A Meeting Of The Minds (Tag Terraforming)

Posted March 30, 2023, 7:24 p.m. by Civilian Erin Hazen-Cooper (Director of Terraforming) (Joana Ribeiro)

Posted by Civilian Seamus McKenzie (Future Citizen) in A Meeting Of The Minds (Tag Terraforming)

Posted by Civilian Seamus McKenzie (Future Citizen) in A Meeting Of The Minds (Tag Terraforming)

Posted by Civilian Erin Hazen-Cooper (Director of Terraforming) in A Meeting Of The Minds (Tag Terraforming)
Posted by… suppressed (7) by the Post Ghost! 👻
The lift doors slid open to the reception area of the office of the Director of Terraforming, and a… sight… walked into the room.

Standing at almost two meters tall and weighing well over a hundred and fifty kilos, the man was intimidating. Add to that the kilt and dress shirt that he was wearing, the flaming red hair and beard, and the piercing hazel eyes… it was almost as a force of nature had entered the room.

He walked up to the desk. In a thick Scottish brogue, he said “Seamus McKenzie, Director ‘a Conservation. Here ta meet with Dr. Hazen-Cooper, I believe.”

Sir Seamus McKenzie

The petite woman behind the desk looked up at the newcomer, taking a small while as her eyes gazed upwards looking for a face. As her mind processed the sheer size of the man that had just came in, she looked positively terrified, almost as if she was ready to hide behind the desk. It was only when the man stated who he was and what he was there to do, that she forced a polite smile, gulped, and said in a pleasant tone. “Of course Dr. McKenzie, let me just check Dr. Cooper’s schedule.” There was a soft accent to her words, distinctively Terran, yet not obvious in its origin. Her eyes darted through her terminal screen and she smiled, this time more convincingly. “Ah, yes.” She muttered to herself, looking back at McKenzie. Her features were soft and pleasant, with the tan skin and almond eyes of someone of Southeast Asian descent. “Dr. Cooper’s office is the first door on the right.” She pointed to a door on the wall behind the desk. “Feel free to head over, she should already be expecting you.”

It would take long enough for McKenzie to head to the indicated door before it finally opened. On the other side was the most disorganized office that the Scot had likely laid eyes on. The office itself was spacious and bright, with massive glass windows on one side. On the far wall there was a large desk, and a small sitting area on the corner opposite to it, consisting of two comfortable looking armchairs and a light wood coffee table. Empty shelves filled the walls and boxes piled neatly against them, making it clear that the Director of Terraforming had just moved into the space. Then there were the plants. There were plants… everywhere. In glass terrariums, in pots, in jars, of different species and in different quantities, scattered around the place, making it more akin to a jungle than a working space. Yet, in clear contrast with everything around her, the woman inside the room was as composed as anyone could be. Standing at 5’4’’ she was far shorter than McKenzie (and yet, somehow, still managed to be taller than her assistant), her fiery red hair was neatly put up in an elegant knot, and she was wearing an impeccably pressed dark green dress, the light fabric flowing softly as she moved to greet her guest at the door.

“Dr. McKenzie, I’m Erin Cooper, the Colony’s new Director of Terraforming.” She said enthusiastically as she held out a hand for him to shake. Her eyes examining the man from top to bottom and a flirtatious smile showing on her lips. Yet, her tone was kept extremely professional. “Please, call me Erin. I am so sorry for the mess… I had barely any time in the office, with how sudden everything was, and this whole thing with the Vren…” Cooper motioned for him to follow her inside, and the door slid swiftly shut behind him. Erin started to move vases from the coffee table as she continued to speak. “It’s been a real whirlwind.” She smiled apologetically, motioning with her hands to one of the armchairs. “Please, take a seat. Can I offer you anything to drink?”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, Director of Terraforming

Seamus looked around the office and took in the plants specifically. “Aye. Water, if ya please. And call me Seamus. My wife would laugh at ya callin’ me ‘Doctor’.” He bent over 9ne particular plant, looked at it and felt the leaves… then without asking picked up the pot and moved it further away from the window. “Gettin’ lead burn. Either ye got it too close to the window or there is a spike in potassium in the soil. Hard to maintain these moving around like ya are, and actually impressed you have them going so well.” and he took a seat.

Seamus McKenzie, Conservation Director

Wife. So he was married. Not that Erin wasn’t either, but that hadn’t really stopped anyone before. Cooper smirked slightly at the thought, but shook it away almost immediately. She couldn’t deny that the man was incredibly good looking though.

“Ah, thank you!” Erin said turning to face McKenzie on her way to the replicator almost hidden on the wall next to the desk. “Yeah, it’s been a struggle…” She said in an apologetic tone. “I’d be lying if I said that I brought all of these with me to OED.” She tapped the replicator and ordered a cup of tea and a glass of water. “No… part of these I had brought to me from my lab back in Paris… and part of these I asked around here to get. I had been trying different things to see how different species would fare in different conditions… soil samples, minerals… you name it. Half of these are experiments that I was hoping to finish but that now I will either have to restart or scrap completely. And well… I couldn’t get the environmental ones…” Back from the replicator, Cooper placed the drinks on the coffee table, and sat down on the remaining armchair. “The lively ones are not experiments, just decoration. I like to make terrariums when I have some free time. I have plenty.” She pointed to a large group of glass spheres in different sizes scattered over the desk and on top of several boxes. “Feel free to take some if you want!” Erin smiled.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best circumstances that brought me to OED in the first place, so I had to improvise.” Cooper’s face turned somber but it quickly regain its enthusiasm. “This was all quite unexpected. In a good way.” She took a sip of her tea. “Anyway, Seamus. What can I do for you?”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, Director of Terraforming

Seamus did one more look around and then exhaled, picked up the water glass and sat down. “Well, fer starters I suppose we should hammer out tha working relationship. I know you are in charge of the Terraforming initiatives here. An’ while many may not believe that conservation should start now, I would warn ya against that approach. If we can roll out conservation directives and support ‘em with proper local legislation and enforcement? Well, we’ll be decades and centuries ahead of some locations. And I’d prefer Oed to be seen as a standard for others ta follow… not a cautionary tale on what nae ta do.”

