Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous 10

Mar. 4th, 2009



The State of Wall•E's World

In Colony Crisis, and apparently in the film, rain had been rare. The conditions, at least where Wall•E worked, suggested that the rains were a recent development; things were too well preserved otherwise. I think this is likely, too, and projected that rain had been rare for centuries, until relatively recently.

DeckardCanineDeckardCanine asked, Why is this, anyway? Did solid trash cover all the water? Did air pollution get so thick it blocked precipitation?

One of the effects I've imagined to try to explain the film's unlikely situation is a loss of CO2. That, combined with toxic gases, would kill the plants, and indirectly most life. Especially land-based life, but most in the ocean as well.

The Earth suffers, and carbon dioxide (arguably the most crucial life-sustaining part of our atmosphere; we have hundreds of times as much oxygen) drops to too low a level to support remaining plants. Almost all plants, animals, and multi-cellular life forms are lost. Most bacteria too.

The changes to land cover affect humidity; grasslands and forests become deserts and dunes. The lack of CO2 combines with the lack of humidity (a much larger climate factor) to produce dry terrain almost worldwide. Rain becomes rare; in some parts of the world, it is not seen for centuries at a time.

Deep sea vents have collections of chemotropes, organisms who do not depend upon sunlight and photosynthesis at all. They live in water that reaches multiples of sea-level boiling points, and in highly corrosive chemical baths. In fact, they need these aspects for their ecology. It's unlikely that conditions elsewhere would affect them much. They survive.

Elsewhere, other tiny pockets of life are still viable; aerobic bacteria and other sorts locked in ice and reviving upon a thaw. It takes only a few.

Most die immediately. But, when the mixture of toxic gases is no longer fatal for them, some survive. They have little competition, and first the ocean is repopulated with them. CO2, gradually, begins to rise. Little is making use of it at this point. (Currently, CO2 on the Earth drops for five months of every year as the plant usage outpaces all production.)

Finally, some pockets of cyanobacteria (photosynthetic, CO2 users) appear. Eventually, bits of chance-preserved algae make it again, and these new forms suddenly dominate a sea largely stripped of competition and consumers.

The seas have no sharks; teleost (bony) fish are represented by a very few species that survived frozen as a few of them can. Their progeny will make the oceans a different place -- but they're edible. A few crustaceans and mollusks that had adapted to the chemotropic life begin to migrate upward from the deep sea vents; the sea is suddenly rich, from their perspective, and for a while they own most of the oceans.

Finally, the world's humidity begins to rise. There is little on land to take advantage of this; in the absence of humans, algae would need to evolve into something like plants once again. Perhaps they will, eventually.

In the meantime, after hundreds of years, the rains finally come. They don't make a paradise of life -- but they create a bacteria-rich ground fertile with possibilities. And waiting. It will be fatal to many humans that have spent generations away from exposure to such organisms; they've lost their defenses. But eventually, this live soil will be the foundation for a new beginning.

===|==============/ Level Head

Feb. 22nd, 2009

Colony Crisis


Chapter 66: Recycle

Auto pondered the report from steward 227 on Deck C6 starboard, more than a thousand meters below.

Read more...Collapse )

Feb. 21st, 2009



Commentary: A Show of Hands

I'm not actually looking for a show of hands in this instance. Technically, what I'd really like to see is a Show of Hands.

Is that confusing?

In the previous chapter, "Ceremony", there is a moment involving the hands of the two main characters.
Eve looked at her hand in wonder, and closed and sealed the fingers together then opened them again. She brought her had closer to her face, wide-eyed, then at a motion from Wall•E raised it up for the crowd to see. The sun was dropping fast, but there was enough to catch the shining new band of gold across the back of her central finger.

The crowd roared its approval.

Two minutes later, Wall•E sported a bit of shining gold across the outer blade of his left hand, and he raised it to the crowd in an age-old gesture of celebration.

He moved closer to his Lady and took both of her hands in his, a bit of gold adorning both of them now, gold from his collection of trinkets and pressed into a new task maybe not much different from what it had been.
I'd really enjoy seeing a bit of artwork depicting that. Maybe just the left hands, to make it easier and less visually cluttered.

I'm perhaps too sentimental.

It is amazing to me that my Lady Anne and I spend hours discussing the details of what Wall•E might say, or how Eve might feel, or how other characters would react in different situations. This morning, we discussed -- both of us rather choked up -- exactly how much to show the reader of a particular scene that happens later. My Lady was arguing for the Couple's privacy, and as much as I agreed I was concerned about the reader feeling cheated.

