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Imperial Interstellar Scout Service Details of the worlds of the Imperium (and beyond).

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Old April 27th, 2006, 06:26 AM
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In sci-fi there is a lot of mentioning of the "standard" terraforming package used to seed worlds for human habitation. Usually this looks like a handwave for a reason to place human-edible flora and fauna in a setting.

So now I'm trying to figure out what would actually go into a "standard" terraforming package. The only conclusions I've come to so far is that you would want an algae in there, probably genetically engineered to be edible as well as being very hardy. Possibly some fungus (engineered to be edible) to break up any dead organic matter (algae) or as a symbiote to the algae (lichens for dry areas).

The only animal possibility that made sense to me was an insect genetically engineered to be edible. Like a honeydew ant analogue which has a distended abdomin full of sugary protein ("honey"? like bees?) that can be plucked and consumed without killing the ant (place most of the organs in the thorax, giving the ants more a "spidery" look).

(Now my first reaction to the above was "Yuk!" even though many people in Africa and South America eat insects regularly, its a cultural difference. Insect eggs are very hardy and can take a lot of abuse as well, good for "drop and run" styles of seeding.)

So what I'd like to know is: What would you put in a Standard Terraforming Package?
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