Chapter 2

Ætherglow #33


You sit down by the water nearer to Akiko, but not awkwardly close. After going over a few signs on your terminal, you try to make conversation. “How did you learn to interact with birds?”

[Akiko liked that]

“I learned from Professor Reina,” Akiko signs. “You should take her class. She teaches cybernetics theory.”

“I’m taking that!” you sign.

“Lucky you, Professor Reina knows everything,” She emphasizes this sign hard. “She sees the universe and the æther in such a beautiful way. She says she encountered something in the æther that showed her exactly how everything is interconnected, and now she understands animals and plants and fungi just as well as machines. She built this whole garden, you know? You’re going to love her class!” Her signs are interspersed with excited stims.

“That’s amazing, there is such a large amount of life here,” you sign.

“So much! Not a lot of people appreciate how complex it really is. You couldn’t have a sustainable grove of trees this size without an active mycelium network, and thriving insect colonies, and even the birds are important. TLA is a self-contained self-sufficient ecosystem. If the colony existed for millions of years the organisms here would even evolve into a divergent tree of life.” Your program struggles to keep up with her infodump. “But that’s impossible, a colony couldn’t be sustained so long. You would need…” As the sun sets again behind you, she points across the pond to a red star in the sky. “A planet.”

“Terraforming, you mean?” you sign.

She nods. “It’s the ultimate purpose of life to grow beyond its boundaries, to colonize inhospitable places, transforming both the environment and itself, to take what is inert and turn it organic.

“Wouldn’t you agree?”

1) "Yes, terraforming is the destiny of life, and vital to its continued survival.": 0 (0.0%)
2) "Life is ultimately tied to the Earth, I don't know if it can truly survive without a connection to it.": 0 (0.0%)
3) "Instead of changing an entire planet, we should be selectively accelerating life's evolution, in combination with synthetic modifications, to adapt our own bodies to the planet instead.": 0 (0.0%)
4) "I think our destiny lies not down in a gravity well, but up here among the stars.": 100 (100.0%)
Expired 2 years ago (2022-02-01 14:20:00)

NOTICE: this poll was conducted on Ætherglow's previous home site. After total loss of the server, we only had records of which results won, not exact vote totals.