The Harvest

Written by on May 18, 2011 in Fun with 0 Comments

I day dream a lot. Mostly during my commute to work each day, keeping myself entertained with a good ‘what-if’ situation.

One morming in particular I was thinking about how agreeable Earth is to all life on its surface. In fact, it is something we often forget, but space is a very dangerous place – lots of deadly radiation, intense heat and cold, no water, no oxygen – and it is also not so far away from us. So having somewhere to be away from it is a good idea.

Yet, strangely without space we wouldn’t be here. A fact that doesn’t take you any further than the nearest supernova to show how it cooks up the ingredients to make life. And when those ingredients come together – like through gravity –  so do the possibilities for life as well.

And so here we sit, on our little blue orb under the protective cover of a thin layer of atmosphere, eating, sleeping, working, playing, keeping cozy and warm, enjoying spoonfulls of porridge that are always ‘just right’ – yes, what a Goldilocks story we’re in. See my post “It’s a remarkable life”.

It all really begs the question – has all this only happened once?

Modern astronomy these days is discovering Extra Solar Planets like I discover holes in my socks, and it all suggests that our little solar system may not be so unique after all. It is exciting to consider that there could be many earth-like neighbours swirling around every pin-prick of light we see in our night sky. But still the crucial question remains – Is there other life? is there other intelligent life?

I have no doubt there is other life in the galaxy, however I suspect much of it is only a small amount of specialized microbial life stuck in deep pockets underground or shielded from radiation. Don’t get me wrong, it is still life, but to me it keeps Earth the rare jewel it always was – the place with the only intelligent life we know of.

Yet, one can’t help but entertain the idea of other intelligent civilizations existing out beyond ours. And as natural as it is to wonder about this, my thoughts turned to a darker contemplation this one morning… and that of conquest and survival on a galactic scale.

Consider an intelligent species living in a far-off planetary system – let’s call them the ‘Sepiida’. They have just emerged from millions of years of evolution and haved formed an advanced civilization, perhaps even more advanced than us. In fact, let’s say they have mastered space travel to the point that they are actively exploring other nearby star systems – but exploring less for science, but perhaps more for survival.

The Sepiida live on a planet called ‘Cephalopoda’ which orbits an unstable star. They have calculated that the Star will go supernova over the next hundred thousand years. Having considered this event carefully, they have begun to scout the galaxy for a suitable planet to relocate to, one that is close by yet out of range from the fallout of their dieing star and one that is suitable for their biology.

Having little luck, a scout ship finally comes across a peaceful blue planet in a stable system far from any immediate intergalactic threats. The planet is found to be rich in resources, like water, and stable in both climate and axis of rotation, due to its rather large moon.

As an added benefit, it’s abundance of life is devoid of any advanced civilizations that may conflict with an alien occupation. After much consideration, it is chosen as the leading candidate for their mass exodus besides its one major flaw; an oxygen rich atmosphere that is toxic to their biology.

Not to be deterred, they consider Terra-forming the planet in order to sculpt the atmosphere to suit their needs, however, this solution if found to be too risky as it will not guarantee a predictable result within the time frame they require. So they consider another scenario – Bio-forming.

A scout ship lands on the surface and sends a small team to search the indigenous life forms for a possible candidate to the bio-forming project. A suitable life form is found and is implanted with a designed set of DNA that will ensure a certain course of calculated evolution. An evolution that will result in a new species that is almost identical to the Sepiida but with the crucial difference being that its physiology will be well suited to its native environment.

The Sepiida calculate the evolution to mature in about 10,000 years, well with the time frame needed to get most of their people away from their unstable sun and to the new host planet. After the scout team carries out the operation, it calls the new species “Decapoda”.

Satisfied that the evolution will proceed as calculated, they leave the planet to prepare their home world for evacuation which will take roughly 10,000 years.

After thousands of years go by, the first ship of the exodus arrives. Upon preliminary examination, the Decapoda are found to have evolved correctly, being successfully adapted to their surroundings and ready to fulfill their mysterious purpose set out by the Sepiida long ago.

In the cover of night, the rest of the ships come, submersing into the oceans across the planet. They send troops out over the land to gather the Decapoda and bring them to the underground processing stations where their internal organs are systematically removed, cleaned and refrigerated. The Respiratory, Gastrointestinal, and Lymphatic systems are all prepared for mass transplantation. These acclimatized organs that have been engineered by the Sepiida, will guarantee a natural life on their new planet after their race completes transplantation.

Now, step back from the story and imagine if the Decapoda were the human race, a species specifically designed to be a repository of essential tissues and organs, to ensure the acclimatization of an envading alien species. What horrors for our race, knowing that our very existence was cultivated for the purposes of other beings who have now have come to the harvest.

This scenario puts ideas of evolution, god, and intelligent design into a really different context, in fact it would make for a good book or movie, although it is very similar to ‘War of the Worlds’ in many respects. Perhaps a counter-twist could be that the Sepiidae biology begin rejecting our organs for some strange reason… possibly due to widespread usage of anti-biotics and how it may have effected our DNA in ways they did not account for.

Anyway, hope you have enjoyed my little daydream.

–CJ–

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