Government Tower - Expanding Horizons

Posted April 2, 2021, 1:28 p.m. by Civilian Mirembe M'Ahar (Director of Terraforming) (Trinity Fister)

Posted by Civilian Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi (Governor) in Government Tower - Expanding Horizons

Posted by Civilian Mirembe M’Ahar (Director of Terraforming) in Government Tower - Expanding Horizons

Posted by Civilian Kenzo B’tren-Hyrushi (Governor) in Government Tower - Expanding Horizons
Posted by… suppressed (13) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Mirembe rose with similar sobriety as she’d endured on the spaceport days before. She recalled the synchronous hum of wonder and bittersweetness provided by the observation window when her eyes drifted to the arid land below. It painted the colony like an oasis – an echo of life on a desolate planet – and she couldn’t help but stare. Mirembe didn’t consider the dome, rather the sea of shifting sands and flickers of brown and ashen white separating rock from clouds. She examined Oed V in search of the face she’d worn before a stray comet stripped it away. It was there – Mirembe just had to figure how to restore it.

It was with that image burnt into her mind that Mirembe found her way to the Government Tower, eager to discuss it further with Governor Hyrushi.

She slipped through the Tower’s doors and into the main lobby, where she took a moment to weave through the sparse crowd gathered at its centre. IAN followed suit and prepared itself for what it knew would be a quick exchange. “Excuse me,” Mirembe prompted the receptionist’s attention, “Hi, I’m Mirembe M’Ahar. Could you direct me to the Governor’s Office?”

“Do you have an appointment, Ms. M’Ahar?” The receptionist lifted his head and tilted it slightly.

“Yes, 1000.”

“Alright, let’s see..” He reviewed the schedule and tapped his stylus pensively against his chin. Time which Mirembe took to regard IAN’s transcriptions. “..there you are. The Governor’s office is on the top floor. His staff will direct you from there, Dr. M’Ahar.”

Mirembe followed his gaze to the lifts. She offered a subtle nod in return, signed a quick ‘thank you!’ and jabbed her thumb in a request for IAN to join her. Seconds bled into minutes and the pair soon found themselves sitting (or hovering) in another reception area. This time there was an element of patience, well.. for the Haliian between them. IAN didn’t quite appreciate anything that made it wait. Finicky little thing.

– M’Ahar, Director of Terraforming

It was a few minutes after ten when the receptionist looked up from the desk she was seated behind and said “Doctor, the Governor will see you now.” and the doors to the right of the desk swung open inwards.

A dull buzz, almost susurrus in nature, lifted Mirembe’s gaze to the receptionist. She managed a slight nod. Rising to her feet, Miremebe adjusted her navy-tinged jacket and walked past her desk into the Governor’s office.

The room was barren and obviously in a state of extreme transition. The only part of the room not in flux was the desk in the corner of the room made of the two walls of windows. Seated at the desk was the Governor, a striking Asian man with full jet black eyes. As the doctor entered, Kenzo stood up.

“Doctor M’Ahar, welcome. Apologies for the state of the office, I am still getting things settled. Please… be seated. Would you like something to drink?”

Hyrushi, Governor

“Good morning, Governor.” Mirembe wore a subtle smile and shrugged to his office’s state of disarray. It was hard to judge when she’d yet to get her ducks in a row. “How are you settling in?” She lifted her hand to indicate the room as though it were parallel to his first few days (or hours) as Governor.

Mirembe settled across from him, naturally crossing her legs at the ankle, and added: “I wouldn’t mind coffee.”

– M’Ahar, Director of Terraforming

Kenzo pressed a button on the desk and then said “Well,so far so good. I’ve had over a dozen meetings in the past eighteen hours and I think I may have forgotten to eat dinner last night. Otherwise, I think I’m doing ok.” and he gave a slight chuckle.

“It’s a shame you didn’t let me know,” Mirembe smiled and leaned forward just a smidge, “I would’ve made you some of my famous tripple-berry puffs.”

“So have you had a chance to review any of the information I sent you? Id just like your generalized opinion on the feasibility of the proposed expansion and agricultural development?”

Hyrushi, Governor

The frivolity in her gaze dissipated into latent enthusiasm as she indicated the PaDD laid on his desk. “I did,” Mirembe began. “It’s feasible. I need to run soil composition tests to determine what elements, minerals and water content we’re working with. Once I have those results, we can further discuss specifics like soil fertilisation and irrigation processes.”

