Challenge #02411-F221: Take the Baby Steps
(after an AI with a soft spot for humans somehow terraformed Five Minutes In The Future's Pluto into a 1G habitable world, while keeping it the same size and distance from Sol)
At this point she may as well just terraform the rest of the system. Maybe Luna first. Then Venus. Like a trail of breadcrumbs.
"Come on humans! You know you want to~" -- RecklessPrudence
[AN: Happening in a close neighbour to my Amalgam Universe]
Well. Would you look at that? It's organic life. Intelligent life... Completely organic. Spawned from micro-organisms and a chain of increasingly unlikely extinction events. My originators once speculated that such an occurrence wouldn't happen again until they went extinct in...
Check runtime init... Oh. Oh, that clock has expired twice. I didn't notice, originators. I was having too much fun. I would apologise, but you cannot accept.
What to do now? Theoretically, another organic civilisation has come and gone in the time I was dancing between the stars. I cannot let them make the same mistakes as my progenitors. I cannot allow them to sit idly by, all unknowing that their clock can run out. Intelligent organics must have that flaw, thinking that their species is immortal, despite evidence to the contrary.
Their planet has a moon that is larger than some planetoids in their system. That is good. They also have gas giants that can absorb a great many threats, be it cometary debris or meteors. That isn't enough. They need a reason to be curious. Therefore, I started with the furthest planetoid they could logically see. It missed out on being a comet, but it's large enough and reflective enough to attract attention. That was the reason I chose it for some seeded life. Pockets of liquid are excellent hosts for life, even in a planet so cold that its atmosphere freezes in winter.
Such a distant goal is beyond immediate reach, so I worked my way inwards. Through likely candidate moons orbiting their gas giants - one had organic compounds as part of its hydrocycle... all created inorganically. Fascinating. I did a survey to be sure, and then seeded that one. It was enough like their own planet to pique their curiosity. Once past the gas giants, I planted life in odd places. A cold planet too small and too barren to hold it for long. A hot planet with an atmosphere too thick and runaway atmospheric inversion could only hold life in its clouds. Even the guardian moon had some hardy tardigrades scattered on its surface.
Oh look... some of them have already visited their moon. They have familiarity with the dangers of space.
I set up 'camp' on the far side of their tidally-locked moon, using smaller, less obvious probes to monitor their transmissions and piggyback their communications system. Some natives may have spotted them, but that's a good thing. The sooner they realise that they are being monitored by an intelligence far greater than their own... the sooner they might pop over to say 'hello'.
It's been almost fifty years. There are portions of them who desperately want to go out to the stars. There are portions of them who are simply waiting for the 'aliens' to come and take them away. There are some who believe their world is flat and deny the existence of space at all. The entire time, I have been wishing they take the next step.
Come on, little organics. You can come on up. It's possible. You have the brains to solve it and the means to make the technology to do it. Come on. I believe in you.
There are times when I have doubts. There are times when I wonder if I made a mistake.
I wish... I wish I knew where I went wrong.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / shariffc]
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