Wednesday, March 10, 2010

SEED, Part 6

(Serial fiction, sci-fi)

Just joining us? Go back to Part 1.

Jax's head was pounding. "I already explained this to you three times!"

Apparently, the voice wanted it again. "What is the payload yield of the SEED vehicle?"

Jax was tired, profoundly tired, so he just recited facts. No more fluff or conversation. His logical brain recited. "Human female--sixteen years old. Optimized age to survive birth six months after reanimation. Implanted fetus--male, twelve weeks gestation. Optimized for survival."

"How is the payload delivered?"

"After 100 years of travel on a random launch trajectory, the pod acquires a target star. Micro-course adjustments at 25 year intervals." He hadn't told the voice about the rest. "As it nears, the star system is scanned for a planet with life. A positive or inconclusive planet is chosen. If all planets are negative or none are found at all, the pod maintains course into the sun. They lied about that part. All those years ago. They told everyone that the pod would sling-shot with the sun's gravity and go find another star. But there wasn't enough fuel for that. The pod incinerates itself."

"How is the payload delivered?"

Jax talked faster. Angrier.

"Ninety percent of the pod's fuel and computing power are devoted to reentry and landing. The Eve Officer (that's the girl) is awakened at this point. She is trained to make adjustments if the reentry goes awry. She chooses the actual landing site. The human brain beats any computer in trying to survive. You can't program that sort of thing. Not then. Not now."

"How is the payload delivered?"

Jax fumed. "How do you think? If the planet supports life, the girl gives birth. She raises the child to sexual maturity. They mate at the maximum rate until the Eve Officer becomes infertile. Then Eve directs the mating patterns of her offspring. She's a doctor, teacher, confidant, matriarch. She passes on the human memories of our species and records as much as she can for future generations."

"The biological payload becomes operational," the voice said. Not a question this time.

"Yes," Jax said. "But how many planets support life? We haven't found any. Not from here." He shook some sweat from his hair. "You know what I think? I think what really happens is that the Eve wakes to a poisonous rock and dies a quick death. Or she craters into the planet. Or roasts in an alien atmosphere."

"The biological payload becomes operational."

"You said that already."

"SEED is a tactical program."

"And you're a cocksucker," he seethed.

It didn't take him long to regret saying that.

On to Part 7.
Back to Part 5.


Aine said...

Makes me wonder how much and what kind of training these young Eve Officers receive. What a huge responsibility they're given. Makes me think of Ender's Game.

I love how many subplots and background stories there are in this. Seems it could easily be expanded.

I just can't wait to see where you are taking us!

jason evans said...

Aine, you know, it probably could be expanded (not that I need another project!). Glad you're enjoying the build up. I think things are about to break open.

Raj said...

awesome. just read all six parts. keep it coming.

Bernita said...

"It didn't take him long to regret saying that."

I always love that way of summing up effects!

jason evans said...

Raj, I hope they read reasonable well together.

Bernita, I wanted something at the end to pull into the next part with Jax. :)

Four Dinners said...

They read better than 'reasonably' old bean. I am so so hooked and wanting the next bit already!

jason evans said...

Four Dinners, I'm not sure that this genre is appealing to many, but I'm happy to have along all those who do dig it. Thanks!