It only needed to happen once. That moment the Earth’s matter became living.

But then maybe it didn’t.

I think it was Anaxagoras — one of them — said we were scattered like seeds. Sentient space dust drifting aimlessly until the lucky ones landed on Earth. Makes you kind of sad, what happened to the others? Or jealous, did they end up somewhere better? Or perhaps we came as spores, ejected in volcanic clouds into the stratosphere of other celestial bodies where electrical charges propelled us into space and solar winds carried us from star to star until we got here. Sounds fun. Some Swedish guy came up with that one, it’s called Panspermia. Panspermia hypothesis, Hydrothermal Vent hypothesis, RNA World hypothesis, Coenzyme World hypothesis, Amyloid World hypothesis, tRNA hypothesis, GADV hypothesis, ABC hypothesis, 123 hypothesis — now I’m being silly. I guess it’s not really the point. The intergalactic, extraterrestrial fucking that led us here.

We’re here now and we’ve been here a while.

Once the relentless bombardment of comets and asteroids slowed, temperatures decreased significantly, and the water released into the atmosphere retained its state as vapour. Wet, wayward bodies rose from the ground to populate the pink skies, reflecting ultraviolet rays back into space, and the planet further cooled. This cooling would, in time, allow for rain. Rain that would form the first ponds, then lakes and seas, until finally it became an anoxic ocean world, wrapped in a reddish methane mist.

Due to constant geological activity, volcanic cones would eventually swell above the water surface. Small islands turned into small archipelagos. Open fractures in an endless primordial skin. The erupted lava clung to those islands and they grew. Larger land masses became proto-continents, and there we found our first home.

Mingling. Merging. Unfolding and unfolding and unfolding and unfo —

— ‘Hold me.’ A flirtatious one said.

And we all did. Together, an endless membrane that never stretched thin. But multiplied! Oily embryonic beads formed vast microbial matts that crawled across the ocean floors to lick the coasts of Vaalbara, which then became Ur and then Kenorland, depending how you look at it. Our nested networks built dome-like structures that grew metres high as we clambered over one another to laze in the warm light that tasted like sugar.

Ferrous particles that once filled the oceans were oxidised by our gassy leftovers, forming rusted flecks that trickled down to the seabed. Like so many things, this iron was finite and its decline would leave no obstacles for the poisonous oxygen we produced. Toxic pearls crept upwards and into the atmosphere, trapping the planet in an ethereal haze.

And so the sea went from green, to reddish brown, 

and finally, to blue.