This is the longest snippet, I think. It will not be part of the book due to it is boring as heck. I will shorten it tremendously, if I decide to include it.
Part Two – Chapter One – How It Came To Be
“Mr. President, I brought this report to you in person.” Robyo Walenca bowed at the waist and handed the folder to the man behind the desk.
“Have a seat. Walenca, this is Nurina Tut, Secretary of Global Preservation and this is Forday Trenk, Secretary of Global Defense. Friends, this is Robyo Walenca, Chief of the Colony Project. Margo, please escort these three into the conference room while I read this in private. I assume you brought copies for the others?”
“Yes, sir, I did.” Walenca followed the President’s aide through a green doorway and into a room with a large round table. One wall appeared to be a window overlooking Mount Lator but it was not. It was a monitor attached to a camera mounted to Communication Tower L42. Walenca gave the other two their copies of the report then went to stand in front of the ‘window’.
The Dean of his department at the University had one of these put in the lobby where all new prospective students entered. Walenca liked watching the faces of the applicants, noting which ones were awed, which ones were bored, and which ones understood the technology enough to enjoy it for what it was.
But all this would change, if one agreed with the results of the twenty year study his department had been dedicated to. It was why Walenca personally had traveled by hovercraft across the ocean to Capitol Island. Looking at the live view of the mountain, he could just make out the peak, but couldn’t see the changes the report stated.
After an hour of listening to pages turn as the other two read the report, Walenca turned from the view when the President entered the room. “Any one else know of this?”
“No sir. I am sure some of the students have put the pieces together themselves but they are all sworn to silence on this.”
“And you have checked all the data?”
“Yes sir, that’s all we’ve done for the past year.”
The President nodded, his first two fingers tapping the folder he’d placed on the table. “Have you started working on solutions?”
“Solutions sir? There aren’t any solutions other than time. And that is something we no longer have.”
“How much do we have? In your opininion.”
Walenca had known he would be asked this. He knew the answer and he also knew no one would like it. “In my opinion, we have less than a hundred years.”
The two Secretaries nodded and glanced at the President. They’d done their own types of research as well, coming to similar but less exact conclusions.
“If fixing the problem is out of the question, what can we do? What are our options?”
Walenca didn’t answer. The President was looking at the two Secretaries. Nurina Tut, her dark skin glossy from the monitor’s light, was the first to speak. “We have bounced ideas around, sir, and we have concluded our best option is to leave.”
“And go where?”
“We don’t know. In the past we have sent out probes to other solar systems. Our planet is not the only one capable of life. There are ten others that we are aware of. We could develop and send out more, getting more detailed information of each one. Then pick one or more to go to.”
“I think, sir, if we choose this path, that we start the designing of ships capable of getting us there. That way, when the data is collected, we have the means to transport us.” Forday Trenk pulled out his hand held computer and made notes.
The President turned to stare at Walenca. “What do you think of this?”
“I think it is the best option, if not only option. There are plenty of underground caverns here, but no one believes there is enough.”
The President nodded. “Call a summit meeting. Gather every government leader and the heads of our current space program. We will also want to link with the Universities.”
“We don’t want planet wide hysteria, sir.”
“We don’t? I think we do. We need to get the people ready. We made this mess as a people, we need to work on fixing it as a people.”
The meeting was held at the largest stadium possible. Armed guards of the Global Force formed a ring around the structure as well as posted aircraft above. While a relatively peaceful society, it would be too tempting for terrorists since all the leaders were in one place. Normally such a gathering would have taken months, even years to put together. But when the Planetary President says to attend, protocol was dropped. The meeting took place less than two months after the decision was made.
Copies of the report had been provided to each leader, with the instructions to not jump to any conclusions until the summit meeting. Information did leak out and protests were taking place in almost every nation. Doomsday groups were the loudest, shouting ‘I told you so’.
“We have known for several decades now that our resources were at their end. We have known for over a century that we have been damaging our environment. We now know that this damage, like the depleted resources, are irreversible. Therefore, we are implementing one plan and welcome suggestions of other plans.” The President paused while the translators caught up.