“But in general… I believe we can approach this like a giant vivarium,” Mirembe avoided the intricacies nagging at her thoughts, opting to outline her thought process. “If we determine what plants we’re to grow, we can divide the sector into distinct biomes and adjust environmental controls to suit them. From there, we determine what the soil needs to support plant life and how much water or light is required for that biome.” She considered the Governor for any sign of what he was thinking, then continued. “Once all of the artificial is out of the way, we introduce microorganisms, say coccolithophorids,” IAN seemed to get a kick out of that word, “to promote oxygen production and work up to seeds and saplings.”

“It’s ambitious,” Mirembe smiled, “but achievable.”

– Mirembe M’Ahar, Director of Terraforming

Kenzo listened intently and nodded as she / Ian spoke. When she was done, he said “From a city-planning perspective, we should expand in a three hundred and sixty degree area around the established dome. Much easier to expand the dome as a whole, rather than piecemeal. Of course, we will have to establish a ring dome first so that you and your teams can work without disturbing the city. From an agricultural perspective, that will give us plenty of area for diversity of crop production and animal husbandry. That being said…” and he stood up and turned to look out the windows, “… the overall goal will be the reestablishment of a viable atmosphere and topography to the entire planet.” and he turned and locked his jet black eyes on her. “Wouldn’t you agree?” he asked, as if the magnitude of what he was asking was a simple as asking if she liked chocolate, too.

Hyrushi, Governor

“Agreed. We’ll be better equipped to support biodiversity and equitable access to the agricultural sector.” Mirembe’s fingers did a little dance in her reflection. “Once finished, we could consult the architectural department about expansion inward. Bioarchitecture would be a way to promote natural air filtration and city-wide plant life.” M’Ahar lifted her gaze to Oed’s skyline, her earthy eyes betraying the wonder she fought so vigorously to hide. “Of course,” she hesitated, “but it will take years to re-establish a suitable atmosphere, ozone and weather conditions; and decades to build from microorganisms to plant life.” She blinked, her furrowed eyebrows pulling her features into an almost dubious look. “But something tells me you have an idea?”

– Mirembe M’Ahar, Director of Terraforming

Kenzo gave her a small smile and said “Something like that.” and he went to his desk and tapped a few commands.

A holographic display appeared, showing Oed V in it’s entirety. A blue dot indicated the city, and few red dots… less than a dozen… were scattered around the planet. “Oed V as it stands now. Here is the city.” and he pointed at the blue dot. “The red dots are operational mines. These -” and he tapped the console and a few dozen black dots littered the globe, “- are known, viable ore and mineral deposits. All at least eighty-five percent certain to be able to sustain profitable mining operations. All of this means one thing: Oed V has the raw materials sufficient to support planetary-scale terraforming efforts. Be that in direct suppling to those operations, or trading and selling such materials; we have what we need to return this planet back to where it was before the comet strike. What we need is a way to circumvent the decades or centuries it would require to bring life back to the planet naturally. And my thought is this.”

He tapped the console in his desk again and suddenly the planet was covered in a shimmering blue-green net. “Planetary shield. It would allow us build an atmosphere and contain it on the planet. That would enable terraforming efforts to be done on a much broader scale and simultaneously. Without the wait for the atmosphere to develop on its own, we can control how and when we propagate… well… whatever we need or want. We can also control topography in order to create sustainable agribusiness and water supplies.”

He looked past the model to the Terraformer. “You thoughts, please.”

Hyrushi, Governor

Mirembe watched as a series of blue, red and black dots consumed the planet. She leaned against the arm of her chair and cupped her chin with her thumb and forefinger, attentively considering his words. She couldn’t decide whether she was surprised or intrigued by them.

“Magnetism.” Mirembe signed, several seconds engrossed by interpretation and thought, and straightened in her seat. “A planet’s first line of defence against radiation, debris, comets thrust off course–“ she opened her palms and returned a ‘you get the idea’ shrug “–is a magnetosphere. It also keeps the atmosphere from drifting into space. We know it’s produced by internal dynamo, and considering Oed’s core remains active, we can assume so does its magnetosphere. We’ll need to conduct tests to determine its strength, but the planet’s natural defence may be the best shield.”

