General Verias gazed out the glassteel viewport to the marbled blue surface of the planet below. Genesis. Humanity's last hope. Or, quite possibly, its greatest folly.
The planet below closely resembled Earth in its ancient times. Six green continents, not including the poles, sprawled out against the blue oceans. Sandy patches of desert identified the lower regions, and the snowy peaks of mountains marked the highest points.
Verias had seen simulations of his own world when it resembled this one, but Genesis was nothing like Earth today. He thought back to the world of ocean he had come from, with only the once-snowy peaks of mountains remaining above sea level. There was probably even less now.
How could such a small land mass support the massive, ever-growing population of man? Verias knew the answer all too well-- It couldn’t. That was, after all, why he was here.
He saw the glint of the exploration craft descending to the planet below. In it, two men-- far braver than Verias-- drifted down to the unknown surface of Genesis. He could only speculate as to what lay in store for them. No one even knew if the planet was inhabited, or, if it was, by whom. The general certainly wasn't eager to trade places with either of them.
General. Verias hated that title. He was no leader of war, no hero in battle. In fact, Verias was a pacifist. He was simply the best-suited scientist courageous-- or, perhaps, stupid-- enough to embark on this, the most important mission man had ever attempted. He knew full well that the fate of humanity rested on this planet.
But what if this was no mere planet, but rather a world? Verias dearly wished Earth retained that innocence. Humanity had thrown that away the moment it tried to touch the stars. The universe was humanity’s world now.
But if Genesis had no colonies? If it’s inhabitants had never breached into the deadly blackness that was space? If everything they knew rested comfortably, safely, inside that gentle blue sphere?
That was a world. And Verias couldn't let anything, not even his own crew, destroy that.