Raihan Abu Hureyra: Chief Botanist
“The Chief Botanist’s primary responsibility is to oversee all agricultural processes on board the Arvad. He is also tasked with the maintenance, planning, development, and growth of all plants on the ship, including all hybridization experiments, and the conservation of all non-human organic life on the ship.”
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While the Chief Medical Officer is responsible for keeping everyone on board the Arvad alive, it is Raihan Abu Hureyra, the Chief Botanist, that ultimately keeps them all clothed, fed, and breathing. Raihan manages the Arvad’s multiple Ag Decks to grow all the food and plant-based materials used on the ship. And despite all of humanity’s vaunted technology, there’s still nothing better at collecting sunlight or converting carbon dioxide into breathable air than plants. The Arvad’s massive Lifeplant only looks like technology on the outside; inside it’s mostly algae and water teeming with microscopic life, with just the odd electric pump and tiny sensor.
Of course, the Ag Decks and the Lifeplant only stay alive because the Arvad is carrying her own tiny fusion star with her across the interstellar void in the form of her powerplant, and the only real source of essential carbon dioxide are the human passengers and a very few tiny herds of domestic animals on the Ag Decks. It’s a balancing act mimicking the billions-years-old closed system of Earth, only much smaller.
In his personal life, Raihan stays true to his nature, working with plants and keeping ancient arts such as weaving, basket making, and whittling alive. His private quarters are decorated with examples of such crafts, and also lushly filled with plants he took home from the office.
Written by: Matthew A DeBarth