A signal makes its way from deep space to their monitoring antenna. The message says a ship is on the way with a cargo manifest of robotic construction crews and urban planners. Rochelle’s heart sinks. Also in the message is a plan for the rapid conversion from a communal economy to a free market one. And so a few years down the line a multigenerational ecosystem habitat arrives in orbit around their planet. Jim convenes a council meeting to discuss the implications of these new settlers for their community.
     The first delegation from the strangers above makes landfall in their fields. The robust leader marches with his followers in tow. He reaches out a hand in friendship to Rochelle and Jim. They accept it with deep-seated reservations. The emissary speaks. “What a quaint little commune you folks have built for yourselves. Just to breathe in the scent of your flower gardens was heavenly. I’m sure your plot will make a wonderful museum when our urbanization plans are developed. I hear you don’t use money. Well, every capitalist society has room for socialist enclaves.”
     Rochelle says, “Our people need plenty of space. There is room for your cities on the other hemisphere. I’m sure you understand our need for fresh air and open fields for our children. My husband Jim and I would be glad to negotiate an arrangement with your committee suitable for both our needs.”
     Rochelle leads Jim by the hand to a private space. “Their leader is appropriately named Argon after the gas which in sufficient amounts can choke the oxygen out of the air.”
     Jim replies, “I know. We’ll convince them to build their cities far away. I have a plan which will appeal to them.”
     Argon approaches them. “There you two go hiding. No need for secrecy between us. My agenda is open to discussion.”
     Jim tells him, “Sir, there is a reason you may find the opposite hemisphere more suitable for your cities. My team has found large deposits of iron ore, uranium, and even surprisingly titanium. mostly absent round these parts.”
     Argon gets jubilant. “Those uranium ores are especially of interest because we plan to use nuclear energy to power our cities.”
     Rochelle is shocked. “But sir, we use solar and wind energy with great success. Please don’t contaminate our atmosphere with the meltdowns which will inevitably occur. Those are accidents waiting to happen with catastrophic results. Reconsider for the sake of our progeny. There really is no need to resort to such drastic sources when clean energy is abundant.”
     Argon says, “How many days of sun does this world have on any given year?”
     Jim replies. “The majority of our days are sunny. We have a global climate much like that of the Mediterranean on earth.”  
    Argon grins and raises his hands skyward. “Then yes your idea sounds viable. Energy from the sky should work. Let us hold hands and join forces for a future on this beautiful planet. Of course, we don’t want to endanger our children. But for now, let’s dine on this luscious vegetation which I hear tell you’ve prepared into a meal for us.”
     Rochelle smiles and says, “Come join us in the community room. Let me introduce you to the bounty of edibles which our agrarian economy has grown from the soil.”
     Argon says, “Jim, are there any other natural resources we should know about on the other side of this sphere?”
     “There is gold. Our people have no monetary need for it because we don’t use money or accumulate wealth. But for a capitalist, it may be of immense interest. There is some evidence, though not conclusive, of an enormous diamond vein. Though we haven’t mined it or explored it to its fullest extent.”
     Argon says, “You have sold me, good sir. We shall not encroach upon your piece of heaven. We will visit you but not build nearby to protect your environment. Let us drink a toast to good neighbors.”
     Argon and his team head out to map their own version of paradise. Rochelle fans herself and says, “Jim you know eventually their urban sprawl will overtake the whole planet. That is how their system works. It will be just like old earth. Those robots work fast. We may see the first skyscrapers on the horizon in our lifetime.”
     “We’ll have many summers before then. There will be plenty of time to convince them to at least allow us our collectivist dream.”
     Rochelle says, “We will be the beauty spot of our world and it may just be my pipe dream but perhaps the new settlers will want to emulate us.”
     “Green spaces everywhere as far as the eye can see. If I were them I’d jump on that bandwagon.”
Written by goldenmyst
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