Nine Months – Amazonia
Disclaimer: Star Trek Voyager and all who sail in her belong to Paramount/Viacom and no infringement of copyright/trade marks is intended.
Notes: The first evidence of wine production was in the Mesopotamian culture, around 6000 bc.
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Revision History: 01/11/06
Summary: The Artemis arrives at Sector 06, Beta Quadrant, 5643 light years from Earth.
Chapter 45 - Stardate: 53711.57 (September 17, 2376 10:30 am)
It had been almost nine months since Voyager had disappeared though the wormhole and sent back the message that they had arrived safely in the Alpha Quadrant. For most of that time, they had traveled at warp 7 though the Delta Quadrant, waiting until the Ilanar informed them that their terraforming was complete. Children were born, including Miral Torres-Hansen, on July 28, 2376 and Sharon Allen-Young, on July 25, 2376, and classes were held, as they attempted to make good use of the time by training everyone in their future fields.
Finally the message arrived, and they were directed to a location a few light years away where a wormhole had been formed. They sent a probe though, and as soon as they ascertained that the other side was clear they bid the Delta Quadrant adieu and entered the wormhole.
The Artemis exited in the Beta Quadrant, Sector 06, and 5 light years from the planet they had decided to name Amazonia. Their closest galactic neighbor of renown was the Crab Nebula 850 light years away. In fact, if a ship were to travel in a straight line from Earth to the Crab Nebula, it would pass within 15 light years of Amazonia'a star.
If the star had been visible from Earth, it would be in the constellation Taurus. The next number available in the Tauri series was 201, so they named the star 201 Tauri.
"Thanks Karen, I appreciate you keeping Miral," B'Elanna thanked the dark eyed blonde as she picked up the infant carrier holding her fast asleep 7 week old daughter.
"It's no problem, especially after all the times you and Seven have looked after Heather." Karen smilingly answered. "So how much longer?" she asked with restrained excitement.
"Until we can see the planet?" B'Elanna asked. At Karen's nod she did the math in her head, "Three more hours and we should be in orbit."
"Finally," Karen breathed, "I'm getting tired of being on this ship when I know there's a planet just waiting for us."
B'Elanna chuckled, she knew what Karen meant. It had been hard to patiently wait while the Ilanar worked. It would have been one thing if they could have watched, but the Ilanar laws strictly forbid that, so they had to stay away while the terraforming was being completed.
"Well I'd better get going, she'll wake soon and be hungry," B'Elanna said, gently picking up the carrier.
"You will need me to watch her later?" Karen verified.
"As soon as she's fed and goes back to sleep, yes. I need to be in Engineering, and Seven needs to be on the Bridge," B'Elanna replied, "But it should only be for two hours, as soon as we are in orbit I can pick her up."
Karen grinned, "You'll have to find us. I plan on finding a free spot in one on the observation lounges."
B'Elanna grinned, "Ok see you in an hour or so."
Seven was already in their quarters when she entered, "How are the scan going?" she asked after kissing the blonde. She watched as Seven gently picked up Miral and cradled her against her chest as she waited for their daughter to wake up. She hoped one of their daughters was as fair as Seven, but knew that the genetics were against it. Miral was lighter skinned than she, and had slightly less prominent forehead ridges, more like how the half-Klingon had been before the genetic engineering. The infant had a cap of thick dark brown hair, almost the same color as hers. Where they differed was in the eyes, B'Elanna had dark brown ones, Miral hazel.
"Initial scans indicate no signs of any other ships, and no signs of any other habitable planets in this area of space. They confirm our original information; the other planets in 201 Tauri's solar system are rich in the various metallics needed for advanced construction such as starships, and dilithium." Seven informed her somewhat absently as her attention was focused more on their daughter who was showing signs of waking up.
"So a nice quiet neighborhood, as Elizabeth would say," B'Elanna commented, watching as Seven pulled open the closure of her top and bared one breast so she could feed Miral. There was just something about watching Seven nurse Miral that she liked. Her daughter was definitely not a fussy or delicate eater; no she grunted and suckled at Seven's breast quite eagerly, while B'Elanna gazed at them amused. Quite often Miral would even fall asleep while nursing, mouth still firmly latched onto her mother's nipple.
"Yes," Seven finally answered her, as Miral settled into breastfeeding. She looked up at B'Elanna, a slight frown upon her face, "The initial sensor readings of the planet, however, differ from some of the data given to us by the Ilanar ten months ago."
"How?" asked B'Elanna, straightening up and focusing more on Seven and less on her daughter.
"The planet slightly more distant from 201 Tauri, instead of 146.6 million kilometers, it is actually 157.07 million kilometers," Seven informed her.
