It took a lot of very intricate coaxing to train the flowers to produce mineral deposits in their petals, and even longer to get the distribution enough to really do anything but faintly sparkle. But once the crystal fibber lattice was developed, art-botanists began to go wild. Nichole enjoyed the splendor of the ruby roses and emerald orchids, but she'd been tinkering on her dream flower: the Opal Starfire Chrysanthemum. The milky, cosmic colors of her favorite precious stone swirled around the blossom, and the opalescent clouds let the flower capture the light and glow. She'd been watching this sprout for nearly two months, knowing it mostly through soil tests, stalk measurements, and fluid scans. But in those months, and the years of imagination that preceded them, the appearance of the flower was still a hazy dream of potential. Today, to see it finally revel its beauty overwhelmed Nichole. She knew soon, to save this moment and the important genetics it contains, she'd have to harvest and preserve her sample. But for a few more minutes at least, she gazed with parental pride in silent communication with the flower who's seed was first planted in her mind so many years ago.
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