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Day 3 – A man on the Moon

The Earth seemed smaller from up there. The Moon, once only a piece of stone, no bigger that 3.474 kilometers, a dusty ball, a mere crumb in the teeth of the Gods, a tenth of the Earth’s surface, was now his home. He was The Lord of the World … The Lord of the Moon. The building that bore the pictogram of the Chinese lunar program, a half circle with two lines crossing it, like two footprints in its midst, was hardly visible from the lunar dust. The regolith gets everywhere, transforming any tiny part of technology in a lunar object.
There, near the North Pole of the Moon, on the margins of the huge ice deposits at the bottom of the Rajdestvenski basin, there was the most complex construction outside the Earth. The only functional spacial construction after the abandoning of the planetary station, MIR. At minus 250 degrees Celsius the crater was turned into a space laboratory. Huge mechanisms that were sorting regolith, extracting hydrogen from the Moon’s dust, were producing the so much coveted energy for a planet hungry for fuel. The two adjacent craters, Hermit and Plaskett were shelters for huge hydrogen processing plants. And all these machines were working now only for him and the 12 humans residing in the lunar complex.

Day Two – Welcome to Gelinglan

Soon they reached the outskirts of the city. “Gelinglan”, said the iDog. “What are you mumbling about”, asked AVE, who dismounted and looked disheartened at the piles of rubble. “This was the capital city of the Chinese Greenland. Gelinglan in mandarine.” What? “As the ice-caps withdrew, the Chinese government bought more and more land in Greenland and it was here that the operations with China began, starting with the membership in the Arctic Council and ending with the erection of the space elevator.” You mean that Greenland was a part of the China? “Yes, answered the iDog unabashed. Greenland. Iceland. And many more. China’s expansion was made as any empire expanded. By buying land from those who wanted money.”

Day Two – Chickenosaurus island

What on earth were eating those creatures? “In 2020 the progress of synthetic biology allowed the re-creation of disappeared species”, said the iDog. “What do you mean by re-creation of species? Something like Jurassic Park?” “Once the genetical information was collected from a fossil it was inserted into an inorganic cell, stimulated by an electrical shock and brought to life. The first successful re-birth was made by the Harvard Medical School, and the first artificial genome of a humanoid, with six billion sequences put together in a single cell, was born.” “Cellular cloning, is this possible at all?” “It is not only possible, it is scientifically sound. And, at the time when feeding a population of 10 billion became more and more problematic, creating bigger food sources was considered to be a valid solution.” “You mean they created bigger birds?” “Different birds”, said the iDog. “The birds share with the dinosaurs their ancestral DNA.” “So all the scientists had to do was to turn a chicken into a T-Rex? These humanoids were eating a chickenosaurus?” “It was an economical decision, in the context of food depletion, the bio-engineering of the XXIst Century lead to the production of the neosaurus. When the ancient traits, inhibited by evolution, were put into the existing species. The scientists decided that, since the humans destroyed the biodiversity of the planet, they can reconstruct it again. Billions of dollars were invested into creating a new source of food” “That was one expensive omelette you created, from huge chickenosaurus eggs!”, laughed AVE. “It was not a chicken, but a dodo bird, which disappeared in the Cenosoic”, answered the iDog, properly. “A carnivorous breed”. OK, I suppose now the problem is how can we get out of this Chickenosaurus island?, AVE changed the topic of the discussion. Without answering, the iDog started transforming its shape. AVE looked amazed at the new form his partner got. “So you’re not only a dog, you’re also a bike? How cool is that!”

Day Two – Who Woke Up the Beasts?!

