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Transcript

HOPE: Hello! My name is Hope and this is Knoop, my AI companion… we are in a mission from the future.

KNOOP: STATEMENT: GREETINGS HUMAN.

HOPE: I’m sorry to barge in like this, but we need your help. You see, in my timeline, the Earth is in pretty bad shape --- things got so bad that the only possible solution was going back in time to recruit specialists to prevent that future from happening.

KNOOP: PROTEST: DOWNER ALERT.

HOPE: Ok, Knoop, you are right, let’s get to work. Could you check the data real quick?

KNOOP: SEARCHING DATABASE

----- DONE.

HOPE: Great, we are on the right track. Let me explain: I work for the EIT Raw Materials Division, and my intel tells me you are one of the few chosen to form part of an elite group of geoscience professionals. The catch is that Knoop’s selection algorithm can only predict the field of work but not the exact specialty…

KNOOP: PROTEST: SPACE-TIME QUANTUM VARIABLES EXTREMELY COMPLICATED. GRATITUDE REQUESTED.

HOPE: Oh, don’t be such a crybaby! I’ve been getting attitude from this grumpy bag of bolts all day. AIs can be so sensitive sometimes…

KNOOP: …

HOPE: Ok, fine. Thank you. You do an extremely valuable job for all humankind.

KNOOP: APOLOGY ACKNOWLEDGED.

HOPE: Can we get back to work then?

KNOOP: PROCEED.

HOPE: Ok. As I was saying, we don’t know what your specialty would be, so we need to run a simulation to figure out what profile suits you better. Are you ready?

- YES! ! Let’s DO THIS!

- Wait, what’s happening?

HOPE: Don’t worry, this is just a simulation. You won´t move from where you are. Knoop will create a virtual space around you where you’ll be presented with a scenario and a series of choices. Whatever you choose will tell us what kind of specialist you are more inclined to become.

KNOOP: SYSTEMS READY – SIMULATION POWERING UP.

HOPE: Knoop is all warmed up. What do you say?

KNOOP: AWAITING CONFIRMATION.

- Alright, I’m ready

- I’m not so sure about this...

KNOOP: HESITATION DETECTED – SIMULATION STANDING BY.

HOPE: Oh, I see. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to boss you around. I got so focused on this that I didn’t realize I was being pushy. This is my first assignment you know? I’m kind of nervous.

KNOOP: UNDERSTATEMENT.

HOPE: Not cool, Knoop!

KNOOP:…

HOPE: If you helped me it would mean THE WORLD to me. I could go back to base with a job well done and jump to my next assignment…. You might find your true calling… I could get a promotion... and EARTH COULD BE SAVED!

KNOOP: STATEMENT: PRIME DIRECTIVE: SAVE EARTH.

HOPE: Please?

- Okay then.

- I think I’ll pass.

HOPE: I KNEW IT! I knew I could count on you!. Thank you so much!

HOPE: Oh... So, you don’t want to take part in this? But… I came all the way from the future just for you…I failed on my first assignment! Now what I’m gonna do?

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

HOPE: Are you… Are you really sure you don’t want to help me?

- Just kidding, I’ll help.

- Yeah, I’m out.

HOPE: Now that was kind of cruel, don’t you think? Messing with me like that!

KNOOP: POSITIVITY TOWARDS SUBJECT INCREASED.

HOPE: Shut it, you rusty jerk.

HOPE: (sighs)…Thank you.

KNOOP: DISSAPOINTMENT LEVEL – ABSOLUTE.

HOPE: Yeah… tell me about it. Well, let’s get back to base, I guess.

- Wait! I changed my mind!

- Let them go.

KNOOP: SIMULATION BEGINS – RUNNING SCENARIO AR-6478-B.

SITUATION: You are part of the crew of the Flarebug, an orbital station around Earth. For the last months you have been getting upsetting readings coming from HQ. A message from the Captain of your division just reaches your station.

CAPTAIN: This is captain Mallory Raymonds speaking. As you all know by now, there is… a geologic disturbance in the planet of unknown scope. We are facing a situation we have very little information about and we require volunteers to get as much intel as we can ASAP.