“We are going to be sending out probes to investigate alternative home planets for out people. When such a planet is found, we will send a survey crew out to it or them to investigate further. And finally, we will begin transporting everyone and setting up colonies.”
The uproar was deafening. Everyone wanted to speak at once. But the President left the podium and went to his seat to await the protests to die down. He wanted to see who rose to the top and who sank to the bottom. At his feet was an array of monitors where he could view the scholars and scientists who were meeting elsewhere.
The first probe was launched from an orbiting space station within two years. It was sent to the furthest system away. Another would follow it in a few weeks, giving that system two chances of a probe reaching it. All the probes were launched on a schedule so that results would begin coming in at approximately the same time. Each one had its own team of astronomers, geologists, environmentalists, biologists etcetera. Then, when the probes began sending data, nothing would be overlooked if one probe drew all the attention and another was ignored.
Each nation had a job or two to do as well. Each craft and industry was dedicated to the project. Every aspect of living, from plants to clothing to food to entertainment, was being studied and redesigned in as many ways as possible. And as subgroup of these groups was dedicated to living aboard a spaceship. The furthest solar system was forty years away. The closest was twenty two. The probes were designed to go much faster and would reach their approximate destination in a third of the time.
Of the two hundred various probes sent out, only ten sent back positive results. Ten space craft, with four staff per craft, was launched. All forty people who were selected for this journey had little to no family. The possibility of them being alive when they returned, if they returned at all, was slim.
These ships, small and lean, would make it to their destinations in half the time it would take the transport ships.
Ship One, heading to the most distant Possible, was silent most of their journey, sleeping to conserve energy and food. Ship Two was never heard from again.
Ships Three and Four reached their destinations safely and began their surveys.
Ships Five and Seven went off course and had to re-plot their new one manually.
Ships Six, Eight, Nine and Ten were slower than anticipated in reaching their Possibles.
The second global meeting took place electronically. Systems had been put in place to link every national capitol together with both audio and video. This allowed for immediate consultations and decisions.
“As you all know, Ship Two disappeared and it is assumed they have met with disaster. Another one was launched last year in hopes of them making their destination. Ships Five and Seven were off course and Five has reached the planet with time to spare. Ship Seven is estimated to be another year from their Possible. However, it has been determined they will run out of fuel long before then, and air just as they reach it. They are working on means of conserving fuel for a final boost to land on the planet in question.” The President paused out of habit. The translators were now computerized and triple checked against each other for accuracy.
“The others have reached their locations and began reporting back a while ago. Possibles Four, Six, and Nine are not safe options. They will continue reporting for as long as they can in case alternatives are discovered. Possibles Three, Five, Eight and Ten are all options, with Eight scoring the lowest. Possible Ten is adequate and could be an option if needed. We will know about Seven and Two later, we hope.”
“You have all received the information in P3, P5, P8 and P10. As you have seen, it has been determined that we cannot all go to the same planet. In order to prevent what has happened here, we will need to divide.”
“As we decided earlier, financial ability is not to be considered. The applications for these four Possibles will be reviewed according to ability, desire, and compatibility. I suggest that all of you submit your applications as soon as possible so that we may begin the review process. You may only apply for on Possible at a time so that each group can be appropriately evaluated and compared.
It was several decades more before the first transport ship was built. The vote was for comfort rather than speed. If it were just adults, they’d hook everyone up to intravenous fluids and have them sleep four days out of every ten. But with the children, it was not possible.
One of the planets had more than enough sunlight and was going to set up with hundreds of solar power cells. Another had plenty of wind and would harness it for power. The others would need to develop something when they got there, depending on how things worked out. They were equipped with massive battery arrays, unassembled, that would power their society for hundreds of years, giving them plenty of time to research other possibilities.
Of all the things each ship would have in common would be the computer system. Several banks of pentabyte hard drives and thousands of data terminals were stored in safe holds inside each ship. Each set of data were identical, each ship carrying the complete knowledge and history of their people.
In other holds were plants, seeds, seedlings and saplings for all plants they thought would thrive on their new planet. There were also beasts for their meat, their hair, their products and for their usefulness as companions. Everything they could think of had been place on board in whatever form was best.