A Vision of Venus

Post your MFZ-inspired fiction and artwork for others to admire
Forum rules
This is a game - This is fun - All your posts should reflect this

A Vision of Venus

Postby Atavism » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:47 pm

Those who see the neon jungles of Venus never forget them. It is a great injustice that they are hidden from view beneath the impenetrable clouds that blanket Venus, but without their absolute darkness there would never have been a reason to engineer life that glowed. This is a balance of sorts. The greater injustice is the manner in which Venusians covet this secret garden, that no outsider will ever be allowed to pass the veil and see the lights below.

Mankind's first experience in terraforming was among the selfish deserts of Mars, where ceaseless expansion was often a necessity to merely exist on the planet. This left First Venusians unprepared for overwhelming abundance of Venus. There was too much of everything- atmosphere, heat, volatile organic molecules. Wherever they planted life (as unrecognizable and artificial as the first specimens may have been, they were life), and wherever that life found something Good and took hold it would run rampant until its over growth spread one or two critical resources too thin and a mass die off would occur.

In time, the Venusians would come to believe this is why they left Earth.


Dax was a typical Venusian. Sino-Hindi with a random Norwegian ancestor a few generations back, he had a fairish complexion and almond shaped eyes with dark brown, almost black irises. He had left Earth to earn money for his family as a teen, and by the time his siblings were old enough to work themselves he was an accomplished frame pilot with no intention of going back. He began floating from job to job as his life traced an orbit farther and farther away from Earth.

Then Venus called. The colony needed experienced pilots in a bad way, and offered Hereditary Citizenship along with name-your-price wages to get them.

A blinding spray of debris began to ricochet off of his frame's hull, and Dax though he should have asked for more. The hull of his Stag IIV Superlifter groaned as something slid along the smooth curve of its forward ram, and then, suddenly, everything stopped.

Dax's chest hurt in the exact shape of his harness. “Contact.”

Dax decided he really should have asked for a lot more to come into the black and steer a comet back to Venus. He took a few deep breaths to steady himself, then reached for his pre-burn checklist. It was a three-by-five index card nested incongruously among the LED lights and holographic displays that illuminated his cockpit. He floated the columns of too-neat handwriting before his visor. Cindy in Launch Control had dotted the i's with hearts, because, Dax was certain, she was a dweeb.

Toggle. Toggle. Button. Toggle. Code. Lever. Grapples and bores exploded from his frame like a swarm of angry hornets.

Halfway across the solar system Cindy took a sip of hot chocolate as her computer reeled out a series of equations that would guide the precious water back to Venus. She twirled her hair around her finger, thinking of what else would be coming back to Venus.

Dax's radio crackled to life, “Hey honey! T-minus ten to burn!”



Venus was once like earth, but over time a runaway greenhouse effect turned the planet into an oven. The oceans evaporated and leaked into space, and without water the weather stopped and the tectonic plates ground to a catastrophic halt. Volcanism of unimaginable magnitude periodically resurfaced the entire planet while blanketing it with clouds of acid. Sunlight struggled to reach the surface yet no heat could escape its carbon blanket.

The first Venusians were met with the task of tackling all of these titanic imbalances simultaneously. Networks of orbital shipyards coalesced into Venus' first moon as a fleet of frame carriers scoured the system for water ice. Eventually the other planetary governments grew resentful of Venus' insatiable thirst and began to protest, but the project wasn't abandoned until Jupiter threatened military intervention. Venus had only begun to form a patchwork of lowland seas and meandering deltas, but it was enough to restart the planet's weather and start the process of precipitating the acid from the upper atmosphere.

The last comet to strike Venus marked the beginning of the Rain Era, when the Venusians built their first cloud cities. These early habitats, called “spars,” were built as enormously long space stations that were, essentially, landed on the planet. Not quite chains and not quite towers, they would anchor deep into the planet's crust while their habitable portions remained suspended above the planet's atmosphere. The spars were multipurpose factories which turned the planet's heat into electricity, rarefied useful elements from its dense clouds, and converted atmospheric carbon into nanotube weaves that would eventually connect the second generation of cloud cities the the surface. This new wave of more conventional space elevators were called “tethers” and would eventually allow regular access to the planet.


