On Venusian Cloud Colony Number Nine: Chapter 7 Scene 1

“The Venus we know now has little in common with the Earth we know, but it once did.

Millions of years ago, the Sun was smaller.  The ‘optimal zone’ that Earth currently resides in, which allows life to grow and thrive, was a tighter circle around the star.  Venus resided in within that band, while Earth resided on its outer edges.

A flurry of comets and meteors from the outer reaches of the young Solar System gravitated into its inner realms, bringing in frozen waters and dormant life that had made their way through the vast expanse of the Universe.  Both Venus and Earth were bombarded with them, allowing both the planets to begin their stories in the formation of life.

People speak of Venus as Earth’s ‘evil twin’, with its corrosive atmosphere and boiling temperatures.  In the distant past, the next planet further from the Sun was once known as Venus’ ‘frozen twin’, with not enough heat from the star arriving to melt the ice on its surface.  While life was in a frozen stasis on Earth, it flourished for a time here.  The planet was populated by a huge array of animals, the many species following the universal constraint of birth, growth, decay and extinction over billions of years.  Only the strongest and most adaptable of life forms managed to survive the date of their downfall.

The sentient population of Venus had developed a close affinity with their world over the billions of years.  They began to sense a change in the balance of the planet, with the smaller life forms inexplicably beginning to die out.  Trying to figure out what it was causing the change over the course of centuries, the perpetrator was found in the skies above.

The Sun was beginning a new phase of its life, growing larger and hotter.  The planet we know as Mercury was the first to feel the wrath of the star’s growth.  The intense heat and strong solar winds stripped it of its atmosphere, before eroding its surface until it was little more than the core of its former self.  The winds blew a portion of the former Mercurial atmosphere into Venus’, beginning its thickening.

The growth of the Sun included an increase in the strength of its gravity, which led to another round of larger comets and meteors gracing the inner reaches.   The increasing heat of the Venusian surface led to greater evaporation, and while some of the brightly-glowing rainbow of meteors merely grazed the planet’s atmosphere on their way to impacting with Earth’s moon or Mercury, a celestial body that left a beautiful blue tail ended up ringing the death knell for nearly every life form on Venus when it had a direct impact.

The blue burn of the meteor was the tell-tale sign of it being composed of sulfur.  The chemical found its way to almost every part of the planet as broke apart in the atmosphere.  It mixed with the rapidly evaporating water in the air, creating the sulphur dioxide clouds in the atmosphere.  The planet’s increasing heat seemed to cause a greater level of volcanic activity, which also played its part in increasing the sulfur in the air.

As the plant life of the planet died, the carbon dioxide was no longer converted and it built up over time.  The more advanced life forms had spent many centuries exploring the possibilities for their survival, building on the centuries of knowledge that had been built up before them.  One of the advances they made that had delayed the extinction of many species was the creation of a symbiotic pigment that darkened the skin, as well as providing a measure of protection against the increased solar radiation hitting the planet and the increasing atmospheric heat.

The time came when drastic measures needed to be considered, as even the more resilient life forms began to die out.  Many years of study indicated that the best option was to leave, and to take the chance on the next planet from the Sun.  Research had indicated that the effects of the star would be similar now as they had been on Venus in the past, and the much thinner and less poisonous atmosphere would prove survivable.

Many felt a deep affinity to their home planet, and were reluctant to leave unless they had no choice.  The experiments taken to try and create life forms that could survive on Venus grew more and more desperate.  When the advanced life forms were unable to survive the deteriorating surface conditions, and being able to escape the planet would prove impossible in their current form, the symbiote was shown to be incredibly durable.  A drastic experiment was taken, aiming to create a consciousness transfer.  The experiment proved successful, and the life forms were able to transfer their knowledge and memories into the symbiote.

One of the few positive side-effects of the planet-wide change was the change in mineral compositions.  The structure of diamonds had changed; its particles started bonding in such a way that liquid could filter through its lattice and be protected.  The life forms began to use the diamonds as a container of sorts for those who had transferred, with the hope that this form could now allow them to escape the inhospitable planet.

When the time came to make the jump to Earth, some of the symbiotes indicated that they could not bring themselves to leave their home planet.  As long as Venus remained, they would also.  A vessel was built, and those who had transferred their consciousness and were willing to leave the planet were placed on it.  The life forms still in their normal bodies, though suffering terribly from the effects of the poisonous world, ensured that the vessel escaped before they died from exposure.

The vessel made it to Earth, though a miscalculation in its creation caused it to explode in the upper atmosphere.  The innumerable diamonds holding symbiotes landed across the Terran lands.”

– ♀ –


8 responses

  1. What I find most intriguing about this is that I can’t find the “seam” between the factual science and the science fiction until almost the end of the scene. By the way, who’s relating this? Fascinating, as Mr. Spock would’ve said.

    1. Hi Doc. If the completely fictionalised series of events sound plausible enough to have been a real event, I am happy =)

      Who is relating it will be revealed in the first line of the next scene.

      Thanks for stopping by for a read =)

      PS. Our local bookstore has a 3-for-2 offer on their series of popular books. Have put in my order for ‘1984’ by George Orwell, ‘Treasure Island’ by R.L Stevenson, and ‘Eva Luna’.

      1. Sounds like you’ve got some great reads lined up. By the by, I’m following your lead and am going to put a collection of my short stories on the website soon, after I have a chance to finish typing them up and get them copyrighted. Hope you’ll stop by for a read at that time. Also, I think you mentioned that you had more stories in the offing. I’ll be eager to see them.

      2. ‘1984’ certainly appeals to my preferred genre of reading, while ‘Eva Luna’ will be a broadening of my reading horizons.

        Awesome! I look forward to reading some of your short stories. I must apologise, as I began ‘Dot and Charlie’ but did not follow through and read it all. A second effort to read your story must be made =)

        I will be continuing with ‘Sayeh and Zia’ until October at the current rate of scene posting. The aim upon completing OVCC#9 is to use the freed-up time to focus on the ‘Big Project’ and a forthcoming NaNoWriMo 2013 entry.

        A new short story will likely start in 2014. Maybe a post towards the end of the year that asks my readers to choose which short story I pursue…

        Your comment was the 200th posted on this site. Congratulations, and thank you for your greatly valued feedback =D

      3. DJ, the only bad thing about you is that you don’t write fast enough to keep my appetite for your fiction sated! He!he! I hope you will do more short stories, and good luck with the upcoming NaNoWriMo, too.

      4. Haha yes inspiration and motivation never seem to flow concurrently in equal measure.

        Maybe some flash fiction could be in order, used as the backstory of the ‘Big Project’. I had toyed with the idea of ‘in-between’ stories, written at half the length of the main stories, that fleshed out the many worlds involved.

  2. Very interesting. I enjoyed this chapter thoroughly.

    1. Good to hear from you Duck =)

      I hope UWG and your own blog are still going great guns.

      Glad you enjoyed it. My initial idea was humans colonising Venus, thinking it uninhabited but being proved wrong. There is still more to the story in the next scene; hopefully it does not cause too many people to call BS on me =P

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