The Robot Farmers of Planet LOTUS


Inside the cavern, a vast subterranean garden — brightly illuminated, as far as the eyes can see — tended by intelligent machines. All types of vegetation. Captain Kite: “I wonder why that entrance was unprotected? This is a fortune in food alone.”

Because no one in their right mind would actually, willingly, enter Hell; would they? I’m just being paranoid; negative.

Captain Kite: “We can breathe this air! Leave your suits on for now — until Alicia completes her pathogen test; it’ll take several hours to complete. We don’t want to bring back the plague.”

Captain Kite: “This planet’s been hollowed out by some intelligence, vastly more technologically advanced than man.”

XO: “This structure/planet was a lifeless carbon rock at some point. It has been hollowed out; is illuminated artificially on the inside; has an atmosphere — this huge garden is sustaining. Something’s powering this place.”

I hear a sexy woman’s voice, in my left ear, kindly, but insistently say, “Please, go back to your ship and leave.” No one else acknowledges hearing her voice, but I know they do.

Captain Kite continues speaking, unfazed– Captain Kite: “That explains why this planet is pulling at only 1.1gs; being hollow allows it to be much larger than Earth, yet less dense.”

Someone asks: “What keeps the atmosphere in place?”

XO: “Gravity, just like Earth. The gravity pulls the air down with 1.1 g’s. Atmosphere escapes at an acceptable rate, to be self sustaining — just like Earth. Unlike Earth, it has an outer atmosphere, and an inner atmosphere.”

Captain Kite: “Just learning how to recreate such a place is worth a fortune! This means man can colonize nearly every rock, planet, or asteroid in the galaxy. This place should be lifelessTheir star is as far away as Pluto from our Sun.”

Captain Kite sees dollar signs; that’s why we’re here.

I look at the guy next to me; he doesn’t want to be here either. None of us know one another; we’re all ‘temps’ — we all applied to a help wanted ad; were interviewed; went through a 2 hour orientation; learned some basic skills; got hired; walked onto Kite’s ship; were immediately put into hibernation.

A bit over a year ago, I was at a temp agency. Same day, I was put to sleep, for a one and a half lightyear voyage. Woke up; took a piss; ate a quick breakfast; now I’m in Hell. At least I got a fuckin paycheck.

XO: “It’s still pretty cold inside here, 34 degrees fahrenheit.” That’s right motherfuckers! We’re American! Fahrenheit not celsius! We got HERE first, too. Fuck Europe and soccer.

XO: “These plants are fit for human consumption — whatever is consuming them has a similar biology to us.”

Captain Kite: “Enough food HERE to feed a billion people! Something MASSIVE is breathing all of this oxygen.”

XO: “Sir, we’ve found something else.”

Read more Lotus.

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