Her lips moved slightly as she rehearsed her script in front of a swollen crowd of journalists, but for all their flashing photography she was just an average Venusian. Her compact, muscular body was the product of a frame pilot gene pool. Palish, olivish skin spoke to an interracial ancestry generations intermingled. Silky black hair hid flashy, beautiful golden eyes that were an emergent trait in a third of the population. Aleksandia could have been anyone's sister, or niece, but that didn't matter because today she would be the first human to set foot on Venus.

Her frame was a simple, clumsy Trundle expanded to several times its stock dimensions by interlocking layers of chemical seals, vacuum hulls, and pressure locks. In training someone called it a “big stupid cubey-thermos,” which became BSCT, which became “Biscuit.” Now the worlds were watching, so Aleksandia said into her mouthpiece, “Trans-Venus Hazard Frame One- operational!”

Klaxons sounded as the airlock doors opened to a dark world. A dim light pierced the clouds above- Tesla effect lightning that connected the tether to the local spar that powered it. Her cameras adjusted to the gloom and she could make out another dim light below, the synthetic corals and algae she was going to measure for her mission.

She took two waddling steps forward to the edge of of the airlock. She opened her mouth to recite her line, but the third step was a meter lower than the airlock decking and she began to tumble down slope.

The first words ever spoken on the surface of Venus, eternally enshrined on the statue in her honor.

“**** biscuits.”



The first human on Venus begins the Mud Era, but she was not the first life on Venus. Specialized bacteria and algae came first, designed to absorb the acidity that had been taken from the sky and now polluted the waters. They were followed by a host of simple creatures based off of deep sea extremophiles that were meant to leave carbon and sulfur heavy shells behind as mineral deposits in a manner similar to Earth's corals, but that was their only resemblance. Venus' scientists inserted genes for bioluminescence to aid in keeping track of their distribution on the dark surface, and this trait was held over for most of the artificial species that followed.

As Venusian confidence grew they began shaping terraces and water meadows in the upper reaches of Venus' prodigious mountain ranges, while the lowlands accumulated hard beds of coral which would serve as foundations for research outposts in the years to come.


Warden Ek-Zed had the almost pigmentless skin and hair of a typical Venusian. They were not a true albino, as evinced by the trademark bright gold Venusian irises, but in the sunless existence of the cloud cities and the false light of the World Below their body had little use for pigment. E-Z or “Easy” actually bleached their hair regularly to maintain the look that came naturally to many Venusians, but shush, a body's gotta have a secret or two.

The Warden's stark paleness contrasted against the lurid vegetation of Venus. Dazzling bioluminescent pitcher plants the size of houses painted the inside of their cockpit kaleidoscopically. It was a relief when the frame's blast shutter reflexed shut and Easy was left alone with the muted, stable light of their HUD.

A little red dot blinked on the map- poachers. The frame's muscle cylinders were languid and clumsy as they came to life in the overwhelming heat of the surface. Easy almost slithered along the ground in their frame until they made contact with their prey.

Across a small clearing a pod of labor frames harvested plant life while some model of space Chub watched over them. Easy could already see the signs of heat fatigue setting in as the poachers overworked their frames in a rush to steal as much as they could and escape.

They would not escape, Easy knew, as a reservoir of coolant poured through their frame. A sharp pinking noised echoed through the mantoid exoskeleton as its muscle cylinders tightened and quickened with terrible potential.

Almost before even Easy knew it the chub was scissored in two by a molecular carbon forelimb.



