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Visiting Edenor

Posted on Tue May 26th, 2020 @ 3:01am by Lieutenant JG T'Pruk & Lieutenant Shri Thais

Mission: Mission 7 - Aenerth for an Earth
Location: Edenor - agricultural center of Aenerth
Timeline: 2296/02/21 - 1100

Shri and T'Pruk walked the remaining way to the transporter in silence. When they arrived at the transporter station, T'Pruk merely said, "We are the Federation team that you were expecting."

"Very good," the transporter operator responded. "I have your coordinates locked in. Virgil Homer will meet you on the other side. Any questions?"

"No, no questions from my end. Thank you." Shri looked to T'Pruk to see if there were any questions there.

T'Pruk shook her head gently and then stepped onto the transporter PADD.

The transporter hummed and in an instant, T'Pruk and Shri found themselves on another transporter pad that was nearly surrounded by large fields. For as far as the eye could see, some type of amber grain was waving in the wind. Before them was an oxymoron. It was a man dressed in a fine tailored grey business suit. However, hanging out of his mouth was some sort of reed that he was chewing upon or widdling between his teeth. He greeted them, "Welcome! Such a fine day for you to visit Edenor. We don't much get visitors out here, so just tell me how it is that I can help you and I will be glad to oblige. By the way, my name is Virgil. Virgil Homer. I would be pleased to meet you, my friends. And you are...?"

Shri couldn't help but smirk at the look of the man. "Lieutenant Shri Thais, pleasure to meet you Virgil."

"Lieutenant T'Pruk," the Vulcan responded, giving the traditional Vulcan greeting of spreading the middle and ring fingers apart. "Live long and prosper."

Virgil asked, "Do you prefer the formal titles or are first names fine enough for you, folks? I must admit that I do not know the protocol or what is comfortable."

"I don't mind being called Shri. But I'm not sure about T'Pruk here."

"Calling me Shri would be inappropriate," T'Pruk told Shri, raising an eyebrow. "I may be called T'Pruk, if it pleases you, Mr. Homer."

"Virgil, please, T'Pruk."

"As you wish," T'Pruk replied unemotionally.

"So, Shri and T'Pruk, you came all this way to see our farming, is that right? Well, what can I show you fine folks?" Virgil asked.

Sometimes wishing T'Pruk showed even a small bit of emotion, Shri turned back to Virgil. "Honestly, to start with, anything at all."

Virgil answered, "Most people don't think there's nothing special about agriculture, but of course, without it, how would our people eat. Mark my word, were there ever some sort of plague, people would be blaming us for why we did not figure it out beforehand and why people would starve. But otherwise, we go unnoticed. So, it is a right pleasure that you folks took an interest in our operations."

"Can't go without it, but it is always brushed to the side." Shri acknowledged.

After some time Virgil pointed out to the fields, "Now see them thar fields? That is of the most resistant strains of fiber to pests of a macrobiotic and microbiotic fashion. That way, we are certain that all of our food is hygienic and safe for our population to eat. 'Course, it does tend to be a mite deadly to wildlife but they learn quick to stay away."

"The wildlife? Its deadly to them?"

"'Course! Can't have insects or other pests harmin' the color or texture of the food, now can we? And their kin generally figure it out. Survival of the fittest, don'tcha know?"

T'Pruk raised an eyebrow at Shri.

"Same type of things happen on Earth too, but that was a long time ago. I don't really know if anyone farms the old way anymore."

"What way would be the old way?" Virgil asked curiously.

Shri nodded around them, "Farming like this. Depending on where you are, machines do a lot of it. At least from what I've seen, but I'm sure there are others who still do it all by hand."

"It must be at least two centuries since anyone has farmed by hand," Virgil replied sagely, widdling the reed between his teeth again. "You're talking about old things like crop rotation and resting land, right?"

"I am. I'm sure some families still do it, but many. Earth doesn't run like it used to. And the only reason I know anything about any of that is because I studied it." She tucked her hair behind one ear, "I'm not one who was born there, though my father was."

Virgil looked curiously at Shri. His eyes then slid over at T'Pruk and then back to Shri. "You're not sisters? I would have thought that you both came from the same place. How does your Earth run? Pardon me if I am asking too many questions. I fear that my curiosity gets the better of me sometimes."

Shri smiled, "No, it is okay. Half of my heritage comes from where T'Pruk comes from. On my mother's side. A planet called Vulcan. The other is from my father, on Earth. So I'm half Human and half Vulcan." She looked to T'Pruk. "This one is full Vulcan."

"One?" asked T'Pruk curious as to the gender neutral reference to herself.

Giving a small shrug, Shri was in an interesting mood, talking about all this old Earth stuff. "Sorry."

The farmer replied, "Interesting. So, a hybrid, then? Normally hybrids are more resistant. I wonder if the same is true of sentient beings."

T'Pruk raised an eyebrow and then turned slightly away from Virgil and Shri.

Putting up a hand towards Virgil, "Give me a second." Shri then went over to T'Pruk. "Hey, you okay?"

T'Pruk kept her impassive face and replied, "Of course. Why do you ask?"

"You turned away with us talking over there. What is it?"

"I do not believe that you are any more resistant as a hybrid. To make an analogy of a plant to sentient beings is somewhat...disturbing."

"To each their own, T'Pruk. Sometimes an analogy works for one person but not another." Shri gave a small smile. "Come on, let's not keep him waiting."

"Indeed. I am certain that he will have many more colorful allegories."

Shri shrugged slightly and went back over with T'Pruk. "Sorry, had to have a little chat. Shall we continue?"

