A Vacant Planet
Baylee’s first view of LG736P3 took her breath away. A blue marble so like Earth she and her survey mates unofficially called it, Earth-Eden, EE for short. It resided right in the middle of the Goldilocks zone. The weather could not be more conducive to human life. And the news kept getting better. Usually such a planet would have an advanced tool using culture and would therefore be banned from further inspection. EE had way too many ants but no advanced tool users. In a thousand years of exploration humanity had only found 2 planets like this, and none, not even earth, was better suited for human life.
….. Nine months later ….
“Okay, Doc, what’s the call?” demanded crewman Ruiz. “You’re not going to nix our golden goose because of ant bites?”
Everyone knew about the shared $5,000,000,000 bonus. This was the pot of gold which made the highly dangerous work alluring. It also put a lot of pressure on Baylee to rule in favor of the company and her crewmates.
“I haven’t made the definitive call yet.” Baylee grumbled.
The Ants didn’t bother Baylee; those rocks did. Could such an arrangement occur naturally? Chief Xenobiologist Baylee, would have to make the call on colonization.
“Doc, I’ve got a sweet life waiting. You know, wine, women, etc.”
Baylee sighed; the rock formation was such an anomaly. It seemed possible only with intelligent intervention. “Had there been an alien landing in the past?”
Colony Zeta was terrified. The colony of hive minds had recognized the alien threat. Bites had not deterred the Giants. Worse, Giant chemical warfare had been devastating. Now it all rested on God and the alter built by the ancients.
God didn’t answer. Baylee voted colonization and bonus. The War of Ants was joined.