Author : J.S. Kachelries
Kram Vidda occupied one of the twelve holographic cubes in the Executive Conference Room of the Planetary Reclamation Corporation. He would be the presenter in the meeting to discuss the possibility of salvaging Sol-3. The images of ten board members, transmitted via hyperspace relays from distant Sectors, sat patiently waiting for the Chairman to appear. When the Chairman, known only as Hapal, came into focus, the meeting began.
Vidda bowed his head respectively toward the Chairman. â€œHapal, itâ€™s good to view you again, as well as the other prestigious members of the Board. I know you are all very busy, so Iâ€™ll get right to the point. Sol-3 is probably the worst case of planetary self destruction that I have ever seen. Most of our previous projects involved salvaging planets destroyed by simple, mutual nuclear annihilation.â€ He smiled slightly as he delivered his favorite axiom. â€œAfter all, itâ€™s the extinction method of choice for â€˜intelligentâ€™ species that have chosen to remove their genome from the evolutionary mainstream of the universe.â€
As holographic pie charts appeared and slowly rotated in the center of the room, Vidda continued his presentation. â€œBut the inhabitants of Sol-3 pulled out all stops. As nearly as our engineers can reconstruct, they started through the wormhole of self-destruction the usual way. Petty disputes between various political and economic factions prevented them from forming a consensus world government. The more powerful countries exploited the available resources without any thought of the consequences. They consumed their non-renewable carbon-based fuels recklessly, released copious amounts of green house gasses, destroyed their ozone layer, and they poisoned their air and water. The inevitable tactical nuclear devices were detonated, which escalated into a global holocaust. Thatâ€™s usually where they exit and we enter. But somehow, the species was hardy enough to survive thermo-nuclear war, and they continued the conflict even as they had one foot in the disintegration chamber and the other on a tutber leaf. They created and then released biological weapons that attacked their own species. But, that wasnâ€™t good enough, so they exterminated all animal life, followed by the destruction of all plant life. They also released some kind of silicon-based nano-mites that are still reorganizing the molecular integrity of the inorganic infrastructure of the planet. Itâ€™s a real mess. They actually developed aâ€¦â€
Hapal, who was seriously doubting that Vidda was â€˜getting right to the pointâ€™ interrupted. â€œThe bottom line, Mr. Vidda. Can we reclaim the planet profitably, or not?â€
â€œSir, we will need 1748 atmospheric purifiers, 815 ozone regenerators, 2122 radiation neutralizers, over 5000 anti-toxin synthesizers, a full sub-space sterilization field, more than 14000â€¦â€
â€œMr. Vidda, will you please focus. Profitability?â€
Vidda was somewhat taken aback by Hapalâ€™s directness. â€œAhâ€¦wellâ€¦Yes, sir. Four sextillion decknars after five years. Then 25% growth each year for the nextâ€¦â€
â€œThatâ€™s enough, Mr. Vidda. Start transporting the equipment, and begin the damned reclamation project while our genome is still on the â€˜evolutionary mainstream of the universe.â€™ Meeting adjourned.â€ Unceremoniously, Hapalâ€™s hologram abruptly vanished.