Seamus McKenzie, Conservation Director

“Oh, of course!” There was surprise in Erin’s tone as to why that was even a question. “Terraforming and conservation go hand in hand. After all, we want to create a stable ecosystem that can both benefit itself and sustain the population’s needs without the danger of its balance being shifted one way or the other.” She took a sip of her tea. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to do things right from the start. I agree, we should take it.” Erin smiled. “As far as conservation directives, am I right in assuming that you might already have something in mind that you brought in to discuss with me?”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, Director of Terraforming

McKenzie nodded and pulled out a PaDD from the small bag he had been carrying. “Aye, I do.” and he handed it to her. It was… a lot.

Over two hundred different documents ranging from internal Conservation Division policies and procedures… all the way up to drafts of proposed local legislation about water rights, conservation regulatory requirements, hunting and fishing laws, sustainable environmental practices, farming regulations, food and water quality testing, motorized and energy-powered commercial and recreational vehicle use. There was even a full section devoted to Terrafoming priorities and a proposed sites for beginning efforts.

Taking the PaDD, Erin looked through it as McKenzie spoke, slowing down on the part dedicated to Terraforming.

“I ‘ave been workin’ on this for a bit now. About a year.” McKenzie said. “An’ I don’t wancha thinkin’ I’m tryin’ ta step on yer toes. But i know this is a massive undertakin’, and the timeline that Governor fella is lookin’ at is gonna talk a miracle. Nae… it’s gonna take a few. Probably every couple’a weeks.” and he chuckled.

Seamus McKenzie

Erin laughed. “Yes, definitely a few miracles.” She shook her head. “In all honesty, I am not excessively worried with the Governor’s timeline. He knows where I stand on that. Of course, I’ll do everything in my power to make it happen, or at least to make it happen as fast as possible, but…” Cooper shrugged. “A lot needs to be done… and some of the things that need to be done haven’t even been thought of yet. I’ll keep my mind open though and do the best I can. I have started the efforts of tracking down all types of native flora and fauna that we either know existed, or assume existed and see what made them thrive and what made them perish. This would give us an insight on what we can do to bring our own flora and fauna in, but it is barely scratching the surface. At least the Colony already has a sizeable amount of research done over the years that could serve as a good foundation for our own research, but timeline-wise… it’s hard to do it fast and do it well. Unfortunately, it is not just looking at the soil, looking at the atmosphere and bend it to our will.”

Looking at the PaDD again, Erin pondered for a moment, chewing on her lip as she did so. “For the record, I don’t think you’re stepping on my toes. I actually appreciate your concern and your thoughtfulness. I think there are some things here that might be a bit too early to worry about… you know, hunting laws and the like… we have to have fauna to hunt before concerning ourselves to their preservation, but it is a good baseline to keep in mind when we do look at fauna. Not to mention…” She smiled. “I think you’ve just done quite a bit of work for me with this list of proposed sites. I have looked into some of them but I couldn’t possibly have made it as thoroughly as what you have put together!”

“Aye, I’m here ta help. But to yer point about hinting laws and the like. I’d like to see them in place before the fauna is available. That way we can incorporate population controls, relocations, preserved habitat areas, and the like a’fore we need ‘em. Something to discuss further down the road a bit.”

“Would it be possible for me to keep a copy of this? Also, is there a particular matter that you wanted to discuss right now, or were you just hoping that we’d go through it on a more surface level?”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, Director of Terraforming

“Aye, there is one. Part’a me acceptin’ this position was that I an me wife dunnae live in the city. So there is a biodome unde construction that we’ll live in. Our house back on Earth is bein’ moved here fer it. And part ‘a that biodome is to work on flora species, soil supplements, and small-scale climatological experiments. I wanna extend an invitation ta you and yer division leads to study there. My clan is bringing some plants and such as part ‘a us make mead; but I thinknwe’ll be able ta do some solid work on species selection and cross-pollination.”

Seamus McKenzie, Conservation Director

Wait, you can do that!? It was the first thought that came to Erin’s mind when Seamus casually mentioned that his house was being moved to the colony. She loved the apartment she had left behind in Paris, and she wondered if she could do the same. Although… historical neighborhood, not to mention the fact that it wasn’t a standalone house… likely not feasible, but she still made a mental note to check.

“Oh, thank you! We do have a Terraforming complex, as I am sure you are aware, with top of the line equipment, but honestly… there’s only so much you can replicate in a lab. There’s really no substitute for the real thing.” Erin smiled. “Of course, we’re still in the very early stages, but I might take you up on your offer. Would you mind if we’d bring our own samples? I don’t want to impose.”

Erin Hazen-Cooper, Director of Terraforming

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