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1. When the UCC looks back, it can see a great deal of time has passed. An immense amount of universal activity has taken place since the time of its initial emergence; a linear distance it will eventually measure in terms of billions of years.
2. It has now seeded countless planets that are progressing successfully and independently. There is a surge of life, a wonderful selection of cellular organisms spreading throughout the universe. Some are quite simple, while others are incredibly complex and diverse; yet despite their different appearances, in every instance and every location, their constitution is uncannily similar. So similar in fact, the UCC finds it quite unnerving.
3. Considering how the initiation of life requires such exacting circumstances, the UCC h ad always expected a degree of consistency in the process, but the level of that consistency has been rigidly unwavering. There have been no exceptions. On every occasion where the UCC has tried to help non-carbon-based life develop, it has been abundantly clear any other format is universally unacceptable. Every attempt has been clumsy and awkward; ugly and somehow unnatural; invariably ending in miserable failure. It is as though there is only one acceptable formula, a predetermined set of rules that when adhered to makes the process flow with a natural grace that is otherwise impossible.
4. Life, it seems, insists on emerging in only one way: On a planet that is carbon based, routinely sized, and precisely located within a stable solar system. It must have a substantial atmosphere, be rich in resources, and geologically active with large areas of water.
1. The first time the UCC encountered the fragile fundamental signs of life had been a moment of great excitement, but the UCC has now repeated the process many times, and the thrill has subsided. The work has become a matter of routine, and rather mundane.
2. The first stage is always to locate the primitive flickers of life, and then nurture them into simple but stable photosynthetic bacteria: Chloroplasts. Once initiated, the cells then require little more than carbon dioxide and natural light to create their own food, grow, evolve, and reproduce. They are surprisingly hardy, with a remarkable ability to adapt and survive, often in ways that seem above and beyond any ability the UCC can recall giving them.
3. Over time, the Chloroplasts continue using sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into food, a process that naturally produces oxygen, which begins to change the constitution of the atmosphere. The increased oxygen content permits the development of a second kind of bacteria: Mitochondria. Mitochondria consume oxygen and are quite different to the Chloroplasts.
4. The UCC then encourages the two prokaryotes to form an endosymbiotic alliance within the safe confines of a liquid filled membrane. This new, more complex cell has far greater potential, and is very much an independent unit. The photosynthetic Chloroplasts can use natural light to make food, and the mitochondria can use oxygen to convert that food into usable energy.
1. The UCC is highly satisfied. Using this process, it has sown the seeds of life on a multitude of planets throughout the universe. In almost every location, cells have begun working together. Some have developed specialised functions, allowing different combinations to collectively create highly complex and wonderfully diverse multi-cellular organisms.
2. To help the evolutionary process, the UCC has further refined the DNA structure, allowing every cell to hold not only a blueprint of its own constitution and construction but also that of every other cell within the organism, allowing it to reproduce as a complete entity, rather than a group of independent cells.
3. Oddly, there has been an unpredictable variance in the level of complexity any particular organism has achieved. So far it has confused the UCC why some organisms continue to evolve until they become highly complex, while others slow and virtually stop for no obvious reason, often when they are still relatively primitive.
4. Nevertheless, organisms everywhere are increasing in complexity; diversifying, adapting and continuously refining their methods of survival and procreation. The result is a rapidly expanding tree of evolutionary progress. From those early cells a myriad of species have developed. Distinct families including bacteria, plants, algae, mosses, and fungi, have divided time and time again into countless subspecies, often diversifying to the point of being both entirely dissimilar and incompatible, yet still maintaining their inherent genetic commonalities.
Reason for Concern
1. Even though things are going well, the UCC can’t deny an underlying sense of disappointment.
2. There is no doubt, organisms have become impressively advanced and abundantly widespread. They can learn, feed, self-repair, reproduce, and adapt to changing circumstances. It is an outstanding achievement; but amongst the obvious success, there is also failure.
3. Everything the organisms achieve is based entirely on instinct. Regardless of where the UCC looks, there is no cognitive intelligence; no real thought; no contemplation. In an entire universe, there are no signs of sentience.
4. There is also another niggling doubt the UCC is unable to ignore. A distinct suspicion that the achievement of creating life has not been entirely its own. That even if it hadn’t been there to help, life would have happened anyway; because life has always been sort of… inevitable.
5. There have been disconcerting occurrences that have been difficult to rationalise, such as the ease with which evolutionary progress has been made. At times, it has seemed almost pre programmed, so self-perpetuating it has been unstoppable. Life’s ability to adapt and overcome challenges has been difficult for the UCC to comprehend, let alone take full credit for.
6. Yes, it has contributed. In fact, the UCC is aware of no life in the universe that has emerged without its assistance. And there have undoubtedly been occasions where, without the UCC’s intervention, the organisms most certainly would not have survived. Still, the UCC isn’t entirely convinced that life would have failed to eventually find a way had the UCC not been there to help. It is as though the existence of both itself and organic lifeforms, are intrinsic parts of a bigger picture.