Seed Sniper / Custom 8.5” ThreeA Square Mk2 (by Cris Rose)
The Seed Sniper was a bizarre solution to a mid-stage terraforming problem on Mars.
With the initial atmosphere established, the levels of Oxygen needed to be raised in order to support complex life forms. The simple plant life that had developed it thus far, needed some help in the form of more developed vegitation from earth.
The majority of this work was done by orbital and low altitude robotic drones, seeding a wide area with little accuracy. The air currents would often make it hard to deploy seeds in their ideal habitats with the sort of precision needed for optimal terraforming speed.
The Seed Sniper was built around an old technology prototyping platform developed initially for building moon bases for Omega Tellurion. It was, therefore, ideally suited to working in moon-like terrain that even this transforming Martian landscape still resembled.
Unlike the moon-scapers tho, this version was fast. Really fast. It’s double jointed legs let it speed across exceptionally rough terrain faster than any other robot without an anti-grav unit and could do so for longer and at higher speed dispite it’s incredible lack of aerodynamics. The thinness of the atmosphere gave it the drag coefficient of a hypersonic spaceplane back on Earth!
Guided by realtime 3D images from the orbiting satelite networks, even binocular vision was unnecessary as every shot was pre-programmed and millimetre accurate.
More than 90% of the Seed Sniper’s mass was made up of it’s cargo - seeds - each in it’s own pod of nutrients and fertiliser, hardened to protect the plant in flight and designed to vaporise perfectly on impact.
Barreling along the Martian valleys at over 1000mph, will it’s 4000 ft/s muzzle velocity almost 3 times that, Seed Sniper would fire round after round at a remarkable rate. Able to hit the very top of the tallest mountain on the planet from its base (Olympus Mons, 14miles high) without even having to slow down.
On emptying it’s payload of seeds, fresh ones would already be on their way. Launched from the satelites above, the grav-thrust rockets would chase Seed Sniper and slam into it’s back, docking in place just as the empty one would fall away, providing a never-ending supply of genetic material to turn the red of Mars, green.