TOP 5 REASONS I’D LIKE TO BE ZENN SCARLETT
- I’d get to live on Mars. Not the Mars of our own likely near-future (ie, living in an over-crowded inflatable dome with no privacy, potentially annoying co-explorers and an “atmosphere” outside that’d kill you before you went ten feet). No, I’d be living on Zenn’s Mars: entire, sprawling canyon systems roofed over with a transparent layer of ionized gas to hold in the air and allow the canyon floors to be mini-terraformed and grow lush crops and support entire villages. Yeah, I could handle that.
- I could interact with and learn about a mind-boggling array of wicked-cool alien life forms, from 80-foot-long whalehounds and swamp sloos big as battleships, to amiable guys like Hamish, the 8-foot-tall sentient beetle-like insectoid who serves as the cloister’s handyman (bug) and Katie, the raccoon-size rikkaset who is Zenn’s companion and who can communicate using sign language.
- I’d have a chance to, someday, travel between the stars on an indra-powered starship. The vacuum dwelling species called indra, or “stonehorses,” are immense, serpentine creatures that have evolved the ability to “tunnel” through the very fabric of space-time. They usually live in huge, iron-nickel asteroids, and they use the mass of the asteroids as particle shields when they tunnel. Now, humans have built starships with an indra-hold that mimics the caverns of an asteroid. So when the indra tunnels, it takes the starship with it.
- I’d be able to learn about the extraordinary diversity of alien cultures spread out among the twelve inhabited planets of the LSA, the Local Systems Accord. Unfortunately, the Earth has more or less cut itself off from all contact with the Accord, and with Mars, due to the earthers’ deep anti-alien sentiments. This has made things pretty tough on Mars, but so far they’ve managed to struggle through it. There are some indications attitudes on Earth are changing, but like Zenn, I won’t be holding my breath that things will get better any time soon.
- I’d be 17 years old again! Hey, I remember pretty clearly what that was like so, yeah, bring it on…