Distance: ??.?? light years from Earth | Content Flag: Local Storage
The departure of the newborn Sun Dragons from the Earth encounter left many unanswered questions in their wake. Possibly the most perplexing was the apparent contradiction in the creature’s ability to withstand radiation. It had been wounded by the Mars Voyager’s engines, and nearly stopped beyond Luna orbit by the collection of drives assembled by the world’s space agencies and private concerns. Yet it had wrapped itself around the Sun, seemingly without harm.
As powerful as the nuclear impulse drives were, they were minuscule compared to the Sun’s energy output. Many theories had been suggested to account for the discrepancy, but none had proved conclusive. Now, as the tendril of the Proto-Sun Dragon reaches towards the star, I watch with fascination the creature’s struggle to survive.
In the frozen atmosphere of the rogue planet, the colony had to hunt for the scraps of energy it needed. As it approached the star, it gorged upon the flow of the stellar wind and the powerful magnetic fields. This allowed it to grow at a pace sufficient to counter the pressure of the wind. The closer it moved towards the star, the greater the pressure until eventually it could move forward no farther. It continued to grow, and formed an expanding dense ball.
The dense part scorched and frayed under the constant bombardment until it shattered. The tendril recoiled, having never experienced pain like this. It needed the energy, but now it discovered fear. It probed outward beyond the contact point, seeking a weakness it could exploit. The creature spread in a net-like structure across the pressure wave, and I believe the secret was as simple as that – distance!
Could it really be that simple? It did make some sense. After all, the observations from the Mars Voyager were taken from Earth orbit, so no accurate measurements of how closely the Sun Dragon approached the Sun were taken. The engines would have been fired much nearer to the creature, meaning that it lacked the space to adequately react.
And then, in the Sun Dragons’ unfolding history, something remarkable occurred.
The simple organisms that comprised the larger entity had evolved to sense and collate energy, mostly to feed themselves, but also to share what they collected with other organisms connected in the chain. It was that process which caused them to be overwhelmed when they tried to absorb the flood of energy from the star.
The stalemate between the growth and the stellar pressure continued, until the chains reconfigured themselves. They formed tubes which channelled the excess energy to farther-away portions of the entity. This extra energy spurred further growth, allowing the Proto-Sun Dragon to spread across the star’s atmosphere. Its expansion continued in the same pattern as seen on the Sun. At some stage the growth reached a critical mass, and the colony of organisms split into a pair of new Sun Dragons, cast into deep space by the stellar wind.
Such a development should have taken thousands, if not millions of generations for evolution to have found the solution. Instead it occurred within days. I can’t help but wonder if there was some intelligence at play, but none of the structures within the creature support such a notion.
Marvelling at the detail of this recreation, I wonder how the Visitors knew this information. Was this just a theory of their own? Their data is encoded with a certainty factor, and for what I had been shown it is absolute. Yet how can they be so sure?
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