Sunday, 7 April 2013
The Mission II
is a planet terrestroid in size, atmosphere, and distance from its Sol-like sun;
has no continents, islands or ice caps;
is globally subtropical because the single planetary ocean is heat-conservative;
is 80% obscured by clouds;
has some large but deserted coral atolls;
is dominated by a species which, in its sessile form, breeds by budding and builds the atolls that trap fish and, in its mobile form, is an intelligent decapod squid with an advanced technological civilization that scatters its machinery over the ocean floor.
(iii) The third stop:
is a terrestroid planet with an entirely industrialized surface and machines controlling small primates that merely carry goods or clean metal;
uses radio only for coded reports between machines and for "'...entertainment, worse than twentieth century commercial television.'" (Mission To The Heart Stars, London, 1980, p. 66);
can be used to produce for the Hegemony rather than for the needs of its machine-controlled inhabitants.
(iii) The fourth stop is a terrestroid planet whose inhabitants, undescribed except for "...frog-like eyes..." (p. 69), live in large stone temples on pylons in the middle of the sea, cruise in dragon's head sailing ships and centre their ceremonialised lives in music based on the sounds of the waves.
(iv) The fifth stop, Ss'pode, is inhabited by an ancient, wealthy green-skinned race of whom only one in every ten thousand needs to work and who compulsorily sterilise all those who do not do any productive work with the consequence that everyone lives permanently masked in an endless Carnival of music, ritual, fads etc.
(v) The destination is Malis which is 10,000 miles in diameter, with 1.67 G's, millions of years older than Earth and part of a massive planetary system. The Hegemon's audience room has a ceiling too high to be seen and machines along the walls. The Hegemon is humanoid but over eight feet tall.