Evolution in Two Voices - JP

Word Association, but the story must be told from the perspective of two different

       characters.

 Dear Van,

 

            I am glad to hear that you are doing well. I have spent a long time thinking about what to say to you, and that is the best I have been able to come up with. Sometimes I wish I could see you again, slap you hard and have you spring to your senses. I won’t proselytize to you; I know you’ve heard it enough and it won’t change your mind now. But for God’s sake Van, think about what you’re trying to do! You don’t want to further God’s plan, you want to be God!

            It’s not enough for you that we have all we need to survive in this ship for generations. It’s not enough for you that in time we might find a way to fix the engines. It’s not enough for you that I’m here, and that I need you. Your vanity drives you on to populate a new world in your own image, in whatever twisted form you think that image is, and the rest of us be damned. Did you ever think that the resources you’ve taken from us might have helped us repair Juvala? Or that the Luonnotar could be used for resource extraction throughout this solar system? I know it’s a long shot, I know we don’t have the means, but so is this ridiculous “seeding” idea of yours, and at least up here there’s a chance for us! For all of us!

            What do you hope to accomplish, Van? Even if your work takes hold, we won’t be here to see its fruition. No matter how much you alter mutation rates and select desirable traits and such, it’ll be millions of years before this place is habitable, and we’ll all be dead then. If that is God’s wish, let it come to fruition on its own. It’s just arrogance. To create life where none before existed… that is the work of God, not men. Leave it and return to me.

            Things are tense up here. I don’t know how much more you’ll be able to take from the ship. People are beginning to rise up against the blasphemy. I’m not welcome in some social circles anymore, it doesn’t matter that I disagree with you. I have tried not to be vocal with that disagreement, but I’m not sure how much longer I can be quiet. I don’t want to be a pariah from them, too. Then I would be completely alone.

            Think about what you’ve done, Van. That orb is a sovereign sphere in heaven, a dominion crafted by the Lord to be as he sees it fit to be. Up here is our own sovereign state, this ship. If you want to play God, play God here, come rule this little corner. We may have only this one speck in space, but on this speck we know no master.

 

 

                                                                                                            - Mari

 

 

Mari,

 

            There is a grandeur in this. I know how you feel; how you think I am destroying my soul, our soul. But I am not. We’re creating a new soul here. Our species is giving birth.

            The landscape is barren, even more barren than the pictures. I’m sure you’ve heard we’ve found water outside the polar regions. A thousand feet down, yes, but it is there, and more will come. That is our chief obstacle. Still, I think we have little to worry about. Life is stronger than we give it credit for; each and every one of the species we place here may die, but something will survive. Something will adapt. I am confident.

            I miss you more than ever these days. I wish—had things been different, I might still be onboard right now, planning a family with you, plotting courses across the sky, choosing the star where our children’s children would grow up. At night, I can often see Juvala crossing the heavens, and I think about you orbiting up there so far away from me. I wonder if you can see the station here, the landing site and the Luonnotar flickering with lights in the darkness, the only light on this entire spare world staring back up at you and the court of a thousand stars you dance through. I would give the world to know that you can.

            More talk of work. I know you are interested to know what I’m doing, even if you don’t approve. Jase believes he has isolated a plasmid for resistance to the arid conditions here. That will be the key. Even with the massive amounts of water locked away in the ice caps and hopefully the reservoirs beneath us, this world will never be as wet as Earth. Thickening of the atmosphere will help with evaporation and establishing a water cycle, but our little friends will have to show some ingenuity to survive.

            Food is another issue, of course. I’m hoping that we will be introducing an ecosystem that has can self-sustain to some extent. This should be especially true with the cyanobacteria. Still, the lines we have are laboring to extract nutrients from the soil, and none have shown great promise with fixing nitrogen from the air. I’m working on solutions with Evangeline.

            Anyway, we spend most of our time working on these little details. I believe the project is strong. I still believe in its potential. In fact, I am converted to this decision more and more every day. Perhaps, as you say, we were destined to die, and that is why God has allowed our engines to falter. Perhaps we will pass away into nothingness; in fact, I believe it. But I believe more and more that Peter was right, that God has brought us here for a reason, and that reason is to bring life to this wasteland. Think about it, Mari! Why else would we end up here, at approximately the same distance from Paivae as Mars from the Sun? Where water exists, in solid form and now as liquid! How can this be anything other than His will?

            The task is daunting, I admit. But man has faced daunting tasks since his birth. I know you still believe that man is the ultimate creation, but I do not. Here, on this world, this Avikko, this desert, we will draw water from stones and sing in a new age. We will birth a new life, just as God gave birth to us. God did not create us from whole cloth; perhaps we are the agents of His creation in turn. Perhaps we are the way to His true chosen.

            I wish you saw things the way I do. I wish I could be there with you. I wish I could walk away and turn my back but I can’t. You should see how the bacteria thrive in the water here! This is not heresy, Mari. It is the ultimate test of faith. I love you. I love you so much it hurts. Write soon.

 

                                                                                                            -Van