The Jungle Era has no definitive moment of beginning or ending, rather, it was a gradual understanding that change had overtaken the planet. It came incrementally, fitfully as Venus' scientists abandoned machines and turned to artificial life to oxygenate the air and purify the water. Several crops of pharmaceutically useful lotuses were the first successes, but these were grown in the highland meadows and were easily controlled with sustainable harvest practices. Life struggled to take root in the deeper, hotter lowlands, but when it did it would overpopulate and choke itself out. Insects were devised to manage the planets, then predatory insects to manage those insects. More complex lifeforms couldn't be adapted to the still hostile surface conditions, so carnivorous plants were created to close the circle. Thus began an endless work to diversify and balance the Venusian biome.

Rumors drew attention from the deserts of Mars and the cold voids of Jupiter, not to mention the insatiable greed-in-abundance that was Earth. A Venus still bitter from the generations-old grudge at having been cut off from the system's water refused to share its secrets, and its society became increasingly closed off as spies and saboteurs attempted to claw their way in.

Eventually outsiders were restricted to small trading cordons on the cloud cities, and the Wardens were established to police the sovereignty of Venus. Wielding frames that were designed to resemble the insects that had become emblematic of Venus itself, these deadly warriors are as prepared to fight in the cold vacuum of space as they are in the hot pressure of the Venusian lowlands.


This is Venus' future.

ANKD (pronounced A-ne-ko-dee) was not a typical Venusian. In the strong light of Sol her honey brown skin and glittering gold eyes gave her the look of a statue come to life. She was the second generation of the melanin reintroduction program. Venus finally achieved Sun-Up, and this new era required a new Venusian if anyone was going to live on the surface.

A spray of water misted her bare legs as she sat on a worn shore rock. Further down the beach a flock of flamingos sieved water for shrimp between the stands of liongrass- long reeds that ended with an iconic flytrap mouth that in fall would become shrouded by a pouf of seeds. ANKD hoped the flock with stay until dusk when their feathers would glow from the enzymes accumulated from their food.

Something was on her shoulder, and from the corner of her eye she could see a mantis chameleon itself to the color of her skin. Not a terribly effective camouflage, but it had nothing to fear from a life-worshiping Venusian. She smirked as it bravely menaced her shooing fingertips.

Her calls-all buzzed, and an aide pushed an info-stream through her cornea-HUD. Just more news about the spiral of violence between Terra and the lives it tried to hold in its grip. Maybe, long ago, there was a time Venus could have saved the galaxy with their wisdom, but now the rest of the Sol system was too overgrown and too dependent on the constant influx of goods to survive. They send their soldiers to die on strange worlds while Venus grows ever stronger; waiting for the day when Terra turns to feed on her, as well.

The flamingos made a strange fluting noise and ANKD giggled, shaken from her dark thoughts. Today would be a good day, a day for life, to balance out the evil days down the road.

The sun-warmed water rippled as she slid in among the reeds.
Last edited by Atavism on Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Twanks LLC - "Always Forward!"
User avatar
Atavism
Mod Team
 
Posts: 1036
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:35 am

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby Aardvark17 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:45 am

:shock:
That was really cool. I don't know how you are able to write like this or create cohesive stories and lore like this, but I love it. If I make any Venusian frames, I'll surely be referring back to this lore ;)
Stupendous job.
User avatar
Aardvark17
Been Around The Block
 
Posts: 344
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:16 pm
Location: I stand with Twankus

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby Blorf » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:48 pm

I don't know why this isn't getting more comments. It's well written and evocative. I enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing.
Now developing the Mobile Frame Zero Commander's Handbook — The official mobile/web app for rules, game aids, and tactical planning.
User avatar
Blorf
Mod Team
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:48 pm
Location: I stand with Twankus

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby Atavism » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:57 pm

Aardvark17 wrote::shock:
That was really cool. I don't know how you are able to write like this or create cohesive stories and lore like this, but I love it. If I make any Venusian frames, I'll surely be referring back to this lore ;)
Stupendous job.


Thank you Aardvark! I'd love to see a few Venusian frames from other builders.


Blorf wrote:I don't know why this isn't getting more comments. It's well written and evocative. I enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing.


Thank you Blorf. I'm glad you liked it!

