusations were made, and what could happen if enough people were angered whether for right or wrong. 


As it was, he had enough to deal with considering Karin's apparent suicide.  'Apparent' because there were no cameras stationed at the airlock at the time, and he hated to think it, but it would have been very easy to do something like that to cast the blame to the side, just stun Karin long enough to drag her into the airlock, open the doors, and she'd asphyxiate within seconds, then carry her a fair distance away.


While the investigation was trying to figure out how to begin, Goethe was working with his scientists to create a less destructive serum, the fact of that got out, creating friction with the supras, who figured that if a mild mutation was all that was needed, why did they have to become freaks? 


Their further corrupted evolutionary process was making new developments that were harder to hide, and in rebellion, some were refusing to hide them any more and showed them off with blatant disdain for the humans.  Ears that were suddenly larger or malformed were decorated or pierced to high-light the peculiarities.  Faces that were becoming uncanny were painted with scavenged ashes and oil to emphasize the difference between the two tribes.


While some were using their anger and mutations as a deliberate challenge, there were others who used the opportunity to relax a bit and feel a little more relieved in their own skin.  Max took the chance to give up his shoes, though he still felt extremely self-conscious when anyone on the other side stared at his bizarre feet.


That was how he saw it; he still hadn't truly given up his humanity, and he thought of the other side as people who were being prejudicial for no good reason.  They were the unconverted, but he knew that as things stood, they would eventually join them, even if they were resistant at first.


Under the pressure from the other supras and her own beliefs, Daisy dropped out from the modification program of the serum.  She stated that it was going to create a greater divide than what was already going on, that the ones who got the updated serum would think themselves better than the originals, while the originals would think themselves as some sort of martyrs because of what they had suffered.  Stepping away from Goethe and Charlie, she demoted herself and worked under Lee as she continued to cut and splice plant DNA.


Goethe was loud and clear about his reluctance to create another serum to make Supra Light, but what spoke louder was him continuing his work on the designing of it.  He stated that he had his orders just like everyone else, and even if it went against his better judgement, he'd do it.  Though, if people were paying attention, they would have seen him locking several of the bottles of the original away for safekeeping.


The circle of green expanded until to arrive at new ground and then they had to take one of the rovers out.  Riding on the back of one with eight other people, Max squinted in the sunlight, hanging onto the railing as they bumped over half-hidden rocks and imperfections in the ground.  His shoes felt even more uncomfortable now that he went most of the time without them, only outside in the hottest temperatures did he wear them.


Since the suspended fetuses wouldn't be brought out for a few years yet, Max's resigned himself to helping with the planting, since construction was only minimal at the moment.  It had been several weeks since they landed, and the majority of the hub was done being built.  The few things that needed to be put up were not completely necessary, and were stalled out as the land-framers needed more hands to change the landscape.  It was less than a polite request than an order for them to get their hands dirty.


The rovers dug zai holes as fast as they could, but since they only had two, everyone else was required to work alongside them, digging holes twenty centimetres wide, and thirty deep.


A team went with each rover, and Ortega went with one and Nunia went with the other, in case a shovel slipped or some other unfortunate accident happened.


When they weren't digging zai holes, they were diverting waterways, digging trenches, or laying underground pipework.  There were underground rivers only forty or so feet belowground, and all that was needed was to tap the source to irrigate the fields.


The plants were adapted to the high salt content in the water, and by then, so were the supras.  The humans had to filter their water extensively.  It would not kill them to have a drink of straight water, but eventually it would poison them just like seawater.


In the ponds and streams, kelp was planted to help purify it as well as oxygenate the planet, which Max thought surprising, since they were underwater plants.  It was joined by duckweed, which would respawn within thirty hours.


Trees, bamboo, hemp, and more were all planted in a manner that seemed careless as they went along, planting everything from potato plants to kudzu to things Max had never heard of, in between the sprays of taller plants.


With the exception of a few things, everything they planted was edible, to create a world where no one would be without.


All plants had been created to grow at extraordinary rates, so that they were already seeing them expand.  A instrument used to measure oxygen levels was checked daily to see the difference, but so far there was barely a readable measurement.  There was a lot of surface area and even more atmosphere to change, so it would be a long time before anything was transmuted.


There was something that Goethe had said, that made sense to Max, and that was they only needed to add oxygen to the atmosphere, they didn't need to mutate the last of the humans; they could live at night outside.  At night, there was more than enough light to see by, and the light from Solas would be diluted enough that no harm would come to them.  As if to back this up as a logical idea, Lee had later told Max that the best time to harvest is at night because it did less damage to the plants.


Thinking about it, Max wondered if Goethe even suggested that to the others, or if he had just let it pass out of his mind.


To see the passage of space, it was only possible to realize movement by looking back at where they'd been, and to help keep himself from letting go of the rail, Max found himself doing that often, watching the juvenile jungle fading in the dust behind him.


One day, that jungle was going to claim this world, and the yellow endless stretches of land would be an unimaginable history for the children of the future.

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