CAPTAIN: So far we can surmise we will need both agents on the field to gather information and specialists to actually make any sense of it. Either deployment will be of your choosing, just know they are of equal importance for the success of this mission.

HOPE: So there isn’t just one path. That’s interesting…

KNOOP: REQUEST: DON’T INTERRUPT.

HOPE: Okay! Okay! I’m just trying to be helpful!

CAPTAIN: I must warn you: Agents on the field might have to react to adverse situations out of their playbook. There is always some risk involved which could prove fatal under dire circumstances. Data specialist on the other hand will have to deal with more mental strain while processing or deciphering information for the public, a process that may be trying sometimes. It’s your choice.

CAPTAIN: I must warn you: Agents on the field might have to react to adverse situations out of their playbook. There is always some risk involved which could prove fatal under dire circumstances. Data specialist on the other hand will have to deal with more mental strain while processing or deciphering information for the public, a process that may be trying sometimes. It’s your choice.

HOPE: This seems like a big decision! Consider what do you think you might be better at.

- I think working in the field it’s my thing.

- I think I’d rather work with data.

HOPE: So, you want to get hands-on experience… But are you really sure about that? You’ll be getting in all sort of places where people really are not supposed to be. They are not called “hazardous environments” just because it sounds cool, you know. Although, you get to see things no one else gets to see…

KNOOP: DANGER ASSESSMENT: ACCURATE.

- Yeah, I can handle mortal risks! I’m in!

- On second thought, maybe I’ll work with data instead.

HOPE: So, you want to work your brains… But are you really sure about that? It takes a lot of study, effort and time until you get results…. But when you get deep into it, who knows what you might discover!

KNOOP: EFFORT ASSESSMENT: ACCURATE.

- Yeah, my brain is my best weapon! I’m in!

- On second thought, maybe I’ll work on the field instead.

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED – FIELD AGENT.

HOPE: Wow, that’s SO brave! You are gonna go where no one has gone before! I’m counting on you! This is so exciting!

CAPTAIN: Very well. Those of you who chose to work the field, meet Sgt. Jane Comb on the briefing room 106. Dismissed.

HOPE: Let’s go then! Adventure awaits!

- I’ll be there with you in a minute, I want to take a look around.

- Right behind you.

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED – DATA AGENT.

HOPE: Wow, you are so cool! You are gonna learn so much stuff! This is so exciting!

CAPTAIN: Very well. Those of you who chose to work the data, meet Lt. Kayleigh Fry on the briefing room 324. Dismissed

HOPE: Let’s go then! Adventure awaits!

- I’ll be there with you in a minute, I want to take a look around.

- Right behind you.

HOPE: Fine, see you in a bit. Just don’t take too long, okay?.

You are standing on the bridge of the Flarebug. You see signs for Debriefing room 324, toilets, and emergency shuttles.

GO TO TOILETS

GO TODEBRIEFINGROOM 324

GO TOEMERGENCY SHUTTLES

You decide to take a quick bathroom break. To your surprise you find a tray with three sea conches where the toilet paper should be. Things are weird in space, it seems. Confused, you get back to the bridge.

You see a corridor leading to several emergency shuttles. Upon entering one you are surprised of how comfy it is. Inside, you spot a bright, big red button that spells “LAUNCH”. It would probably be the best not to touch it.

As soon as you push the button, the seat automatically straps you on and you are propelled out of the station. The shuttle is heading down to earth at great speed and you have no idea where exactly you are going to land. Since you are not wearing a space suit, it won’t matter that much in the end.

KNOOP: SIMULATION ABORTED.

HOPE: What the…Really? You bailed out of the station? Why?? Well, I guess you were just not interested after all.

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

HOPE: Let’s get back to base, Knoop. We are done here.

HOPE: Fine, see you in a bit. Just don’t take too long, okay?.

You are standing on the bridge of the Flarebug. You see signs for Debriefing room 324, toilets, and emergency shuttles.

GO TO TOILETS

GO TODEBRIEFINGROOM 106

GO TOEMERGENCY SHUTTLES

You decide to take a quick bathroom break. To your surprise you find a tray with three sea conches where the toilet paper should be. Things are weird in space, it seems. Confused, you get back to the bridge.

