Defender's "Hidden Perfection"
Chapter 24 - The End Of The Beginning,
Copyrightę 1992-2006 By:
Larry K. Hockman, "All RIGHTS RESERVED"
The End Of The Beginning
Abe and Babe's unique wedding took place over three hundred years ago! Their anniversary is revered as a national holiday here on Hydrocryst, and just cause for a yearly celebration. Within their first five years of marriage, they discovered the astounding fact that no living thing originally from Earth ages inside the crystal canopy! All of the animals and plants brought on the New Hope (as well as the people) still thrive and look exactly as they did when they arrived, . . all the way down to three-hundred-year-old lobsters, bullfrogs, butterflies and roses! Offspring from the original travellers live and die normally, aside from those consumed as food. The originals are pampered by everyone here, and they have become loving pets, enjoying the freedom to roam the community at will. We now have abundant wildlife in every region of Hydrocryst. The first ten sets of all offspring were released to the wild, and nature was allowed to flourish at her own rate. All of the various introduced forms of fauna found some area of the interior ideally suited to their particular needs. Somehow, we have been blessed with a perfectly balanced food chain.
Through Abe and Babe's continued genetic research, many new species have been engineered, or have evolved or mutated from the paired animals from the New Hope. We have several in a few categories. We all enjoy watching bobfoxes, which are tawny, tree-climbing, bob-tailed foxes and also the bark-loving reavers that resemble a large rabbit, but sport a flat, furry white tail and love the water. They have aided the normal beavers in constructing several beneficial lakes in the dry regions. We also have developed a few rare (and protected) Angora mountain pigs that prefer to live in the humid, rainy crystal mountain sector deep in the interior. Their long, shaggy white hair is excellent insulation from the searing heat while effectively shedding the constantly condensing rain. Rainbow bass and the funny-looking, whiskered catsalmon complement the two major rivers. The spunky catsalmon migrate with their cousins from Salt River up to the shallow headwaters of Fresh River every year to spawn. They do not die after mating season like their unfortunate cousins; therefore, we utilize them more as a food source to guard against overpopulation. The resident eagles and bobcats gather annually without hostilities to share in the spawning feast while the tiny hummingfalcons buzz around and sing to distract the cats, so their mates can swoop in and steal tidbits from their catch! Abe and Babe were responsible for adding the lyrics of the mockingbird in the genetic crossbreed. They adapted the soothing notes quite effectively to their scavenging technique. Only the males carry the trait. The bobcats hate the miniature scavengers, but they are much too quick for them to catch. They provide a hilarious nature show while the diving, duckbilled waterquail wait patiently downstream for orphaned salmon eggs rolling with the current to the safety of deep water.
One of our strangest species is the odd, pearl lobsterfrog. It is a shelled, amphibious frog which leaps into the air to catch Mayflies and butterflies with its front pincers, inherited from the lobster! It emits a loud, clicking sound and also uses the pincers to remove the scaly butterfly wings, which it evidently finds distasteful and discards. Small bits of quartz that become lodged under its shell from the rather rough landings are eventually coated with a hard, pearly substance to smooth out the jagged edges. They exhibit their own special luster and sport varied hues relative to the color of the original quartz "seed". Over the years, frog pearls have become very fashionable in our society and have escalated to "gem" status.
The mystery cocoons in the unlabled jar produced what we call "firemoths". As near as we can tell, they are the gene-spliced offspring of Earth's firefly and the luna moth. They were probably developed by Rex and Marsha Morgan. The insects look like the large green moth, but the abdomen intermittently glows blue in the males and red in the females. They are totally nocturnal creatures which prefer to fly over water only, most likely to avoid predators such as the pearl lobsterfrogs. During the short mating season, all of our citizens congregate to witness the dazzling red and blue spectacle over the river. A special observation bridge was erected especially for that purpose. The darting lights create a dancing optical illusion when the moths secure a mate, making them hard for the eyes to focus on.
