Tell me about the "Terraforming"

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Tell me about the "Terraforming"

Post  AdmiralLayneYr on Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:32 am

Dear Michael Herbert Gilmour,

I wish to learn more about your plans for this lush world. We have an encrypted communication line.

What is your desired end product? This humble Admiral assumes it is some sort of planetary conversion fungus? Like Unity Prime's prophet fleet but spores instead?

Don't mean to pry, the excitement is palpable.

Grand Admiral Layne Yr of the Kasanthian Federation

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Re: Tell me about the "Terraforming"

Post  MichaelHerbertGilmour on Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:50 am

Admiral Layne Yr:

To begin, you need not use my full name. Mike, Michael, Dr. Gilmour, or Scientist Gilmour are all equally good. I am not entirely sure where the convention of using my full name has come from.

My plan is very simple; set up a Habitat engineered ecosystem on this planet. This ecosystem will provide yet another testbed for my work. Remember- every single lifeform is its own unique experiment, a trial to create life in this universe. Each has unique properties, and those that are most interesting can be harvested. By tending to them and nurturing their growth, only more wonderful things can result.

Unsurprisingly, as the diversity of the Habitat project increases, it becomes more and more likely that different species will be found to colonize any given niche. This has already been yielding fruit in Kyrpos, as you no doubt have noticed. I expect total biome manufacture in that place within the span of only a couple months. At that point, it should become a useful point of research. That is not to say that it's not useful now, however most of the focus is survival, as opposed to diversification. Luckily, the high temperatures there generate an extremely active atmosphere. Spreading beyond control is almost a forgone conclusion at this point.

Needless to say, if you have further questions, please feel free to ask.

Scientist Michael Herbert Gilmour
Head Manager of the Habitat Project
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Re: Tell me about the "Terraforming"

Post  AdmiralLayneYr on Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:35 am

I Like that Scientist Gilmour.
So impersonal. So wonderfully sterile.

But enough compliments, I have a query and I hope you'd be kind enough to help me with it. I understand your Fungus has found a good home nestled in the soft fur of the pit mongrel. My agents tell me the fungus also has some elements of a neural network. A way of spreading a mind perhaps?

More importantly if it isn't why can't we make it so!?




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Re: Tell me about the "Terraforming"

Post  MichaelHerbertGilmour on Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:46 am

Michael Gilmour's image appears as it always does.

"Admiral Yr, I'm glad you approve. Sadly, some of my other communications have not gone quite as well, but I suppose that's how things go sometimes.

Yes, the pit mongrels seem to have contracted an infection from straying so close to my worksite. That was honestly rather unintentional, and it has drawn the unwelcome attention I expected. It is not really something to be pleased about.

A... network of sorts is being constructed, yes. Needless to say, it's in its larval stage.

Does that answer your question?"
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Re: Tell me about the "Terraforming"

Post  AdmiralLayneYr on Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:21 am

"That actually does,
While my work has always been more in mortuary studies, I find the lifecycles of living beings fascinating.
They come from a single kernal of their parent entity, they grow into a defenseless stage until they mature enough to survive and grow.
And finally, perfectly die.
And in that perfection of death find meaning."


Layne Yr looked up out the viewfinder of her spaceship. Looking out upon the quiet silence of space while her starship was in orbit of the planet of Anatos Hao.

"I realize its only been a week, but I've always been terribly bad about wanting to open presents early, " said Layne Yr. Her eyes traced a lazy comet as it penetrated a nebulae, "Is there anything we can do to help it mature past its larval stage faster? Nutrients to feed it, creatures to fertilize it, or perhaps specialized Nightmares to defend it as it grows?"

Layne Yr finally saw the comet pierce the other side of the nebulae and continue on its merry journey. She breathed a sigh of relief.
How fast must it have been going, she wondered. Wild and reckless, like so much of the Universe.

"If need be, Scientist Gilmour, we have an entire continent that Ar'yay Hive Queen left us on the dimension of Kyrpos in the Land of the Quall N'drone. And my spies have returned and informed me that along with my Dead Quall, there are fields full of your fungus.
Though fields wasn't the word the spies used, but you understand I didn't see it myself.


There were Islands like rocky monoliths of jagged obsidian and lavarock that thrust up from the Sea of Fire. Creatures like Quall and Fire Spirits could swim in the fire sea, but one could not see inside it, or hear. All there were was pressure, and even in our shapeshifted forms as Quall Warriors I could not help but be astounded by the pressure. It hurt to be swimming under that stuff. It was lighter and more flowing than any volcanic eruption I had seen on Earth, and was almost like water in how it pooled and moved. Gasses escape its top but immediatly burst into flames in contact with air, which for some unexplanable reason was not as hot as it should have been. Oh it was hot, desert heat in the middle of the summer hot, but not the blister skin in an instant as it should have been.
We finally walked upon the Island of Makh Tima Tur, it was ours.
And it was covered with the dead bodies of countless Pit Mongrels. The mutant Olgogs lay in heaps where they had died after being released to care for themselves. As Pit Mongrels groomed each other, the fungus spread like wildfire.
And beyond the Sea of Fire is the Continent of Ar'yay HiveQueen, which she has left to relocate to the south away from the battlefront.
And the Continent, as far as I could see it was empty of any movement or life. Only dead bodies of mutant Olgogs, their fur changing from its mangy red to a shades of purple and orange.
The fungal covering had already overtaken Makh Tima Tur, it would only take a month or two for the fungus to overcome the now empty continent as well.

