Dweedles to Mission Control
Chapter 3: Second Message to Planet X
Copyright© 2017 by Scriptorius
Being back to full transmitting strength, I must start by taking issue with your snide comments concerning my performance. You were aware of my verbosity before sending me into the void, so don’t carp now. I have found one more or less suitable planet and that’s better than none, right? Nobody knew the odds when I set out, so what frame of reference do you have for making judgements?
Regarding my value to the cause, I am forced to laugh when thinking of the two trainees you believe might fill my shoes. I am acquainted with both of them and well aware that neither could negotiate the diagonal of an average living room without following a paper trail. Get with it, folks. You need a galactonaut like me and we don’t grow on trees.
Notwithstanding your harsh words, I will continue to report, though with reduced enthusiasm. Even a superficial examination of the Earth clarified that what is significant to us is the land. Initially I gave brief consideration to the seas, as one naturally does when facing a body comprising over 70% water. There are aquatic creatures here with mental faculties somewhat akin to those of their closest counterparts on terra firma, but advanced as they may be in social interactions, few water-based organisms reach beyond their normal element. Some have large brains, but here it is noteworthy that the relationship between cerebral capacity and body size is important, This explains why human beings (for details see the appendices I sent earlier) have come to the fore.
The local star, the Sun, is an average one, about halfway through its likely lifetime, so it has roughly 5,000 million years still to go. However, the Earth will become uninhabitable for its current life forms, and for us, long before the star expires. I would say there are about 800 million tolerable years left.
Astronomers here have identified eight major planets and one dwarf one in their solar system. There is also a wide scattering of debris – probably a failed planet -between Mars and Jupiter, plus a few similar odds and ends elsewhere, and a number of satellites. The outer bodies would not be of any use to us, but in addition to the Earth, two other inner rocky ones, Venus and Mars, could be adapted to our needs, though I think that in both cases the effort would be too great. The Earth is the only reasonable candidate.