Hundreds of drones zoomed ahead into the empty field buzzing loudly like bees swarming over a honeycomb. Dr. Verna watched from the window of the mother ship as the drones spread about the surface collecting data.
Just as she was getting ready to leave to the data informatics center, she heard a beep on her machine to indicate an incoming message; she clicked to accept the call and in a split second a three dimensional hologram image of her daughter flickered to life.
“Hi Mom, what’s Earth?” her daughter asked
“What? Where did you hear that?”
“At the Science Fair, I heard some of the older kids talking about something called Earth. What is it?”
“Riley, have I not told you not to listen in on other people’s conversation?”
“I’m sorry, Mom!”
Dr. Verna looked at the virtual image of her daughter and wished she could reach out and touch her.
“Well, Earth was the name of an astronomical planet that was known to harbour life billions of years ago. It was inhibited by a variety of species, a majority of them called Humans. The planet is no longer active.”
“That is a long story for another day, my dear!”
“No! Don’t do that. At least tell me what went wrong?”
“The humans carried something within themselves they called ‘humanity’ which, unfortunately, they were unable to sustain. That is what caused the destruction of their planet.” Dr. Verna explained.
“Oh! That’s too bad!”
“Yes, it is!”
What Dr. Verna did not tell her daughter was that she herself was one of the descendants of the species labelled humans. Or the fact that the place her daughter believes is ‘home’ is in reality a mother seed ship called ‘Transporter’ carrying the seeds of the last known species from Earth. Or that they have travelled light years in interstellar travel in search of a replacement planet that would provide them, at the very least, half the sustainable resources once available on Earth.
“Dr. Verna, the drones are beginning to send in data. You are going to want to see this! We need you at the Informatics Center,” said Dr. Nova.
“Be there in a minute!” she called back.
“Riley, I need you to get back to your class now. I will see you again soon” she said and dashed to the Informatics Center without waiting for a reply.
“Did you take a look at the data?” she asked her chief research associate Dr. Sega.
“Yes, I did! And you definitely want to see this, Dr. Verna!” he replied in an excited tone that Verna heard for the first time since she met Dr. Sega.
“OK, let’s see, what have we here?” she said as she projected the data in front of her.
“Is this for real? Am I reading this right, Seg?”
“Told ya, you wanted to see this!”
“According to this the atmospheric gaseous composition here comprises of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% of Argon along with traces of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides? And we had earlier noted a Standard Gravity of 9.8 m/s2 you say?” Dr. Verna asked with rising anticipation.
“Drone CP2 send this in just a moment ago, here, take a look at this,” he said as he swiped the screen to load the latest information.
“Hydrogen ions linked to hydroxyl ions? This…this means…”
“We found Water, Verna! We found Water!”
“Water! Yes, the building block of life! Seg, do you what this means? This means we found our Goldilocks planet! The planet where everything is just right for life to exist. Everything – water, atmosphere, gravity! This means, someday, our grandchildren will be able to walk on surface just like our ancestors on Earth did!” she exclaimed
“Welcome to our new home, Dr. Verna! Welcome to Kepler X2,” Dr. Sega replied!