Arts/Literature

What's it Wednesday

by Dawn Farmer

Hello lovely Wednesday friends – I’m back now from the Antipodes with today’s image. So what is it?

10 replies »

  1. It’s the edge of a Mexican fan palm tree palm stalk.

    I have to cut the dead ones off my trees every other week or so. Them things can be deadly!

  2. Welcome back! 🙂 On the surface, I’d say Farley is right. But we all know that can’t possibly be the whole story. You caught me off guard. I’ll have to think about this one a bit.

  3. Farley – well done. It is a palm tree – no idea which sort of palm – deadly would be a fair description. 🙂

    Elaine – howdy to you! It does have that crocodile look.

    Rho and Ubertramp – thanks for the welcome back. It was nice to be away and unplugged for awhile.

  4. Right. Unplugged. A likely story. No doubt, you were REALLY off-planet at a TI convention. Probably at a vacation planet like Lytton IV. I suspect this picture was taken on a beach the morning after dark and stormy night.

    That’s actually what was causing me difficulty in placing this object. It really IS a palm tree. From Earth, no less. I’ve often seen their like in Hawaii. But that didn’t jive with the fact that you were completely isolated from the Earth network. Since that is virtually impossible on Earth itself (given what I know of TI communication technology), I had to think.

    Of course, you gave me a hint. Antipodes. Now, you likely meant this as a geographical feint-Australia, or some such nonsense. But I’m on to your little tricks. Lytton IV orbits a star on Earth’s “antipode” of a nearby star cluster, the Pleiades. Up until about two thousand years ago, the planet was a lifeless rock, but it had an atmosphere. Around that time, the Xingstyx started mining it for various ores and initiated an aggressive terraforming program. About five hundred years ago, the easily mined ore sources had been exhausted. However, the terraforming had progressed to the point where the planet was covered by about 90% ocean.

    The next phase of planetary development was much like what Dubai is doing with its World and Palm Islands. Basically, Xingstyx investors created tens of thousands of islands in the tropical band of the planet and began marketing them as island vacation getaways. Some of the larger islands are often used as convention centers. To cater to the various intergalactic races, subsets of the islands were seeded with flora and fauna of various homeworlds. One such island cluster included Earth-based lifeforms.

    Which, of course, explains the palm tree in Dawn’s picture.

    • Good lord, Mike, can you imagine the hell the Xingstyxickers have isolating those various ecosystems? Since NOTHING is native, even the smallest incursion of “non-native” flora or fauna could annihilate the entire system in a matter of weeks.

      Then again, labor is cheap there, so I imagine they have a roving phalanx of xenobiocops roving every damned one of those resorts, and you probably couldn’t sneak a Zandobian mustard seed past their customs…..

  5. They had a very selective bio collection process. Specifically, they avoided things that could fly (birds, insects, etc) or swim long distances. The clusters are fairly isolated from each other in terms, separated by at least a thousand kilometers. And there are nanobots in the ocean designed specifically to prevent inter-cluster contamination. Visitors are required to undergo an extensive inoculation procedure to protect them against the nanobots and each other. Much like you or I would have to go through if we went to, say, Zambia, to protect us from malaria, etc.

    But this process is fairly well established and just about perfected. As you might expect, interactions between the various intergalactic races requires a considerable amount of artificial biological compatibility. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dawn’s blood was more nanite than WBC at this point with all the galactic gallavanting she’s done.

    Accidents DO happen. About twenty years ago, three separate clusters had to be completely sterilized due to catastrophic contamination. The islands are still being reseeded and redeveloped.

    Of course, no system is perfect. There will likely be evolutionary hybridization over time. However, segments of the Xingstyx research community is constantly monitoring the situation. Hell, most races keep at least a cursory eye on it.

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