We worked it out; you will see the result and we're both happy with it. But how strange it is that we have spent so much time in a fictional world we've created based on a fictional world that someone else has created. At this point, the amount of discussion of this movie in our home probably exceeds that of most employees of Pixar.

And I have a day job. ];-)

===|==============/ Level Head

Feb. 19th, 2009

Colony Crisis


Appendix to Part II

In fact, this is really an appendix to Part I, as some of this is mentioned in the last chapter, "Transition Time."

The same region of the ship is featured again in "Ascent into Darkness."

This is my quickie sketch of the bridge tower, called the Spindle, which rises up from the very front of the Axiom's atrium. We see it many times in the film, but never from its left (port) side.

The starboard side doesn't have balconies, but it seemed unlikely to me that they'd make quarters for the Captain to be tiny and with no open air balconies at all. Since we never see the other side, even in the fly-through special features, it left me free to have them there.

It may be that this area gets more "screen time" later. My goal is to help you visualize the area, if you're interested.

Drawing of the SpindleCollapse )

Feb. 18th, 2009



Commentary: Caught up

We're into new territory now.

Part 1 is getting rearranged a bit -- one new chapter has appeared in the middle of another, producing three pieces instead of the original one.

It will be up shortly, and you'll want to look starting with Chapter 10 in a few minutes.

In the meantime, it's time for one of those boring business meetings. I'm not sure what it says about humanity that one of the first rooms they built was a conference room.

As always, your feedback is much appreciated.

===|==============/ Level Head

Feb. 15th, 2009



Chapter 17: Ascent into Darkness

The land around was wide and open, but he was in a narrow stairwell. Most of the ground surrounding this spot was flat, but he had climbed more than three thousand steps so far. The toxic gases of old Earth were being gradually absorbed and replaced with fresher air, but this place had been deadly until the day prior: closed, contaminated, and rank with the cloying smell of decay, and worse.

Now it was better...Collapse )

Feb. 7th, 2009

Colony Crisis


Chapter 20: Accidentally right

Approaching the Axiom in the middle of the day was a rare treat for Brandy. Her folks still demanded that she complete all her chores — and there would be a price to pay for skipping out today as she had. Her hobby of spending time digging through the ship’s computer library was only allowed in the evening, when her other work was done.

The base of the Axiom, on the west side of the Colony, was still illuminated by the late morning sun. It was only a kilometer or so from Ellen’s place, which was almost the nearest part of the Colony to the ship.

Well, that wasn't quite true.Collapse )

Feb. 6th, 2009

Colony Crisis


Chapter 19: Garden-variety

“Hey, Miz Ellen!”

While Brandy was tall for a fifteen-year-old girl, Ellen Viitala was simply tall. The woman — almost three times Brandy’s age — straightened up from the worktable she had been making notes at, and smiled at Brandy’s approach. She tossed long blond hair back over her shoulder. Brandy smiled back, and held out a brown cloth bag with some irregular shapes inside.

“Something new in your garden?”

Take a look.Collapse )

Feb. 5th, 2009

Colony Crisis


Chapter 18: Temptation

Brandy Adams wiped droplets of sweat from a cinnamon-colored brow. The morning was already warm, and the sun had barely cleared the horizon. She felt the sense of urgency that many others did as the year waned. Winter would come too soon, as always.

Her long straight brown hair was tied back with a bit of rope, but as she dug in the rows of the field, her hair grew as dusty as the rest of her. She’d only been about six years old at landing; now fifteen, she could barely remember a life of anything other than farm chores, and her other daily work. At least some of that work was unlike the farms of old.

Brandy’s hobby was computers. She’d justified this early on by tying the Colony’s agricultural needs to the information still aboard the Axiom: Everything that could be known about farming was there, if you knew how to look. With a bit of help, she’d taught herself how to look.

And along the way, she turned out to have a knack for a different aspect: the Axiom’s security systems. Centuries before, she might have been called a hacker.

Brandy hacked...Collapse )
Colony Crisis


Chapter 17: Operation Recolonize

Operation Recolonize (by Dave Grayson)

After landing, the Axiom continued to operate normally for two days. The food dispensers continued to produce food, and the Axiom’s food-carrier bots continued to deliver it.

Then, one system at a time began shutting down.

The food delivery flyers disappeared first.Collapse )

Previous 10