You see a corridor leading to several emergency shuttles. Upon entering one you are surprised of how comfy it is. Inside, you spot a bright, big red button that spells “LAUNCH”. It would probably be the best not to touch it.

You are in debriefing room 324.

KAYLEIGH: Oh, there you are. Welcome to the data branch of the task force. I’m glad you decided to join us. I’m Lt. Kayleigh Fry, so nice to meet you.

HOPE: She is surprisingly nice for an officer.

KNOOP: AFFINITY STATUS: OVERWHELMED.

HOPE: You never say that to me!

KNOOP: AFFIRMATIVE.

HOPE: HMPF! You are unbelievable…

KAYLEIGH: If you are here, it means that you value the pursuit of knowledge, and that’s fine. But knowledge entails much more than digging deep into books. It’s a quest of both fact and rationality... but all of it without losing a human perspective on things.

KNOOP: DECIPHERING…

KAYLEIGH: What I’m trying to say is, we are not only trying to obtain knowledge, but both archive it, share it and act upon it.

HOPE: So, this is not just limited to researchers.

KAYLEIGH: We include researchers, but we are not limited to that kind of profile. It may come as a surprise, but the first question we ask in this branch is if you are a people person.

HOPE: Aren’t we all?

KNOOP: DISCREPANCY DETECTED.

KAYLEIGH: Some…more than others. What do you say?

- I work well with others.

- I’d rather work alone.

KAYLEIGH: Brilliant! I suppose you are wondering why I asked, right?

HOPE: I am.

KAYLEIGH: Well, there is a vital part of the data branch that dwells on the human factor. It’s the transmission of the knowledge we acquired and how to apply it to society.

- What do you mean with transmission?

- I thought I would be researching, I’d rather skip the human factor.

- What do you mean with applying the knowledge?

KAYLEIGH: The data branch has lots of lone wolves like you, you know?

HOPE: Oh really?

KAYLEIGH: Indeed. Many data specialists tend to find peace working separately rather than surrounded by many people. Some of them even suggest that’s how they get any work done.

HOPE: That’s commitment.

KAYLEIGH. We are all different people with different needs. It just happens that many of best minds tend to prefer working alone.

KNOOP: ASSESSING BRILLIANCE. SUBJECT: HOPE.

HOPE: Oh, why, I’m not… DON’T YOU DARE!

Knoop adn Hope start bickering with each other. Your eyes wander to a table on the briefing room. There are two distinct items on it: A bubbling test tube and a fossil.

KAYLEIGH: Something caught your eye?

KAYLEIGH: Let me answer this with another question: Why do you think there are scientists around at all?

KNOOP: (STARES INTENTLY)

HOPE: Why are you looking at me? I’m not the one being interviewed, you doofus!

KAYLEIGH: So, what do you think?

- Well… we NEED scientists. Right?

- Because some people enjoy discovering stuff?

KAYLEIGH: Well …someone has to write the rulebook to follow on scientific matters with the intel research gives us, which helps to act upon dangers that otherwise would be ignored.

HOPE: How?

KAILEIGH: Through policy work. Some of us are charged to write and enforce policies backed by scientific data that administrations must follow. This is fundamentally on based on the trust on both the data and the expertise of those specialists who actually write the policies.

- You mean they are like politicians?

- You mean they are like some kind of police?

KAYLEIGH: That is very true. We need scientists to move civilization forward and yes, all of the technological marvels we enjoy today are the result of the effort of countless scientists. But why did all those people become scientists in the first place?

- Luck?

- Books?

KAYLEIGH: Indeed. But curiosity alone will only get you so far. You need something else. Do you know what it is?

- Luck?

- Books?

KAYLEIGH: More like special lawmakers, in a way. They analyze what is safe or sensible in a particular matter of science and what is definitely not, and then they write conclusions on policies which are in turn enacted by countries.

HOPE: What happens if someone goes against a particular policy?

KAYLEIGH: They are committing a crime, although the severity of it varies much upon the risk it entails. Real severe ones could get someone in jail, so this is no joke. Writing policies is quite the responsibility!

KNOOP: SUBJECT HOPE LABELLED UNELIGIBLE.

HOPE: I already have enough on my plate dealing with you, thank you very much!

