“Could life be as simple as a puzzle?” mused Aditya. “Trivial as transitioning your playing piece from one point to the next? A connected, serial, monotonic existence. ‘Till at the final moment when your playing piece meets its final moment.”
His thoughts continued. “Do we advance by choosing the happiest next step? Or is it some Aristotlian summation where the next step is calculated based upon the total derived from all the previous? Happiness the goal? Or is happiness purely a perception. A consideration that we choose, either good or bad. Thus we would choose the next step based upon the aggregated, perceived accumulation to date. Whether we were really advancing to a summed happiness or not might be more a personal choice than the penultimate destination.”
While he considered parameters and influences along this line, his eyes scanned the vista in front. It was a shallow depression. Bowl shaped. Perhaps an ancient crater that’s been eroded after billions of years of ‘weathering’. He and Woof were assessing the shape for a potential greenhouse. The plan was to use it to grow a genetically induced strain of greens. These could be planted as the Sun rose and then harvested 30 days later as the Sun set on the Moon’s horizon. With this growth cycle, the colonists could regularly get fresh produce. And they’d have plenty of time to harvest the greens, package the produce into stay-fresh containers, store it then re-energize the hydroponic solution and set seeds for the next generation. It was a very calculated, cold, taciturn life for the plants. Aditya wondered about a plant’s life. Theirs was not the existence of contemplation and eloquent dissertation as he had become used to. Would the genetically modified plant accept this vocation?
“Did plants think? Did they feel?” he wondered. He already knew that they communicated. But to what end?
He advanced past the rim and toward the centre. The bowl’s depression fit the optimal shape as designed by the architects on Earth. The depression allowed for an elliptical cross section in the vertical plane; the most stable shape according to the elementalists. In some ways, the greenhouse would be virtually independent of the Moon. Other than the Moon providing gravity so as to ensure the proper flowing of liquids, it provided little else. A number of airlocks allowed the colonists to enter and exit. But they would do the same even if the greenhouse were floating in space. But in the reaches of space there’d be no need to evolve a plant with a 30 day life cycle. There, other factors, such as the platform’s rotational rate or the distance from the Sun, would be dominant. Here at the lunar south pole, the parameters were very particular.
His feet trudged through the light regolith. Little clouds of dust blew up on every footfall. The depression seemed solid. Neither his feet nor his hand sensor detected any cracks or even any discontinuities. It was as if the bowl had been readied for a giant Eggs Benedict opportunity. Could it be that the depression had been readied for the arrival of humans? Or was the discovery of the depression purely a fortuitous opportunity? He was indeed very happy that its shape fit the desired configuration. But he wasn’t yet certain as to why. Were humans destined to continue to find opportunities as they extended into the solar system? Or were they simply making their own opportunities and deciding that the choice was good. In any case, Aditya was having a very happy time as he pondered and wandered.