Freefall 2781 - 2790 (D)
Freefall 2781

What Sam wants

Another thing to consider.
My race has been stuck in the steam age for a long time. We don't share information the way humans do.
But if my people find out there's an entire planet waiting for the first sqid group able to get there to claim it, they ARE going to figure out how to get there.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 2782

What Sam wants

You want us to find a planet and set it aside for your kind?
And a little terraforming to my species specifications would be nice.
Terraforming takes hundreds of years. Longer in your case. We don't know how your ecosystem fits together.
Yes. I expect you'd have to send expeditions to my world.
Given their tech levels, we could keep our operations a secret. Avoid major cities and only operate in outlying areas.
Wonderful. We're going to be the source of all those wild stories about aliens and sqid probing.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 2783

What Sam wants

The smart thing to do would be to take out your planet before squids become a threat.
Sqid. You're pronouncing the U. Sqid, not squid.
As for a threat. Seriously? We're behind you and getting behinder. Life started on your planet hundreds of millions of years before it started on mine. We don't have beetles! None of our insects can fly!
You want to cause mass extinction on my world? You don't need nukes. Drop down some ant colonies.
Sounds like the hardest part of this project will be NOT destroying them on contact.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 2784

What Sam wants

Dvorak, what do you think?
An interesting project. I had not expected Sam to think so long term.
It will be years before we will be able to build the probes. About fifty to a hundred years for the probes to reach the likely candidate stars. If successful, another decade or two for us to get the information.
Then someone will need to petition for Sam's people at the bureau of planetary resource allocation. It's here where we can expect our long delays.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 2785

What Sam wants

Finding and terraforming a planet for you is going to be a huge undertaking.
Sam is aware of that. He has agreed to give up all claims to robotic run time if we help him with this project.
You can always refuse and leave me undirected with an army of helpful robots who want to pay me back.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 2786

What Sam wants

Think of all we can learn duplicating a new ecosystem.
For some of us, that could be our mission. To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly build new planets for them.
These guys are going to blow such a hole in first contact game theory, it's not even funny.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 2787

What Sam wants

Guys! We need to take this slow! Our programs are flexible enough to change. Over time, that could be a problem.
Sam's planet and stop? Fine. But we aren't letting ourselves, an untested von neumann machine, loose on the galaxy.
You are right. I do tend to be overly positive. I'm glad you're here to keep me from charging foolishly on every new idea.
Well, every electronic life form needs someone to keep them grounded.

Color by George Peterson

Qwerty likens fellow robots von Neumann probes (KALDYH)

Freefall 2788

What Sam wants

I see we have come to an agreement. Gentlebeings, thank you and good day.
My friend, we did it. A planet! We stole an entire planet!
Actually, you kind of earned it.
Helix, this is my moment of triumph. Don't go taking the fun out of it.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 2789

What Sam wants

I thought you would spend your bonus closer to home.
Helix, it will take my race at least five hundred years to get into space. More than likely, over a thousand. Imagine where the human race is going to be then.
It's not just the culture and technology. It's the whole Terran ecology. Horses! Cows! Ducks! And I understand there are creatures from earth that are even more terrifying.
Without a planet to tempt them, my race is going to encounter the humans, go home, turn off all the radios and live the rest of their collective lives hoping you don't notice them.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 2790

What Sam wants

Helix, we need to get your memory on record. One day, my race is going to want to learn all about us.
This day will be a holiday. The day the sqid acquired a new planet.
Of course, it does put a lot of pressure on us. After stealing an entire planet, how are we going to top this?

Color by George Peterson

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