KAYLEIGH: Do you think you’d be up to it?

- I don´t know, do you have something else?

- Nah. think I’m done with the “human factor”.

- I think this suits me just fine!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

KAYLEIGH: Scientists may be born, but most certainly, they are taught. Any scientist is a student first, and students need teachers. They are the ones that instill the love of discovery to them from an early age.

HOPE: Oh… I never thought about it that way.

KAYLEIGH: One could say the ultimate goal of science is the transmission of the knowledge accumulated collectively by thousands of humans before us. So in return, those who receive it can gather even deeper knowledge.

KNOOP: INSIGHT ARCHIVED.

KAYLEIGH: Never underestimate the role teachers play in science, because any scientist out there is a result of the teachers he or she had. You could even say any discovery they make is in part because of them.

HOPE: Awww… I remember Prf. Sheppard. He always said I had to work on my grades and that I didn’t put enough effort at school…

KAYLEIGH: And?

HOPE: I didn’t quite do that, but he was right you know.

KNOOP: SUSPICION CONFIRMED.

HOPE: Gimme a break, you metal dork. I had to work twice as hard afterwards to get where I am. What I wouldn’t give to go back and… wait a minute, what if we go back in time and...

KNOOP: WARNING: USE OF MISSION ASSETS FOR PERSONAL GAIN IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN – COUNTDOWN TO SELF-DETONATION.

HOPE: Wait, what? WHAT??? WAIT, NO! QUIT IT!

Hope tries desperately to reason with Knoop while its self-destruct program blares warnings left and right.

KAYLEIGH: What do you say, do you think you have it in you to become a teacher?

- Nah. think I’m done with the “human factor”.

- I think this suits me just fine!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, do you have something else?

KAYLEIGH: That’s unfortunate.

HOPE: Are you serious? Come on… I thought we were getting somewhere!

KNOOP: COUNTDOWN TO SELF-DETONATION REACTIVATED.

HOPE: CUT IT OUT!! … Do you see what you have done?!

KNOOP: DETONATION INMINENT.

HOPE: STOP IT, you dumb robot!

KNOOP: UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND REQUEST, SAY AGAIN?

HOPE: OKAY, stop it, PLEASE.

KNOOP: SELF DETONATION CANCELLED.

HOPE: And you… could you please reconsider your decision?

- I’m just messing with you.

- I mean it, I’m done.

HOPE: You both almost gave me a heart attack!

KNOOP: CURSING ROUTINES POWERING DOWN.

KAYLEIGH: I don’t appreciate the joke, but nevertheless I’m happy you took back that attitude. So, what is it going to be then?

- Nah. think I’m done with the “human factor”.

- I think this suits me just fine!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, do you have something else?

KAYLEIGH: That’s unfortunate.

HOPE: Do you really mean it? Come on… I thought we were getting somewhere!

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

- I’m just messing with you.

- I mean it, I’m done.

HOPE: You both almost gave me a heart attack!

KNOOP: CURSING ROUTINES POWERING DOWN.

KAYLEIGH: I don’t appreciate the joke, but nevertheless I’m happy you took back that attitude. So, what is it going to be then?

- Nah. think I’m done with the “human factor”.

- I think this suits me just fine!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, do you have something else?

KAYLEIGH: A test tube, the quintessential representation of a laboratory. Although for many that just represents chemistry, but still, that’s just a part of what can be researched in a laboratory.

KAYLEIGH: There is mechanics, biology, physics, geology, economy… anything you can wrap your head around, really. Researchers aren’t just people with white coats and test tubes.

KAYLEIGH: Researchers are a mix bag of professionals that try to search a deeper understanding of reality around us. And that understanding leads us to discover many of the marvelous things we enjoy and use.

KAYLEIGH: But more importantly, it helps us identify risks, so we can stay safe.

- Like natural disasters?

- Like things that could make us sick?

KAYLEIGH: Both and beyond those. There are for example risks for our environment, our biodiversity, or even economic risks for determined areas. The world around us is vast and complex and we need keen eyes to try and make sense of it.

HOPE: It all seems so complicated, though.

KAYLEIGH: It’s just a matter or method, patience and diligence. But the results are well worth it. So, are you interested?

