[Newer York] A snowball in hell

A small-fic in response to a challenge prompt of "Winter"

[Newer York] A snowball in hell

I actually have revisions done for part 3 of "The Case of the Kid in the Park", and am working on part 4, among other things I'm working my way through. But to tide you over, here's a true bit of small-fic, in response to a January challenge prompt of "Winter".

Revi’i (TRAPPIST 1e)
25 Av, 33 After Planetfall

Imagine, if you will, that you are a descendant of a community of humans who thought it was a good idea to climb in to a really big tin can, and travel roughly 300 years (subjective time) to find a new life in a new solar system. Most importantly for this exercise, imagine that your ancestors are doing this because they believe the rest of humanity, back on Earth, is doomed to extinction before you reach your destination.

Imagine further that, upon arrival to that new solar system, your more immediate ancestors, the last remaining 25,000 human beings, as far as they know, anywhere in the universe, discovered that the planet Revi’i, upon which they had set all their hopes, boasted an atmosphere with plenty of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide, but too much hydrogen sulfide, and thus could not be inhabited by unprotected human beings.

Stretch your mind further to suppose that your most immediate ancestors picked a fight about landing on that planet anyway. Ultimately, they got what they wanted, but only for the 31 or so of them that were most militant about it, and as a kind of exile. Thirty-one does not a gene pool make, and you’re determined to make this planet you fought for a home, not a prison, so you take up cloning.

Now, lastly, imagine that you are one of the first of those clones, one of the first human beings gestated and born on a planet in 330 years (again, assuming that the human beings back home on Earth all died out).

All grown up, you and a few of your generation-mates are given an important mission. You’ve lived your entire life in Landfall Village, which sits in a twilight temperate zone of your tidally locked planet. Now, it’s time to finally start exploring the planet a bit. So, your little team will climb aboard a specially built long-haul rover, and drive west into the dark side of Revi’i. You’ll go as far as you can, until the heating systems of the rover cannot keep up enough to keep you and your team comfortable. Along the way, you’ll record everything---meaning not just literal 3D recordings and sensor readings but also your every impression and opinion of what you see, like the pioneers of Old Earth first crossing the North American continent. This is a serious, solemn, historic mission. You---one of the last human beings left alive anywhere---will also be one of the first human beings ever to explore, on land, an alien planet, and see the sights with your own eyes.

Driving for several days, you and your friends awake one morning to discover that snow has fallen, to a depth of nearly a half-meter, around your rover. The rover was built for such challenges---continuing the journey will not be an issue, although it will be slower going as the rover slogs through it all. But you have been charged with not just driving through all this land, but experiencing it and recording those experiences.

So, what do you think the first thing you do upon seeing the landscape covered knee-deep in frozen white fluffy crystallized water that you and your ancestors have only ever read about or seen in videos for three hundred and thirty years?

If you are Seth 2 Dor 1, Rina 3 Dor 1, and Josie 1 Dor 1, the individuals charged with this specific mission at this specific time, you carefully suit up, making sure your skin and eyes are thoroughly protected and that protective gear secure against accidental dislodgement. Then, you head outside and dig out a small perimeter around the hatch, and set up a tripod with your video recording equipment.

This done, you and your team trudge out into the snow a bit further, so that the recording devices will have you firmly in their sights and can get a solid record of the proceedings.

And you proceed to have what is, as far as you know, the very first snowball fight anyone has had in centuries.

These are the moments from which history is made.