While not a lot in planetary terms that was still a significant difference. Hesitantly B'Elanna theorized, "Do you think they might have shifted the orbit? That would give it a longer year and a lower average temperature, making more Earth like." She had no idea how the Ilanar would manage something like that, but the Federation had heard of civilizations that could move entire star systems, so why not planets.
"That thought had occurred to me as well," Seven admitted. "From that data the year would now be 392.7 days instead of 306.5 days, slightly longer than Earths. We will not know what the average planetary temperature is until we get more accurate atmospheric readings, but it should be less than the 21 degrees Celsius we were anticipating. The planet might be considerably closer to Earth's average of 15 degrees Celsius."
B'Elanna nodded, "So instead of most of the planet being uncomfortably warm it might be mainly habitable now."
Seven nodded, "Could you hold Miral while I clean up," she asked.
"Sure," B'Elanna hadn't even noticed her daughter was done, but now she grabbed a cloth from the stack they kept on the coffee table and placed it over her shoulder. She had learned early on, even before Miral, that babies were messy, and forgetting to use a cloth was a certain invitation to be spit up upon.
Seven cleaned herself and fastened her clothing, standing she came over and snuggled against B'Elanna. The half-Klingon knew she was unhappy with the situation, but it couldn't be helped. "It will just be a few more days Seven, then our presence won't be so critical, and we can spend more time with Miral."
"I understand, but I am not pleased by it," Seven stated stubbornly.
"I love you," B'Elanna said, gently kissing her wife.
"And I love you as well," Seven reached up and kissed her and then placed a kiss on Miral's back. "I must return to the Astrometrics lab and begin analyzing the data, Elizabeth will want a briefing on the planet and possible sites for settlement shortly after we enter orbit."
"Ok, I'll take her to Karen in a bit, and I'll see you in a few hours." B'Elanna watched as Seven exited the room. She had about fifteen more minutes before she needed to return Miral to Karen and head to Engineering. Time enough to play some with her daughter, she lowered Miral from her shoulder into her arms, lowered her face and gently nuzzled her daughter's belly and then smiled at her. "Oh, such a pretty smile," she told her daughter when Miral gurgled happily and smiled back at her.
Three hours later.
They were in orbit, Amazonia spun lazily below them, a blue and green colored globe with wisps of white cloud cover. As soon as Seven had compiled her data, Elizabeth called for an open presentation of it in the meeting hall.
Seven began her briefing, a picture of Amazonia's solar system on the wall behind her, "201 Tauri is, as we were expecting, a G2 class star similar to Earth's sun, with a surface temperature of 5850 Kelvin, 130 Kelvin hotter than Earth's sun. The Ilanar have confirmed that they shifted the orbit of Amazonia, moving it further away from the sun. As a result Amazonia's year is now 392.7 days long, and the average temperature 18 degrees Celsius."
She paused, switching the image and bringing up a picture of the planet, "The Ilanar modified the planets atmosphere, the composition of gasses present is now identical to Earth's. The Ilanar also increased the total water mass of the planet by 3 percent, resulting in water coverage of 75 of the planet's surface. While this has decreased the total land area, the increased rainfall and terraforming changes have resulted in a net 20 increase in highly desirable inhabitable land. The axis of the planet has also been changed, from 24.3 degrees to 22 degrees."
"I have projected how the axis change will affect the climate," the image shifted, the planet began to spin, "The axis shift should result in a longer summer period, approximately 169 days, and a shorter winter period of approximately 92 days in the temperate latitudes."
"The largest continent is in the North Temperate Zone," the picture changed and zoomed in on one land mass. "Governor Janeway requested I find an area for the first exploration site closest to the climate and geography of northern California on Earth. The west coast of this continent meets those requirements."
Seven left the podium and went to sit with B'Elanna who was holding a sleeping Miral.
Elizabeth stood, "The Ilanar say they will need two weeks to build the core of the settlement for us once we choose a settlement site. They sent over several different building designs, we've already sent back our choices. They will be building a medical facility, to include a fertility clinic, a centralized community building that includes kitchen and meeting areas, a power plant, water purification and sewage facility, a building to house the plant and animal stocks they have engineered for us, and basic shelters for every family. After that it will be up to us."
Chapter 46 - Stardate: 53714.19 (September 18, 2376 9:30 am)
They had transported down to a site midway along the western coast of the continent Seven had chosen, just a half mile inland from the ocean. Bio scans had detected no large animals on the continent, there were a few present in the planets oceans, but they were plankton eaters, similar to earth's whales. There were no significant bio hazards, no dangerous toxins, plants, bacteria or viruses.
The first thing B'Elanna noticed were the colors, the intense blue of the sky and the deep, deep, green of the calf high grass. To the west was the ocean, due north were craggy looking short hills which increased in height the further north east you went until they became the forested slopes of a mountain range. South east were more hills and a large inland forest, and due south was more open area dotted here and there with tall trees.