- On second thought, I think I’d rather work with people.

- I think this suits me just fine!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, what about that fossil over there?

KAYLEIGH: A fossil, the quintessential representation of a natural history museum. Although that’s just the tip of the iceberg really.

KAYLEIGH: Did you know that one of the most important responsibilities of museums is to preserve natural evidence? From fossils and archeological findings, to rare specimens and geological samples.

KAYLEIGH: Museums are charged with the responsibility to curate, catalog, index and store this evidence. Not just for display, but as a resource for reference or further research.

KAYLEIGH: But beyond that, sometimes specialists at museums are the ones who make sense of the body of work from many other specialists combined.

- I thought museums were just about bones and paintings.

- So museums are laboratories inside?

KAYLEIGH: A museum is not just a fancy place to take kids on a school trip. We could say museum specialist do a different kind of research altogether. One that does not take place on a laboratory, so to speak. But an important one, nonetheless.

HOPE: It’s a pity, there a not many museums left in my timeline.

KAYLEIGH: So, are you interested?

- On second thought, I think I’d rather work with people.

- I think this suits me just fine!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, what about that that test tube over there?

KAYLEIGH: A test tube, the quintessential representation of a laboratory. Although for many that just represents chemistry, but still, that’s just a part of what can be researched in a laboratory.

KAYLEIGH: A fossil, the quintessential representation of a natural history museum. Although that’s just the tip of the iceberg really.

HOPE: REALLY?

KAYLEIGH: Excellent! You have taken a brilliant path, my friend! I’m looking forward to hear many great things about you from now on.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

HOPE: So, it seems that being a policy maker suits you best!

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED “POLICY MAKER”.

HOPE: REALLY?

KAYLEIGH: Excellent! You have taken a brilliant path, my friend! I’m looking forward to hear many great things about you from now on.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

HOPE: So, it seems that being a teacher suits you best!

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED “TEACHER”.

HOPE: REALLY?

KAYLEIGH: Excellent! You have taken a brilliant path, my friend! I’m looking forward to hear many great things about you from now on.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

HOPE: So, it seems that being a researcher suits you best!

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED “RESEARCHER”.

HOPE: REALLY?

KAYLEIGH: Excellent! You have taken a brilliant path, my friend! I’m looking forward to hear many great things about you from now on.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

HOPE: So, it seems that being a museum specialist suits you best!

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED “MUSEUM SPECIALIST”.

KAYLEIGH: That’s unfortunate.

HOPE: Do you really mean it? Come on… I thought we were getting somewhere!

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

- I’m just messing with you.

- I mean it, I’m done.

HOPE: You both almost gave me a heart attack!

KNOOP: CURSING ROUTINES POWERING DOWN.

KAYLEIGH: I don’t appreciate the joke, but nevertheless I’m happy you took back that attitude. So, what is it going to be then?

- On second thought, I think I’d rather work with people.

- I think this suits me just fine!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, what about that fossil over there?

KAYLEIGH: That’s unfortunate.

HOPE: Do you really mean it? Come on… I thought we were getting somewhere!

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

- I’m just messing with you.

- I mean it, I’m done.

HOPE: You both almost gave me a heart attack!

KNOOP: CURSING ROUTINES POWERING DOWN.

KAYLEIGH: I don’t appreciate the joke, but nevertheless I’m happy you took back that attitude. So, what is it going to be then?

- On second thought, I think I’d rather work with people.

- I think this suits me just fine!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, what about that that test tube over there?

HOPE: To think I put my faith in you… I’m so disappointed.

KAYLEIGH: You are free to choose whatever you like. We respect your decision, no matter our feelings towards it.

HOPE: I guess you are right, ma ‘am. Kill the simulation KNOOP, we are done here.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

You are in debriefing room 106.

JANE: There you are, about time you showed up. I’m Sgt. Jane Comb.

HOPE: She seems a little rough, doesn’t she?

KNOOP: SUBJECT HOPE: APPEAL INCREASED.

HOPE: Aw thank you… But did you have to meet someone harsh just to tell me?

KNOOP: AFFIRMATIVE.

