Vats and tanks of fermented bacteria line the walls like a well stocked convenience shop, each concession stand carefully paired with a small family of specialist tending to an odd array of fibres and foods. A Fermentation Lot like this would usually pop up in any vacancy or space, but this one drew a particular crowd of traders and makers.

Biont traders swarm the daily inventory dashboard with their empty containers and carrier bags of small metals from salvaged devices. Its large florescent interfaces mixed with bundles of grow lights woven throughout the open lab flicker against the Bionts as they jostle next to each other and attempt to log what’s available. The dash flashes ‘Horologium Flora’ and in fine print below a protocol of how the ‘flower clock’ works is detailed.

In the 1700s Carl Linnaeus wrote about alternative time telling– a *clock made up of flowering plants that open and close given the time of day. He called it Horologium Flora because each species is said to go through its own circadian rhythm by preparing at night for somnus platinum or 'the sleep of plants'.

Pair your device to the dashboard
Return seeds to the seed library
No bribes

A familiar ai steadily repeats the daily inventory…

For Examination:

For Seeding:
Grades of plant root from @Materialbank
Hedges of micro fibres from @fibreshed
Folds of Streptomyces coelicolour from @faberfutures

In one corner of the room a 10ft loom interlocking strings like a spider presses the vertices of its web together procedurally. Quickly printing a long sheath, this one must have been from the late 1900s because it was still made of wood. As if it was breathing the specialist checks the material as it cascades from the contraption, pulling it gently on to a table in the open lab and further evaluating its symptoms. Another vendor takes 1 metre while patching a reclaimed jacket with something that strangely resembled cotton.

Two Bionts move through the space, in tandem, towards the booth...
: do you think is Modernity coming?
: leaves rustle only when the wind passes through them and the sound of cars are beginning to seem foreign
: a lot like the latent space between a butterfly fluttering
: what nature is to science what faith to fashion
: grabbing anything thing today
: nope, I'll pass the lab and trade for tokens


Memories of terraforming

By the time we realized the damage we had done to our world, it was too late to change our ways. We were going to suffocate. The atmospheric models said we had 200 years—maybe 250 tops—before the air thinned, incapable of shielding us from the sun.

We needed an escape. A planet-scale eject button for civilization.

At this time there were two schools of thought. The first was to look to the stars for refuge. Propulsion technology was getting good. Perhaps good enough to launch us to the next star system. Spectrometers on reconnaissance probes painted pictures of an oasis of lush, habitable planets, a few light-years away. We had two centuries to figure out a way to survive the long journey through the vacuum. As you know now, we did survive, and the rest as they say is history.

But not many remember that a second proposal was also made. There was another planet in our star system at the time, capable of sustaining life. Close to home, but a barren wasteland. A series of controlled thermonuclear reactions could bring about the right conditions for abiogenesis - the origin of life. As to plan, we deployed the bombs and set the planet on fire. But we ran out of time. We were forced to escape to the stars before getting to see the result of our handiwork.

Memory is a pendulum. Swing your mind far back to remember the past and if you let it loose just right, it will swing forward to reveal the future. On a clear night, point your telescope toward our neighbouring star, the one you call Sol. A civilization now exists that reminds me of our carefree past, long before our escape. You’ll find them on the third planet from the sun, one that's teeming with life. We rediscovered them recently. The successful conclusion of a forgotten terraforming project.