Hydrocrystians enjoy many forms of recreation. We play many games, . . both mental and physical. We hunt (for food only), fish, explore, hike, ride ponies, make love (between mates only), create music, dance, art and partake in numerous other stimulating and pleasurable activities. Water-sports are a favorite pastime among our people. We devote special time to the continued advancement of our scientific heritage. Every individual makes an important contribution in their specialized field of science promoting the growth of overall understanding and wisdom.
There is no crime on Hydrocryst or the need for money. There is plenty here for all of our citizens, one only needs to look or ask for what they desire. Everyone lives and produces for the combined sake of all.
Food is not a major concern on Hydrocryst. We enjoy well over one hundred varieties of native, edible fruits and vegetables aside from the ones introduced from Earth which now grow wild as well. One would not starve anywhere on Hydrocryst!
The deserted New Hope was honorably removed from its historic orbit two hundred-eighty years ago. It was dismantled, moved to the plains region, and reassembled (minus a few pipes necessary for our waste disposal needs) as a scientific outpost for research purposes. Before we brought her home, we mapped the surrounding universe as far into space as our current technology could reach, but we discovered no reason to ever leave the comfort and security of Hydrocryst. All of her systems are operational (including the growth chambers) except for the shields and life-support. We will restore them, also, should the need arise. If our growing technology allows, we may utilize the chambers
again, . . someday. We are content with our population at present.
The most frightening moment on Hydrocryst occurred one hundred-fifty years ago. A huge, heavily armed alien spacecraft landed on the saltwater surface on the back side of Hydrocryst! Finding nothing of reasonable value in the saltwater and thin atmosphere, it left without discovering the plush environment within. As a result, a great quartz wall was constructed behind Rainbow Falls to shield the secret interior from hostile alien eyes. The massive wall required almost seven years to complete, but greatly diminishes the visibility of Rainbow Falls from space. Only two doors were incorporated into the design. They are located at the mouths of Fresh River and Salt River and are controlled from the inside solely by the majority vote of the Circle Of Intellect. We did not lock ourselves in, . . We merely locked out hostile invaders. For practical purposes, our superficial appearance from space is one of no apparent value. Thus, we live in peaceful harmony as an integrated part of our environment, instead of a destructive intrusion to it. We enjoy our world the way it is.
Hydrocrystians have recorded only two deaths in over three hundred years of history! Seventy years ago, an amorous couple was swimming during a normal eclipse beneath romantic red and blue lights of the firemoths near the mouth of Fresh River. Nobody knows for sure exactly what transpired. Somehow, in the dim light, they apparently ventured too close to the great quartz door, and the strong current swept them under! We do not know if they drowned, were beaten to death by the falls, or if they died from exposure and radiation. A grueling search was launched, but their bodies were never recovered, . . only their shoes and clothes from the quartz jetty. Their untimely disappearance remains a mystery and has almost become a legend of speculation.
The tragedy threw our society into a paralyzing state of shock! Everyone mourned the loss for months. When all hope was abandoned, their empty home was converted into a sacred shrine with beautiful botanical gardens planted around the perimeter. Our people visit often for personal reflection and worship. As a reminder and safeguard to the rest of our citizens, thick metal bars were installed the full width of each river.
For the sake of posterity, my dear friends, Abe and Babe, have asked my mate and me to record the history of Hydrocryst and its discovery. I, and my mate, Tina, were called the "Odd Couple" for a short time. We have spent countless hours listening to Abe and Babe recount the tales of how things happened prior to our "birth". We, the citizens of Hydrocryst, all owe our very existence to that special, courageous young couple. We just hope that our compiled account of their amazing lives does them justice. After much thought and consideration, we decided to start the journal in the following fashion;
BLAST OFF! The project was officially under way, . .
Author's Note: Feel free to copy/paste the text contained herein to build your personal copy of "Hidden Perfection". However, as this is COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL by ME, the ORIGINAL AUTHOR, please DO NOT copy for UNAUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION in any form or fashion. "ALL RIGHTS RETAINED & RESERVED" by Larry K. Hockman! Please don't hesitate to E-Mail me for permission to use my works in the classroom, etc. ThanX for Visitin'! I hope you enjoyed the story and pass it on to your friends. LKH
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