HOPE: HMPF! You are unbelievable…

JANE: If you are here, it means you like taking risks. It means you don’t mind being uncomfortable and it means you are willing to go anywhere your curiosity takes you.

KNOOP: DECIPHERING…

JANE: We are not just booksmart specialists. in this branch we take a hands-on approach. We are field agents, we hit the field.

HOPE: So, what does that mean?

JANE: It means we obtain knowledge from the source of the matter. If you wanted to know everything about lions, you’d better be prepared to get close and personal with them big cats, right?

HOPE: Uh… But that is not what we...

JANE: If you want to know about something you have to be deep into that something. If you want to study oceans, you have to be prepared to get into a diving suit. If you want to study rocks, better wear a hard helmet and get down into some caves.

JANE: You have to know your element and everything it implies. Good and bad. There is no future for you as an oceanographer if yo are too scared to get on a boat.

HOPE: Wow, she IS intense.

JANE: Fear is incompatible with your field of study. Know the dangers, embrace the dangers… just don’t be stupid about them, copy?

KNOOP: INSIGHT ARCHIVED.

JANE: So, kid. I have an easy question for you. Which bunk do you prefer, uppers or unders?

HOPE: Wait, what?

JANE: I asked a question!

- Uh… uppers?

- I guess… unders?

JANE: You’ll be happy to work under the sun then!

HOPE: What?

JANE: Field work, remember? Wear sun tan and get work done. Come on, keep up.

HOPE: You are way oversimplifying things, right?

JANE: You want me to get into details? I thought you wanted action. Okay, here is the deal: We mainly divide field specialists between depth workers and surface workers. You chose upper bunk so…

HOPE: …Surface?

JANE: Bingo. Looks like our buddy here likes danger.

HOPE: But… I though the depths were more dangerous. You know, mines and such…

JANE: Well you were wrong. The surface is where the real danger is. Both for the things we know as the ones we don’t.

- What do we know?

- What don’t we know?

JANE: Not afraid to suffocate, are you?

HOPE: WHAT?!

JANE: Or of enclosed spaces.

HOPE: This is getting uncomfortable…

JANE: You want me to get into details? I thought you wanted action. Okay, here is the deal: We mainly divide field specialists between depth workers and surface workers. You chose lower bunk so…

HOPE: …depths?.

JANE: Bingo. Looks like our buddy here likes danger and if you want to explore below sea level, that something you have to get used to.

HOPE: Yikes.

JANE: I take it you don’t particularly enjoy this.

HOPE: I am a little claustrophobic, ma ‘am.

KNOOP: FILING RECORDING UNDER “HOPE’S WEAKNESSES”.

HOPE: REALLY, KNOOP?

KNOOP: POSSIBLE NEED FOR FURTHER REFERENCE.

HOPE: You DO hate me, don’t you?!

JANE: CUT IT, YOU TWO!

HOPE: Yes ma ‘am.

KNOOP: AFFIRMATIVE.

JANE: So, kid. Do you prefer land or water?

- I prefer land.

- I prefer water.

- I think I was more comfortable with the upper bed.

JANE: Geohazards. The whole lot.

HOPE: What are those?

JANE: I’m talking landslides, floods, earthquakes, volcanos… Any nasty thing our planet throws at us at eye level.

KNOOP: RECALIBRATING PLANET HOSTILITY.

JANE: It takes a particular kind of crazy to want to study that. I happen to like that kind of crazy.

- But can you stop those things?

- How can you prevent those things from happening?

JANE: Most of times you are lucky if you see them coming. That’s our cue. Most of our work involves prevention and prediction. We are always on watch.

HOPE: You can´t stop them?

JANE: We can tell people when it’s best to evacuate before all hell breaks loose. Yes, there is some stuff we can prevent, but if things start moving south… the best we can do is reduce the consequences. Both short and long- term.

HOPE: So you can’t really do much, do you?

KNOOP: BACKLASH ALERT.

JANE: You better take that back, missy. We can minimize the damage, teaching safety drills, improving evac routes, coordinating resources, building resilience. We even lend a hand to rebuild what has been destroyed. There is plenty to do, but you just can’t fight nature, that’s all.

HOPE: Oh, I’m sorry…

KNOOP: FILING RECORDING UNDER “HOPE’S BEST WORST”.

