DarkSyde writes “(The following is an except from a never ending sci-fi book/novel/project/hobby of mine. I’ve had a lot of trouble with this section. It’s clumsy and crude and just doesn’t flow like I want it to. I think I can work that out, and the basic idea is half decent and imaginative, or so I have deluded myself into believing. But I need any constructive criticism for the abio/biochem which I can tell is hopelessly infantile, as well as anything else that sticks out. Anyway, hope you enjoy it. It’s also copy write protected, but I give permission to reproduce this in part or in whole if proper attribution is given and a link to UTI at http://www.brentrasmussen.com/archives/2005/04/wee kend_science_3.html is provided)” Read More for the full excerpt.
Eight Billion Years Ago …
No one could have predicted, peeking in at this point, the significance of the growing infant solar nebula in the obscure galactic remnant. That its formation would give birth to the benefactor of a legacy unlike any other. No would have suspected the momentous future of one planet circling halfway out in the spiral of gas and rock would be intertwined with destinies of a billion worlds, long after it embarked on a unique, epic, journey, upon which the fate of the universe would one day hinge. She was a large terrestrial planet, over twice as massive as the future earth in the core alone. But there were trillions like her strewn through the closely packed forming galaxies of the early cosmos. Here and now, she didn’t stand out.
Call that planet, Cradle.
Cradle had, until recently, been swathed in a thick layer of swirling hydrogen and helium gas, like her larger sisters and brothers lurking farther away at the edges of the system. Then, the distant stellar center of the glowing solar maelstrom had coughed and awakened, as the nuclear fires deep within stoked by the fusion of hydrogen sputtered, extinguished themselves, and caught again. The energetic photons in the star’s center drunkenly worked their way out to the surface of the roiling plasma making up the exterior of the sun. After a few false starts, the star had begun radiating a steady, brilliant, bluish-white light.
Once free of its stellar walls, the solar wind pushed the remaining hydrogen and lighter elements out of the inner solar system, forever. The warm light and streaming particles of the sun reached out to its nearer planetary children, and gently licked their faces clean of the gaseous grime. Cradle too, was relieved of most of her load of clinging hydrogen and helium gas. She now sailed serenely through an eccentric orbit fully twice as long as wide, around the star that formed one foci. Her pockmarked, glowing red surface at times partly visible through the center of a marauding, cyclonic storm of water vapor and methane.
The alien solar system was new, but it was not long for this universe. It would live its life fast and furious, courtesy of the swollen titan in the center. The star was a medium sized giant. A bloated sphere of hydrogen that would burn its nuclear fuel with reckless abandon, working through ever heavier fusion cycles to stave off collapse, and quickly fall off the main sequence in a few tens of millions of years. But in this era of irresponsible childhood innocence, it shone with bold, unwavering, confidence.
The solar nebula had barely cleared, and the ecliptic still shone a pale red and yellow from fluorescing gases. The inner solar system was sporting thousands of grand, blazing comets. The dozens of large outer planets were still immersed in their embryonic yolks of gas and dust, glowing softly as they were lit internally by the incessant collisions of smaller bodies. It was a dangerous, violent, yet heart wrenchingly beautiful, place. If anyone had been there to see it…