"It's a self-contained ecosystem. The Atlanteans collected them from worlds they visited, almost like little snow globes. The landers, in this case, the Alpha Lander, carries the arc machines to the surface where it studies the world, collecting data. Then it gathers a subset of the planet's species and makes a balanced biosphere. The goal is to collect exotic species the Atlantean citizens might like to see when the arcs are exhibited back on the homeworld."
"Yes. Well, one of the issues but not the biggest. This arc has been tossed around-once thirteen thousand years ago when the lander was split in half by Ares' attack on the scientists, then again nine months ago when my father destroyed the other half of the ship off Gibraltar and pushed this half to Morocco, and today, when the mines rattled the ship. There's no telling what the environment is like inside. Some species could have died out, others mutated, to say nothing of the terrain, which could be impassable."