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May 23 , 2011

Alien Fruit


That first year was almost the end of us. Half of us took ill, many died of disease others from their weakened condition. Many of us died of exhaustion, some from suicide and some from eating native plants. The dead included many of our best and brightest. The dream of bountiful harvests, full bellies and interstellar trade died that first terrible year.
What happened to us on Newark will go down in the history of human migration as a cautionary tale. The survey parties who first explored the planet, mapped its land masses and its seas, tested its atmosphere and its soil and declared it fertile and fit for habitation. Funds were raised and colonists recruited. The Argus was launched on its twelve year journey at near light speed across the great void of interstellar space. All that science fiction about warp drive and faster than light travel hasn’t quite happened yet. The same for putting humans in suspended animation for the years it takes to travel between the stars. That too remains a dream. The reality was three hundred and seventy passengers and crew jammed together in a small space for twelve long years. Thanks to discipline and training we all arrived. We have the Captain and a fine crew to thank for that. What no one expected was for the seed stock to get irradiated and everyone to wind up sterile. It was written off as bad planning and future colonists will learn from our mistakes but here we are, ten light years from home with no hope of rescue. We were lucky to have survived at all.

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