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I was on the containment side. The others called for redirection and channeling. It wasn't normally a problem. Maybe the soil had something to do with it.

We followed standard operating procedure. Plantings weren't the only thing we did, but it was never that significant. When their spread outpaced expectations, we split into two camps. Some argued that it was a natural part of success, that we should encourage growth, and use it as our primary tool of transformation. I was more cautious. I was afraid it would cost us the ability to use our other tools. We were more conservative I suppose. We wanted to leave our options open, even if other options weren't really working.

Their growth had already progressed too far since our arrival. Now it was just a matter of whether we wanted the flowers to take over. I wanted alternatives, without having to rely on monoculture.

"It's only monoculture if you do nothing about it," the others argued. They wanted to investigate other forms the flowers might take, other forms that might also work.

We all supported diversity but in different ways. I thought their views were too restricted to a small number of options. I wanted tools beyond botany, maybe tools we could more easily control.

Even while we devoted some time to winning converts, those on the other side were already introducing working strains at new locations, or trying alternate specimens at old sites. Those on my side tried to uproot patches that we believed had outgrew their usefulness. If it was possible they could be useful again, we tried to preserve their state in controlled labs.

Though we all had similar goals, that was often forgotten in moments of tension, especially when our short-term plans came into conflict. I tried to avoid them as much as possible, but sometimes it couldn't be helped. Some on my side were more forceful - for them, containment grew out a greater sense of fear.

There was something about that environment that made growth so much wilder than any other discovery in recent memory. Unfortunately for my side, we didn't have much to show for our efforts, since none of our alternatives were really working. But we did have the argument for safety and security on our side. For all the progress made by the other side, we could argue their loose cannons were endangering all of us.

"Those aren't loose cannons," they'd say, "they're heroes."

We weren't listening though. They were already getting more credit than they deserved. We didn't want to feed their enthusiasm. Things worked out in the end but maybe only because we were the voice of caution. Unfortunately, we were accused of dragging out project completion for far longer than necessary.

Was I proud of what we did during those years? Yeah, I suppose I was. We didn't have a great way to measure our contributions, but I like to believe we added real value, even if it was hard to see. Everything is covered with violets now, but I wouldn't say we were just holding back progress. I'm as happy as they are that it worked out.

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