It was then when AVE saw a group of creatures gathered around a huge silhouette lying on the ground. The humanoid beings, unarmed, were hitting their victim with their fists like monkeys. AVE watched them in silence and realised that the perpetrators were Neanderthals. While chewing on their prey they were hitting left and right, trying to keep their neighbours far from the meat. What shocked him was not the presence of an extinct humanoid group, since he saw the embryos on the hub, but what these ancestral humans were gnawing, the piece of carcass that was teared appart by their bare hands shocked him. It looked like a chicken, but it was large enough to feed a dozen human beings. AVE stopped in awe and his feet slipped on the wet rocks. When the beasts heard the noise on the cave entrance they left behind their prey, the small group of hominids attacked the perpetrator.
Out of the blue the iDog appeared only to save the day one more time.

Day Two – Back on Earth

The hub continued to descend slowly towards the ground and the gravity took over speeding up the vehicle faster that the makeshift pilot could control it. Yet, when the hub crashed, AVE managed to get out of the capsule only to discover a startling view.
“This can’t be the North Pole!”, he said, looking around the desolate ground surrounding him, a vast mountainous area, with crevasses covered in rain water and roamed by thunders. “The info iDog provided must have been wrong”, he thought. “Maybe the platform moved, maybe the poles shifted.” All around him it was like a sub-tropical desert. Where there was supposed to be snow, there was only red dust. Where he expected frost and ice, there was only the dry wind of the North, blowing the yellow particles all over his helmet.
AVE had no idea that the Arctic as he knew it did not exist for a long time, it was an ice free, dry land. He also did not knew that he landed on the Ellesmere Islands, which were mostly covered in water. But the real surprises were still to come, as he moved closer to the cave hole nearby.

Day One – Brothers and sisters

“How come I can breathe at this altitude”, AVE asked loudly, as he monitored the screen indicating their position in the stratosphere, and the computer answered: “Your gene scan shows the traits of DNA mutations prevalent in Tibetan homo sapiens sapiens”. Suddenly, the man was not interested in descending anymore. “What?! Computer, compare my data with Chimera project”. “All data are in the capsule lab of this hub. Please proceed to the laboratory room”. Without hesitating AVE turned around and walked to the back of the hub. When he opened the laboratory door the sight was like nothing he has ever seen. It was like a Pleistocene museum of human holotypes. Huge testing tubes, similar to the one he came out of, were hosting humans, kept in a protein culture of some sort. As he moved by each tube the displays were illuminated one by one: Homo cepranensis… Homo heidelbergensis… Homo rhodesiensis… Denisova hominin… “Computer how is this possible?” “Research in evolutionary biology indicated that, under certain circumstances, human beings continue to evolve. The identification of DNA sequences of prehistoric humans allowed the recreation of hominid lineages of all the human types that disappeared at the end of Pleistocene.” As he watched the sun move behind the Earth, AVE stood silent. This was a long day.

Day One – Embarking on Project “Chimera”

The hub was functional. “Finally, some good news!” AVE pressed the start button and the small capsule came to life, and its displays immediately started pouring information. “Welcome to the Chimera project”. “What on Earth is chimera project?” he asked, but even if there was somebody to answer, his iDog did not have anything to share with him. His companion was outside, hooked with one end to the climber and with the other to this hub. Yet the screen inside the hub did have an answer. “The program started with the Human Fertilisation and Embriology Act. The first experiments began in secret, in 2012, after GenCorp took over some of the most important pharmaceutical companies of the planet. The GenCorp management promised that science will be the source of treating a wide range of diseases, by using stem cells technology.
In 2014 the UN legalized stem cell modifications with human test subjects. This was when the first chimera were resulted from the fertilization of animal eggs with human sperm.” “What is chimera?”, AVE asked completely baffled. “The hybrids resulting from the implantation of a human nucleus in an animal cell. Chimera, any resulting being or characteristic produced from human cells mixed with the embryos of animals.” Can you give me some details on the chimeras?” “Among the variety of chimeras in the primary phase were the hybrid organs, implanted in human beings. The program was successful, except for the blood type O, pH negative subjects”. AVE realized he was an unsuccessful subject and dropped in the revolving chair behind him. It was the mechanic voice of the iDog that shook him up. “The connection is complete. Please start the descending operations”.