Gaia and the Frozen Girl
Quote of the Day
- Warm Sun! Open Water! Dry Land! Scented Breeze!
- The sea teems with new lifeforms ...
- As the ice melts, they emerge to tell their story!
-- SolSeed Sabbath Ritual for the Conflatorium season
Contemplation for the Day
Gaia is wandering through a dark city park at night. The grass is dark below your feet but dotted with fireflies. The sky is dark but dotted with stars. The park is dark but dotted with globular park lights on posts of different heights.
You follow Gaia as she strolls and jog a little to catch up. When you come along side her and match her walking speed so that you can glide through the park together, you ask, “Gaia, where are we?"
"Little one, no matter where we are, we are always in the universe. " Gaia replies and laughs.
Up ahead you notice a teenage girl standing far enough from a reddish park light that she is barely visible in its dim glow. She is shivering, her bare skin covered in a sheath of ice. As she shivers the ice cracks in places and the sheets of ice ride over one another still staying tight to her body, revealing in the gaps between them, bare, very wet, blue-green skin tattooed with bacteria and protozoan-like cells. But quickly the layer of water refreezes to form a continuous surface again.
She is slowly turning, a flail hanging from her hand squinting into the darkness around her.
A small rock floats out of the darkness within arms reach of her. She grabs it and attaches it to the end of the flail. Then she whips the flail over her shoulder slamming the ice on her back with the rock. The rock is vapourized and turns into a mushroom cloud and a flaming shock ring expands out from the point of contact melting the ice and exposing her wet blue bacteria-tattooed back.
As the fire peters out, you see that her back is covered with scars of various ages. Around the point of impact some of her bacteria tattoos fade away. But even before the ice reforms you see that new tattoos are forming; all still bacteria and protozoans.
As the retinal after image of the mushroom cloud and shock ring pulse in your vision, you ask, “Why did you do that?"
The girl looks at you and notices Gaia for the first time. She blushes and some of the ice melts from her face. She speaks to Gaia, ignoring you, "Gaia, I am honored that you have visited my humble star. What can I do for You?"
Gaia looks surprised, like she is just noticing the frozen girl for the first time. She laughs and replies, “Sorry, my mind was just wandering. There's nothing I need from you, thanks anyway. But, Little One here asked why you did that thing with the flail and the asteroid. You might as well answer her."
The frozen girl glances at you but then speaks sheepishly to Gaia, “I want to be like you Gaia, with your complex diversity of Life. I heard that you gained diversity every time you were hit by an asteroid. I have been using the gravitational attraction of my little planet," she holds up the flail by way of explanation, “to attract asteroids so that I may reap the same benefits."
You blurt out, “How could she even do that? A thin bacterial layer, manipulating the magnitude of its planet's gravity teleologically? Impossible!"
Gaia laughs, “Little one, metaphorium has Quantum-like properties. If you examine it too closely, it breaks down. Maybe you have a better question to ask?"
You rethink about what is the source of uneasiness you have about the frozen girl's actions, "Is it moral to kill trillions of creatures just in the hope of pushing evolution forward faster?"
The frozen girl responds, “What is a moral?"
Gaia laughs again, "Morality is a concept that can only be understood by world mothers who contain higher lifeforms whom themselves understand these concepts. Perhaps you should ask about wisdom."
You reconsider your question, “Alright, is it wise to pound yourself with such destructive forces?"
"Nothing ventured; nothing gained." the frozen girl spots another rock floating by and grabs it, "If I just stay single-celled until this star dies, then I die with it." She loads the rock into the flail.
The response makes you think about Gaia during the Cryogenian, “Was that your attitude, Gaia, during the Gaskiers glaciation?"
Gaia smiles and says, “It would have been, if I had been capable of such complex thinking at the time." She turns and begins to walk toward another distant park light. As you follow her, a bright flash in your peripheral vision tells you that the frozen girl has flailed herself again.