Layne Yr felt the vastness of it for a moment, like a tiny candle in a huge field.
She knew the Creeping Darkness wanted to put that tiny light out and it would not succeed on her watch. Not the Creeping Darkness, not the Warmonger Cult. As far as Layne Yr was concerned, the shadows were only there to serve the living.

"We have a test sight Scientist Gilmour.
On the island of Makh Tima Tur, we have a perfect place to test weapons-grade combinations of your fungus and my Nightmares.
So to recap
Firstly Lifecycle of your "currently larval" fungal neural network
Secoundly anything I can get for you that will grow it faster
Thirdly What do you suggest as a symbiotic relationship for the Nightmare I grow for the Island of Makh Tima Tur with your fungus?
(I can grow it to specifications)

And Finally I had a chance to reread your file from the Border Wars last night, and once again, this little lady is quite impressed.
Scientist Gilmour I do so enjoy these little visits to your networked worlds."



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Re: Tell me about the "Terraforming"

Post  MichaelHerbertGilmour on Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:08 am

Michael appears, just as he always does.

"Such a 'defenseless' stage is actually rather rare. Only one tiny fraction of life go through such a thing; for the majority, the are born very nearly in the condition they will die in. The only question is one of quantity. That is more what I meant by 'larval.' Any network can only really be measured by its size. It just needs more mass."

With that, he turns to his left and outstretches his hand. In a moment, a sphere depicting Habitat Three seemed to appear in vivid, lifelike detail. It was a surreal thing, really, the 'hologram' seemingly having better resolution than real life. It slowly rotates as he describes the image.

"At this point, we have occupied approximately twenty-five percent of the surface, and we have successfully penetrated a nearly equal distance below the ground. As such, the actual volume of occupation is far larger than it may appear."

As he speaks, the 'camera' of the video-message zooms in on the planet he's holding, again showing perfect detail. The planet then splits, showing the depths of his occupation, with biomass showing in a brilliant green for clarity. It branched out through the ground like roots, digging deeper and deeper.

"Coddling my creations by giving them additional resources will only render them weaker once said resources are taken away. The entire point of the Habitat project was to develop methods of complete autonomous planetary transformation. Trying to 'aid' the process directly would interfere with that goal."

He waves away the planet-image, and it disappears, with the camera returning to him. He then spreads his arms, and suddenly a significantly less detailed map of Makh Tima Tur appeared. It was indeed covered in that same glowing green, recolored for ease of understanding. Terrestrial penetration was significantly lower on cross-section, but it was certainly beginning. There was some very vague green fuzziness on sections of land around the island, but that was poorly mapped.

"Habitat Four is progressing beyond expectation, as the 'Pit Mongrels' have spread the spores over a very wide expanse, while also providing an excellent carbon source. While I do not expect such a windfall to occur again, it will be taken advantage of. With the blessings of the former hive queen, I have resumed terraforming operations. I expect intelligence on the island to equal that of other holdings within a couple weeks. By that point, the entire expanse should be completely uninhabitable. It will also be able to quickly spread to other areas of solid ground, cementing my grip. I am in the process of sculpting new creations to fill their 'lava sea.' Successful contamination will make my presence there impossible to dislodge."

With another gesture, he waves the image away.

"I would highly suggest your spies avoid such locations in the future. Conditions there will rapidly deteriorate, and I do not want to put them at risk.

At the moment, there are no attempts to 'weaponize' my fungus. I want to get a better grasp as to what the current political situation with the Quall is before I proceed along those lines. By the very nature of my creation, it's a rather 'all or nothing' affair, and I don't want us to get cold feet as trillions of Quall become building-blocks for a new Habitat.

I do not suggest attempting to build a 'symbiotic' relationship, as that would likely be far more work than it's worth. My Habitats are designed to integrate any potential mass source, and fine-tuning that to something like your nightmares would be a very, very difficult task. It would require constantly modulating my species, as they will try to evolve new ways to attack your creations. I do not want to have to devote that much of my mental process to that.

Thank you for your compliments; I am lucky that I was allowed so much time to refine my work between that point and now. I look forward to what comes in the future."

The feed then cuts, and the symbol seen to the right of this message appears. It describes some unknown species of fungus, with several features labeled. The figure has no caption.
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