"Look at this grass, the last time I saw grass this green was in Ireland." Morgan Smith commented. A former vintner she had been included in the first group down because of her agricultural expertise. "It might mean that this area has mild weather and frequent light rain." She bent down and pulled up a clump of grass examining the roots.
B'Elanna started at her curiously wondering why she wasn't using her tricorder.
Morgan reached down and grabbed up a handful of the soil she had exposed, it was a very dark reddish brown in color.
Seven walked over to her and began scanning it, only to stop and stare as the brunette woman lifted the soil to her nose and inhaled deeply. "Volcanic and silt soil I think, just like in Oregon, lots of organic matter, and a little bit of clay," she said after pinching a bit of the soil together and then crumbling it while observing it closely. "No wonder every thing's so green and healthy. And perfect for growing grapes," she commented looking off in the direction of the mountains with a speculative gaze.
"It contains high amounts of decayed basalt, decayed organic matter, sedimentary soil, clay, and trace amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, magnesium and calcium, in decreasing order." Seven raised her brow at Morgan, "Intriguing, you were able to accurately tell the composition of the soil by appearance and smell."
"Ah, just twenty five years of working with it, I traveled a lot on Earth and got to see several different types of soil. This looks a lot like the soil you would find in Oregon or Washington, if it's all like this we won't have any problems growing whatever crops we want." Morgan commented.
Elizabeth walked over and stared at the soil Morgan was holding.
Morgan grinned, "Volcanic and silt, just like the Oregon coast."
"Really," drawled Elizabeth looking over towards the hills to the northeast.
"If it's like this over that way, give me three years and I'll be bottling our first wines." Morgan promised her.
Elizabeth grinned, "Lets go take a look why don't we."
B'Elanna laughed, Elizabeth, Morgan and a few others had been talking about wines and types of grape vines ever since they had learned that the Ilanar had included them among the plant stocks they were developing for the colonists.
"Seven and I will continue mapping out this area while you to go snort some more soil," she teased them.
Elizabeth and Morgan just laughed in reply and called for a transport.
"Seven, lets go that way," she pointed to the northwest where a craggy hill overlooked a beach of black rocks and white sand.
Chapter 47 - Stardate: 563 (August 4, 2379 6:23 pm)
If it weren't for the fact that it would wake Seven and Miral, B'Elanna would have laughed at herself. She felt absurdly pleased with herself whenever she looked at Seven's purple stained feet and calves. It had certainly taken Miral and she some concerted pleading to get Seven to finally agree to join them in the large vat of grapes they were juicing with their own feet.
Seven had labeled the practice unsanitary and inefficient, and B'Elanna had not disagree with her, only pointing out that Morgan would be filtering the juice before it went anywhere and that this was a celebration of the first usable fruits of the colonies vineyards. So they were crushing a small portion of the grapes in the same manner as when wine had first been made by the Mesopotamians over 8300 years ago.
B'Elanna looked through the floor to ceiling glass windows toward the ocean, their house had been built by the two of them on that craggy hillside they had explored three years ago. Built of the native black basalt rock and white colored modern concrete, it both blended, and contrasted, with its surroundings. The house was basically a two story A frame with angled wings on both sides.
The master bedroom, where they currently were, was on the top floor in the right wing of the house. The side of the room adjoining the deck was windowed from floor to ceiling, and had an excellent view of the ocean when the heavy curtains were not drawn. Currently B'Elanna was the only one appreciating the view. Seven was sleeping snuggled up against her right side while Miral was sleeping against her left, their feet, and hers, still stained slightly purple from their earlier activity.
Glancing down at Seven's face where she slept peacefully nestled against her B'Elanna marveled at how beautiful her wife was, Seven's abdomen protruded slightly, showing her four month pregnancy with their second child. Seven had, in no uncertain terms, informed her that if she wanted a third she would carry it herself, and B'Elanna had agreed. She wasn't looking forward to making it through the eighth and ninth months of this pregnancy, she still clearly remembered how cranky and emotional Seven had been during the last pregnancy at that time.
Looking down at Miral though, she recalled Lee's words from almost four years ago, seeing the results of it all did make it worth the effort, after all Seven was having another. Her daughter's features were a perfect blend of the two of them, a slightly squarer face and full lips inherited from Seven, and high cheekbones and slender nose from B'Elanna.
Breathing in deeply she smiled, and looked over the ocean. Life was peaceful, she shared her life with a woman she loved more deeply every day, and her daughter, at least for another few years until teenage hood hit, was a happy child secure in her parent's love for her. She had thought happy endings were only in fairy tales, but sometimes…sometimes it seemed they were real.