by Bill Holbrook
QUICK CHANGE One of Samantha’s many astounding genetic discoveries was the her ability to create changes that were practically instantaneous. Basically, a subject orally ingested a small amount of genetic material combined with a catalyst that started a rapidly escalating cascade of transformation. Until now, though, she hadn’t applied it on a planetary scale. She guessed how much she’d need and used Humpty to deliver it into the Mars circulatory system. After that, all we could do was wait. Here in the orbiter the first sign was a massive release of carbon dioxide from within Mars. That was followed by geysers of water vapor once the temperatures rose above freezing. All this took place over the course of seven hours, while we were beyond radio contact with Mission Control. Boy, will they be surprised.

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