SIERRA ALPHA PRIME

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Chapter 7

Palmer Video Log

Dr. Joilee Reyna James

July 18 2459, C E

After going through a trial by combat, I have earned favor amongst the tribe that calls themselves the Quexamatil. Mantiko, the leader is teaching me the ways of survival. It is for the best. With the ship being equipped with LightWave engines, it will take them about five years to arrive. In the meantime, I must do all I can to learn about this planet through Mantiko’s customs.

Every day I can feel my body adapting to the planet’s atmosphere. My oxygen intake, stamina, and endurance have improved. Mantiko has shown many beautiful places to hunt and forage for food and medicine. As an agriculturalist, I took advantage to learn about every plant that was edible. I have some slight allergic reactions, but none that were lethal. Mantiko has also taught me a few words from his language.

As far as the planet’s environment, I find it breathtaking. The atmosphere is so clear at night, I can even see other planets on the horizon in the pinkish nebula skies. It is a surreal experience to live without the nurturing technology of my world. It kinda makes me wonder was Earth was just as beautiful before our ecosystem collapsed.

*****

Mantiko returned to Joilee’s chamber carrying an animal hide pelt full of weaponry the following day. Mantiko stood over her and watched Joilee gracefully slumber. Upon waking up, Joilee was startled by Mantiko glaring at her. It made her feel uneasy, as she feared that he would try to mate with her again.

“Look! I am not that type of woman, so go somewhere else!” Joilee replied.

Mantiko went to the table and spread the rolled animal skin across the surface. Mantiko unction Joilee to come closer. As she got closer to the table, she saw all types of weaponry. She saw weapons similar to the bow and quiver full of arrows, a staff, and a few daggers. Mantiko decides to establish some form of communication, starting with formalities. Mantiko patted his chest.

“Mantiko!” Joilee realized that Mantiko was introducing himself, so she returned the gesture.

“Joilee!” she stated as he patted his chest.

Mantiko nodded before returning his attention to the table. He grabbed an animal pelt and tied it around Joilee. Joilee did not know what to think.

“What are you doing? Joilee asked. Mantiko said a few words while continuing to equip Joilee with the necessary tools for survival. Mantiko put two daggers in her side sheath and put a bag of arrows back. Next, he put the bow in her hand and the arrow sachel on her back.

“Joilee!” Mantiko replied as he made her follow him.

Thirty minutes later, Mantiko took Joilee into the jungle to teach her to hunt. He was teacher Joilee, the use of the bow and arrow! Mantiko saw a four-legged beast the size of a dear.

Mantiko took an arrow from Joilee’s quiver and gave it to his protege. Joilee put the arrow to the bow’s string and retracted the arrow for a kinetic force.

Joilee pointed the arrow towards the creature and fired a shot. It was horrible as the arrow flew straight into the trees. The beast was startled a bit and moved away. After tracking the animal, Mantiko pointed his arrow and shot the animal in the heart. Mantiko went to the animal, cut a meat piece, and took a chunking bite. He passed a bit to Joilee. She refused.

“Uh, no thanks, It needs to be cooked!”

Mantiko looked a Joilee with a confused look.

“Fire!” Joilee replied as she tried making a gesture. Mantiko was still confused.

Joilee thought for a second until she got the idea to make a small fire. She took two sticks, hoping the dense oxygen would not prevent her from making a flame. Mantiko understood. He removed a vile from his satchel. Mantiko opened the vile and poured the yellow liquid onto the wood. The wood started smoking and combusted into flames. Joilee took a sample of the yellow substance with her Palmer. The scan detected a faint presence of thermite.

Mantiko took a stick, put the chunk of meat, and held it over the fire to cook. After it was well done, she offered Mantiko to try it. Mantiko took a bite, and it was to his satisfaction. Now it was Joilee’s turn as he offered her a piece. Joilee took the meat and hesitantly took a bite. It was a bit gamey. Mantiko lifted the animal on his shoulder to return to the village.

The next day, Mantiko took Joilee to the forest to forage. Mantiko showed her the proper plants and herbs to gather and avoid. After filling their satchels, Mantiko became hungry. He took Joilee to a wild orchard where fruit grew abundantly. Joilee was amazed when she saw colorful fruit glowing with mild radiant light. Mantiko picked one of the fruit from the tree that was twice the size of her hand.

Again, Joilee was hesitant. She wanted to scan the fruit with her Palmer as a precaution. Mantiko looked at her and urged her to take a bite as he looked at her eagerly. “Alright already,” Joilee stated. Once Joilee took a bite, her mouth was flooded with a light sweetness.

“Not bad!” Joilee took another bite. This brought back memories of when she was a young agricultural scientist during her academy days.

- Three years ago-

Joilee conducted genetic modification experiments enhancing plants D.N.A., using an herbal steroid called Resilient 03091980. Joilee’s goal was to make Earth plants resilient against harsh environmental conditions. The goal was to use these plants for terraforming purposes. These plants would be used to grow food on Mars and to terraform Sierra Alpha Prime. Joilee came up with a terraforming plan to create an oxygenated atmosphere. The genetically modified plants would aid in the process. Joilee presented the plan to the council.

The governing council was pleased with her presentation and took into a vote to initiate her plans. After her performance, she went home for the evening to rest. Joilee had been doing a nearly 10-hour shift to work on her research with the plant specimens. She had to report to duty in the agricultural lab at 600 hours. However, her sleep was cut short after receiving a call to report to the agricultural science lab. Joilee got up and made haste. She was met by her superior Chief Agriculture Science Officer, Dr. Yokomura.

“Joilee, I am glad you finally made it.” Dr. Yokomura replied.

“You made it sound urgent. I was having the nicest dream.”

“Well, one of your dreams is about to come true. Your work with the soil enrichment for the strawberry specimens. They have finally matured.”

“In the past couple of weeks.”

“Past couple of weeks? Strawberries take at least a month and a half to grow.”

“Yeah, but your experiment has been fruitful, literally speaking. The ones you planted seven weeks ago came back from the Agricultural test site in central Africa. The results are astonishing.”

“Where are they?

“Over here!” The higher-ranking military scientist went to a food cache and opened it. He removed a strawberry that was the size of a tennis ball.

“Catch!” The science officer tossed her the oversize fruit. Joilee caught it and observed it in amazement.

“Are these from the seeds that were altered with the Resilient steroid?”

“That it is. Joilee, do you know what you have done here. Your theories were right about vegetable D.N. A. strains altered with the steroid. Its genetic material will adapt to any climate and increase food growth. We must inform the science council at once.

“Wait, we must do other tests with other fruits and vegetables.”

“What are you talking about, Joilee? You tested on the potatoes, carrots, corn, and now strawberries. We had a 76% increase in growth rate.”

“Yeah, but you know the council wants a 100% success rate.

“That is the only technical ideology of the government. The rate that this planet is dying, 100%, is luxury at this point.”

“Are you sure about this?”

“I am your commanding officer. If the science counsel disagrees with the results, I take full responsibility.

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