JANE: You’d better be. People do meaningful work here. So, what do you say, buddy? Are you ready to save some lives here?

- Come to think of it, I think I liked unders better.

- I’m ready for it!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, do you have something else?

JANE: Basically, whatever is not from this planet.

HOPE: That sounds a little far off.

JANE: I mean, these are not immediate risks… that is, unless a meteorite falls on earth and suddenly we are all becoming stupidified or something along those lines.

HOPE: WHAT?! Is that even possible?

JANE: Not by a longshot, but if such ever happened, some of our specialists will study that rock on detail. We have a whole branch dedicated to study rocks from space. There are materials out there that you can’t get here on Earth, you know.

- What are those materials?

- What are they used for?

JANE: Minerals, mostly. Although we found things like water, or even organic-like substances.

JANE: Research. For now.

JANE: These materials are key to understand the origins of the universe, the solar system, earth, even life itself. And we could use a good deal on intel on to apply them too.

HOPE: For what?

JANE: For starters, you can rest assured that if we ever build a base on the moon in the near future we won’t be hauling any bricks up there.

HOPE: Okay, that makes sense.

JANE: In any case, that’s where you young bloods come in.

HOPE: Hauling bricks?

JANE: Going into space.

HOPE: Oh, right, right.

JANE: So, kid. Would you be interested in some space geology?

- Come to think of it, I think I liked unders better.

- You bet I am!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, do you have something else?

JANE: Then I believe you would be suited to work on the mines. I’m not gonna lie to you, It’s not a comfortable job, but it’s really worthwhile.

HOPE: A mine? With picks and shovels and all that?

JANE: More like with technology, data and heavy machinery. Mine engineers are responsible of prospecting ground, setting diggings and extracting any valuable resource under the rocks.

HOPE: So they don’t have to mine themselves.

JANE: No, but they need to work on location for periods of time, sometimes for as long as the dig takes. Fun fact: they do need to get a license to handle explosive material.

HOPE: Why is that?

JANE: Turns out sometimes the only way through bedrock is a big bang. Fireworks kind of lose their appeal after that.

- Sounds a bit dangerous.

- Sounds like fun!

JANE: It is! You just have to remember: do your math and wear earplugs. If you follow procedure everything goes by the book. What do you say?

- Come to think of it, I think I liked uppers better.

- I dig this! Pun intented.

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- You know what? I think I prefer water.

JANE: Then I hope you don’t mind getting wet, because that is SO going to happen.

HOPE: Really?

JANE: Well, no. You don’t really need to splash in every pond you find in your way, but you might need to get into a body of water eventually if you decide to get into hydrogeology or oceanography. To study it, that is.

- What is oceanography?

- What is Hydrogeology?

JANE: The name kind of explains it all, It’s the study of oceans from all perspectives of science: Biology, ecology, chemistry, even economics. It’s quite extensive, since roughly 97% of all water on Earth is related to oceans.

HOPE: Sound like a lot to handle.

JANE: It is. And it gets weirder when you plunge into the depths. It’s practically alien in there. Likely there are thousands of species that we haven’t ever heard about yet.

- I think I might be interested in this.

- Come to think of it, I think I liked uppers better.

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- And what is Hydrogeology?

- I think I prefer land over water.

JANE: It’s the study of the distribution of freshwater on Earth. How it is affected by geological features, and such. It also deals with pollution of freshwater supplies, a matter of critical importance.

HOPE: About that…

KNOOP: WARNING: SHARING TIMELINE DETAILS STRICLY FORBIDDEN.

HOPE: Yeah, maybe I’d better shut up.

- I think I might be interested in this.

- Come to think of it, I think I liked uppers better.

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- And what is Oceanography?

- I think I prefer land over water.

HOPE: REALLY?

JANE: Great, then let’s get to it.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

HOPE: So, it seems that being a geohazards specialist suits you best!

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED “SPACE GEOLOGIST”.

JANE: I thought you had some backbone, kid.

HOPE: Do you really mean it? Come on… I thought we were getting somewhere!

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

- I’m just messing with you.

- I mean it, I’m done.

HOPE: You almost gave me a heart attack!

