Anatole Beams
2 min readMar 24, 2021


A single starseed fell towards the Earth, friction burning off its excessive speed as it tumbled through the atmosphere. Speed gained initially from a giant cannon orbiting a long distant world, then planetary sling-shots from a carefully plotted course and the welcoming draw of the gravitational solar well. Fired along with millions of its tiny siblings in giant capsules to travel the vast interstellar distances and spread to myriad systems. Escaping its home system like fleets of rogue asteroids. After decades of travel the capsules ruptured, scattering the seeds in their thousands over a wide spread of destinations. Travelling on in dormant ignorance, most became lost in the oblivion of the endless void. Just a few become captured by the faint pull of gravity from passing stars, their puny corrective jets being all that was needed to line them up to rendezvous with alien worlds.

Most of the tiny starseed’s protective shell was ablative material that evaporated off in streaks of flame, stripping with it the excessive heat from atmospheric entry, but also thinning the shell until it became weak enough for the internal mechanisms to break out. A spring loaded antenna flicked out through the brittle shell wall followed by the unfurling of a delicate umbrella of spines. Suddenly the tiny seed inverted and hung, floating on the breeze to drift slowly down to surface. Falling to the ground as a seemingly inert and toasted carcass. Just another speck amongst the leaf litter. An imposter seed amongst the many indigenous seeds of the local biota in a boreal forest in the Canadian Yukon. The sudden energy imparted by the entry had stimulated processes within. Gradually nanomachines warmed up and broke their slumbers to begin their preprogrammed tasks. Molecular testing, tasting, transport, fabrication, reproduction. Slow in the beginnning, but picking up pace, the space antenna assembly begins.