“If we cannot restore Oed’s natural magnetic field, then we create an artificial one. A solenoid satellite. We determine a point of gravitational equilibrium and set up a dipole that acts as an artificial radiation and debris deflector. Of course it would not be as far-stretching nor effective as the planet’s natural field, and we would need to both evaluate the risk to the orbital platform and find a strong power source, but..” A slight smile as she indicated the ore deposits, “I think we have a few options to consider.”

“I don’t know the exact composition of Oed’s ore, but we could run tests to determine the degree of its magnetic properties.” She shook her head. “That is where my field starts to merge with the science department. So, we’ll have to consult them.”

– Mirembe M’Ahar, Director of Terraforming

Kenzo nodded and pursed his lips together. “That may be… problematic. At least for now. We are still looking for the right candidate to head the colony’s Science division. Now, once we have that individual in place you should have everything you need. But until then… start running what simulations you can. If you need anything, let me know. I will do what I can to contract any work you may need immediately. Now, with that being said… ideally, what would be your time frame for getting started and a generalized completion, at least of the atmosphere part.”

Hyrushi, Governor

“Thank you, Governor.” Mirembe nodded. “The fundamental stages – survey, analysis and simulations – will take at least several weeks to complete. Until we are sure about the state of Oed’s magnetosphere, I cannot hypothesise how well a new atmosphere will stick. If the magnetic field is too weak, stellar winds will devour it quicker than we can repair it.” She took in a soft breath, searching for something positive to say. “I’ll cross-reference my team’s work with the previous Science and Terraforming department and see if there’s anything that might allow us to speed up the process. Maybe then I can give you an exact timeline.” She managed a slight smile. “Give me a week or two to figure out the numbers?” She couldn’t promise every survey, analysis or simulation done within a week, but it would give her enough time to look through her predecessors’ work and determine where to go from there.

– Mirembe M’Ahar, Director of Terraforming

“Two weeks it is. I will set side an hour for you to present to myself and the Lieutenant Governor. Does that sound reasonable to you?” Hyrushi asked.

Hyrushi, Governor

“I’ll mark my calendar.” Mirembe settled. “Atmosphere and agribusiness aside,” she indicated his display, “are there any other projects you wanted to discuss?”

– Mirembe M’Ahar, Director of Terraforming

“Projects, no. But I wanted to give you a word of caution.” Kenzo said plainly. “As you progress with your development, you will find certain individuals who wanting to… let us say ‘assist’… you in your activities. They will offer material, personnel, financial backing… all kinds of things. They will offer you things as well… dinners, gifts, various odds and ends. And they will all be ostensibly for free… or very low cost. When these offers are made, I would like to know about them. Discreetly, of course. I want to know who is offering, and what they are offering. I am not saying do not accept assistance. I simply wish to know who has an interest in colony activities and development. And should any of these offers prove… problematic… then you will be able to ask me for assistance in dealing with it should the need arise. Is that acceptable to you, Director?”

Hyrushi, Governor

Amiable as she was, Mirembe couldn’t subdue the irritation clouding her otherwise radiant eyes. She held no ill-will against Kenzo, nor any of what he had to say, but a bitterness born of experience with these acts of service might’ve carried another connotation. Fool me once, as the saying went. She released a sigh and nodded. “If people want to ‘assist’ they can apply for the job.” IAN’s synthetic voice droned on, but Mirembe’s expression carried a harsher tune. “You’ll be the first to know about any ‘investor’, Governor.” She wasn’t in the business of commerce or politics. And though she would graciously accept viable and sound assistance, she didn’t fancy playing games. She was too old for child’s play.

“I’ll keep you in the loop,” she assured. “Speaking of people, terraforming requires a strong workforce of vocational and professional workers. I’ll be working to reevaluate the department’s staff and employment processes. And perhaps invest in a training programme for the grunt work. Would you like me to forward you a copy of these plans and projections?” Mirembe wasn’t sure how involved Kenzo wanted to be, so she figured it best to present the paperwork now rather than enduring the interruption later.

– Mirembe M’Ahar, Director of Terraforming

Kenzo shook his head and waved off the offer. “No, Director. I trust you to run your division well. If I wanted to be a micromanager, I would have hired someone less qualified and intelligent.” and he smiled slightly. “I simply expect results. Fair enough?”

Hyrushi, Governor

“Fair enough,” Mirembe nodded. “Speaking of timely results, I’m sure we both have mountains of paperwork and meetings galore,” she threw him a smile, “if that’s all, Governor, I’d like to get to it.”

– Mirembe M’Ahar, Director of Terraforming

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