KNOOP: CURSING ROUTINES POWERING DOWN.

JANE: I’m still waiting for that to be funny. Get your act together. So, what is it going to be then?

- Come to think of it, I think I liked unders better.

- I’m ready for it!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, do you have something else?

HOPE: REALLY?

JANE: Great, then let’s get to it.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

HOPE: So, it seems that being a space geologist suits you best!

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED “SPACE GEOLOGIST”.

JANE: I thought you had some backbone, kid.

HOPE: Do you really mean it? Come on… I thought we were getting somewhere!

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

- I’m just messing with you.

- I mean it, I’m done.

HOPE: You almost gave me a heart attack!

KNOOP: CURSING ROUTINES POWERING DOWN.

JANE: I’m still waiting for that to be funny. Get your act together. So, what is it going to be then?

- Come to think of it, I think I liked unders better.

- You bet I am!

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- I don´t know, do you have something else?

HOPE: REALLY?

JANE: Great, then let’s get ready for action.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

HOPE: So, it seems that being a space geologist suits you best!

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED “SPACE GEOLOGIST”.

JANE: I thought you had some backbone, kid.

HOPE: Do you really mean it? Come on… I thought we were getting somewhere!

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

- I’m just messing with you.

- I mean it, I’m done.

HOPE: You almost gave me a heart attack!

KNOOP: CURSING ROUTINES POWERING DOWN.

JANE: I’m still waiting for that to be funny. Get your act together. So, what is it going to be then?

- Come to think of it, I think I liked uppers better.

- I dig this! Pun intented.

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- You know what? I think I prefer water.

HOPE: REALLY?

JANE: You made a good choice kid.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

HOPE: So, it seems that being a space geologist suits you best!

KNOOP: SUBJECT LABELLED “SPACE GEOLOGIST”.

JANE: I thought you had some backbone, kid.

HOPE: Do you really mean it? Come on… I thought we were getting somewhere!

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

- I’m just messing with you.

- I mean it, I’m done.

HOPE: You almost gave me a heart attack!

KNOOP: CURSING ROUTINES POWERING DOWN.

JANE: I’m still waiting for that to be funny. Get your act together. So, what is it going to be then?

- I think I might be interested in this.

- Come to think of it, I think I liked uppers better.

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- And what is Hydrogeology?

- I think I prefer land over water.

JANE: I thought you had some backbone, kid.

HOPE: Do you really mean it? Come on… I thought we were getting somewhere!

KNOOP: SHAME REQUESTED.

- I’m just messing with you.

- I mean it, I’m done.

HOPE: You almost gave me a heart attack!

KNOOP: CURSING ROUTINES POWERING DOWN.

JANE: I’m still waiting for that to be funny. Get your act together. So, what is it going to be then?

- I think I might be interested in this.

- Come to think of it, I think I liked uppers better.

- All of this is just not for me, could we end the simulation?

- And what is Oceanography?

- I think I prefer land over water.

HOPE: To think I put my faith in you… I’m so disappointed.

JANE: I believe you know where the door is. Beat it.

HOPE: I guess you are right, ma ‘am. Kill the simulation KNOOP, we are done here.

KNOOP: SIMULATION SHUTTING DOWN.

HOPE: I’m sure you will do a great job if you pursue this career. With your help… well, let’s just say that I may be surprised with what I find once I get back to the future.

KNOOP: -LOUD BEEPING-

HOPE: Seems like we have another assignment, we have to go. I’m really grateful you worked with me here, you know? This was fun!

KNOOP: ACKNOWLEDGED – TIME WARP IMMINENT.

HOPE: That’s my cue. I’m really happy I got to meet you! Byeeeee….

The only thing left to be done now is to move forward.

- The End -

In the end, you took a bold step towards change. Whatever challenges the future brings, there is at least a seed of hope, for some brave individuals may tip the odds in our favour. We may still save Earth, and we may still fare into space, not out of need, but curiosity.

Our only chance is to go back in time, again.

- Try again -

In the end, you decided to step aside from the path of change. As many others, you did not become a specialist and society was ultimately ill equipped against the challenges ahead… Hope’s timeline became true: We did not save the Earth, nor we did fare into space.