Virgil nodded, "Indeed. Tell me what you would like to see. Not often I get many visitors here, so I must admit that I'm a mite bit at a loss."

"Honestly? Anything you can tell us would be great. Whatever it is that you'd like to share."

"You honor me with your generosity. Very well, I have shown you some of our agriculture here. It is much the same, everywhere. We have hyrdoponics to save the soil. Shall we go to the greenhouse?"

Shri smiled, "I'm up for checking out the greenhouse if that's what is next on the tour."

T'Pruk simply nodded as Virgil smiled and said, "Very well. Let's go to the transporter here and I will have us beamed over." T'Pruk complied.

Following along quietly, Shri wondered why they needed a transporter to get to the greenhouses. But, she didn't question.

Once they were on the PADD, the energy collected around them and in the next second, they all found themselves in a large area that had plants everywhere. There were some apparent structure, as T'Pruk recognized the signs of transparent aluminum and glass. "This stretches for a mile in each direction," Virgil told them proudly. "We have many more of these going over several square miles. They save on the depletion of the minerals in the soil. This particular greenhouse has a great deal of hydroponics. It also is where we experiment with making our plants and food stuffs more resistant to pest and disease. Usually this is done with cross breeding." He looked meaningfully at T'Pruk.

"Multiple greenhouses each at least a mile? But cross breeding, sounds like what most farmers and such would do. Those scientists who work in hydroponics as well." Shri looked around at the different plants and food stuffs, "What all have you managed to cross breed?"

"What haven't we?" Virgil asked excitedly. "It is only a matter of proper encouragement to get the right mixture to create a superior plant."

Glancing to T'Pruk for a moment, then back to Virgil. "How about the oddest combination that you didn't think would work?"

"Hmmmm," Virgil replied thoughtfully, "Well, I'll tell ya, there was that one tropical plant, we had, a marza that we were able to combine with a tundra plant, called a laurin. Made for a much sturdier plant and helped give more diversity for environment for the marza fruit to be grown in. I could show it to you, if you would like."

"Wait, a tropical and tundra plant? That I am interested in seeing."

Virgil grinned and started chattering like an excited schoolgirl. "It is one of the heights of our achievements. In fact, I had quite a lot to do with it. Took two years of hard work and planning. Just the right environment had to be found. Because the laurin was more resistant, we had to find a way for the fruit of the mazra to grow in a much colder environment and much less light. Ultimately we found that allowing the fruit to grow as a root would have more success as the ground has more heat and is a more constant heat source." Virgil led them to a door that led to the outside. "We need to go into a cellar for you to witness this."

Shri looked to T'Pruk. "Feel like joining?"

"I believe that was the Captain's instructions, was it not?" T'Pruk countered.

"You can have input too, T'Pruk, because if you don't want to see it, we can find something else to go look at."

"I have no objection. Feelings are irrelevant to Vulcans, as you should know."

"Just checking." Shri looked back to Virgil, "Lead the way!"

T'Pruk shook her head at Shri, considering that she definitely had spent much too much time amongst humans.

Virgil opened the door to the cellar and led the two visitors down. As he did, lights turned on throughout the cellar. "Follow me," he told the two. He lead them through the cellar. Plants surrounded them but a number shrank from the light. At the end of the hall were a great deal of one plant. The leaves were tough and in the dirt were some yellow bulbus objects. "Here it is! My personal pride and joy."

Shri followed and then walked over to the plant. Her eyes looked around the room as she did, as there were things here she'd never seen. "What are those yellow things? The leave are definitely tougher than I've seen on almost any plant."

"That," Virgil stated proudly, "is the mazra fruit. We essentially turned it into more of a root so that the fruit could grow in a warmer environment. True, it takes longer to ripen than that of the pure plant but the fruit is just as sweet and tasty. The leaves are tougher because they have to whether the weather, if you get my drift." He laughed at his own humor.

Unable to contain a small eye roll, Shri gently ran a finger along one of the leaves. "How long would the fruit take to ripen normally versus what it does here?"

The leaves were rough on the undersides but glossy on the top. They seemed to be built to deter creatures that might eat it while being optimized for gathering light and photosynthesis on the top. "The mazra fruit take about 3 months to ripen in their natural environment. Here, it is about six." Virgil seemed extremely pleased at Shri's interest.

Raising an eyebrow at Virgil, Shri shrugged, "Never got into studying plants, but that doesn't meant I'm not enjoying all this. I'm a stars girl myself." She looked to T'Pruk, "Any interest in the plants?"

T'Pruk responded, "I find the plant to be quite unique, though I question the need for adapting them in such a fashion."

Virgil immediately took offense. "Because we should be able to adapt anything to the environment we choose. In a catastrophic disaster we might need those skills to survive."

"While that is a laudible goal, Virgil, I calculate the odds of such a described disaster as being 0.0000001235%."

Looking at Shri, he asked while nodding his head over at T'Pruk, "Is she an android? I can't abide by artificial intelligence."

"No just...full Vulcan. They are trained to not show their emotions or let them control their lives. Which, makes them highly intelligent and good at things like that." Shri shrugged, "I'm half and did some of that training for a while when I was younger. I'm not quite that good at the math though."

"Such a shame that such a mind cannot be combined with emotions. I would imagine such a being would be a force to be reckoned with," Virgil told Shri.

Shri nodded, "It is how they are raised. I tried to stick to those cultures but I never fit in. I got my hair from my father, so I stuck out."

"I see," Virgil responded more out of politeness than of understanding. "Well, I am certainly curious about Vulcan culture. Perhaps you can tell me more as we continue the tour."

"We can walk and talk then I suppose."

T'Pruk nodded, hoping that this investigation would end shortly.

 

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