As for the lack of traffic: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The fanfic area is never that busy, and this was kind of a speed-bump on the way to the frames. I don't really worry about it. (He said as he obsessively tracks the traffic to everthing he's ever posted)
Twanks LLC - "Always Forward!"
User avatar
Atavism
Mod Team
 
Posts: 1036
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:35 am

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby Mantisking » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:01 pm

Blorf wrote:I don't know why this isn't getting more comments. It's well written and evocative. I enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing.

Quoted for truth.
User avatar
Mantisking
Mod Team
 
Posts: 5332
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:17 pm
Location: Framingham, MA, U.S.A.

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby Atavism » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:06 pm

Mantisking wrote:
Blorf wrote:I don't know why this isn't getting more comments. It's well written and evocative. I enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing.

Quoted for truth.


:D

Thank you, too!
Twanks LLC - "Always Forward!"
User avatar
Atavism
Mod Team
 
Posts: 1036
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:35 am

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby VitorFaria » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:08 am

Blorf wrote:I don't know why this isn't getting more comments.


It's so good it leaves us speechless.
"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love." Carl Sagan
User avatar
VitorFaria
Mod Team
 
Posts: 2521
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:21 am
Location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby Atavism » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:45 am

VitorFaria wrote:
Blorf wrote:I don't know why this isn't getting more comments.


It's so good it leaves us speechless.


Yeah, that's the ticket! :D

Thank you Vitor, that made for a nice start to the day.
Twanks LLC - "Always Forward!"
User avatar
Atavism
Mod Team
 
Posts: 1036
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:35 am

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby CmdrRook » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:19 pm

Without sounding like I'm blowing hot air, I'm inclined to agree with Vitor. I read this days ago, and I'm still gobsmacked. It's gonna take a while and another reading or two to fully digest what's going on here. The setting reminds me of Hal Clement's The Nitrogen Fix, one of my all time favorite sci-fi stories and authors, so bonus points, there. I struggled to respond intelligently and meaningfully, but couldn't let you continue in thinking the story hasn't found an appreciative audience.
User avatar
CmdrRook
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:15 pm
Location: Western MA, USA

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby KungFujiApple » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:56 am

I know it's been a little while, but I got a chance to sit down and read this all the way through. And it's really remarkable. There is a lot, A LOT, of depth here
CmdrRook wrote:... It's gonna take a while and another reading or two to fully digest what's going on here...
. I found that to also be true. I've read it several times and keep finding something I've missed. The depth, history, description and slightly darkish humor all make for a very good mix.
CmdrRook wrote:I struggled to respond intelligently and meaningfully, but couldn't let you continue in thinking the story hasn't found an appreciative audience.
I would also have to agree. Very nice indeed :)
- I am also on Flickr
User avatar
KungFujiApple
Grizzled Veteran
 
Posts: 511
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:57 am

Re: A Vision of Venus

Postby Atavism » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:25 pm

CmdrRook wrote:...I struggled to respond intelligently and meaningfully, but couldn't let you continue in thinking the story hasn't found an appreciative audience.


Jeeze. I must have missed this! Hey, thanks for stopping by and letting me know you liked it, sorry for the late reply!

KungFujiApple wrote:I know it's been a little while, but I got a chance to sit down and read this all the way through. And it's really remarkable. There is a lot, A LOT, of depth here
CmdrRook wrote:... It's gonna take a while and another reading or two to fully digest what's going on here...
. I found that to also be true. I've read it several times and keep finding something I've missed. The depth, history, description and slightly darkish humor all make for a very good mix.
CmdrRook wrote:I struggled to respond intelligently and meaningfully, but couldn't let you continue in thinking the story hasn't found an appreciative audience.
I would also have to agree. Very nice indeed :)


Thank you so much KFA!
Twanks LLC - "Always Forward!"
User avatar
Atavism
Mod Team
 
Posts: 1036
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:35 am


Return to Mobile Frame Fan Fiction

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron