The Planetary Archive
The workings of a planetary archive
The Planetary Bureau has discovered the presence of structures which we believe to be support structures of a Planetary Archive. Although it is not yet known what a Planetary Archive does or how it functions, the structures resemble portals which seem to accept materials. These structures are new, but ancient. Their existence is recent, but they are older than the environment within which they exist. The existence of the archive is an intriguing one. The history of the planet has largely been documented in physical mediums, like the surface and within ever-present glaciers at the poles. These forms of archiving has never been seen as intentional, rather the byproduct of processes occurring over time. An intentional process of archiving is something unbeknownst to us.
Why does the planet archive? Does the planet see value in storing it’s own history? How does the planet think of the micro-biome that exists within and on its surface?
Rendition of the archival portal in a desert biome
The structure of the archive is simple and the forms imply a few different ways of transferring material into the archive. The primary ways of inserting material into the archive is by either burying it deep under the surface, incinerating it to dissolve into the atmosphere, and running water through till it erodes away. Other derivatives were also found, such as the wind driven sand blasting chamber in a desert.
The appearance of the archive at this point in time raises many questions, the first of which is why now? Has the planet entered a particular phase in it’s lifecycle which formulates the structures? The planet is highly dependent on the Sun for it’s energy, perhaps it was a message encoded in the electro-magnet frequencies of a recent solar flare? The timing does roughly coincide with what we humans call a period of mass extinction. This is not a sentiment shared across species, but humans would be particularly vulnerable to any changes in the planet’s systems.
The incinerator style archival portal
What goes in the archive? The portals are designed to accept matter of all kinds, and we assume there are portals of many scales in many different locations, with the ability to accept different kinds of matter. Were the portals we found primarily designed for humans? What does the planet expect to be given?
The ingestion systems may also suggest that the archive may be used to design the next phase of the planet. The entries may well be used to define the future of those that will inhabit the planet in the near or far future, both biotic and abiotic. Or is it simply that the planet keeps a record of all that happens and just happens to be an avid historian?