Monday, 10 September 2018

ReGenesis - In the (Second) Beginning


"The agro-chemical industry failed to genetically engineer a crop that would grow without soil" said Eddy, gazing at the semi-desert.

His daughter, Withiel, had found a plant alive ... just the one.

"It looks a bit like the photo of a dandelion," she said.

"We can dig it up," suggested Eddy, "And take it home."

He frowned, concerned about the survival of such a rare find.

"We'll have to get every bit of the root, or it might not survive."

Withiel, sitting cross-legged on the hot dust, facing the parched plant, teased some of the dust aside.

"It has a big root, like the Dandelion!" she sang.

Eddy knelt down and began exposing the taproot, encouraging his young daughter to do the same from the other side.

++

Back home, home being the group's name for their camp on the edge of the mountain, Jenny was examining the apparently sterile water she'd sampled from their three ponds. Ponds they'd created along the course of the only stream they'd found since they left the deserted town.

They were hoping that the ponds could kickstart biological life in a way the eroded landscape clearly couldn't.

"There's bound to be bacteria and spores," Jenny muttered to herself as she held an old jar of pondwater up to the light. "But nothing green."

But good news was on its way ...

++

Albertina, like most of the children, was very inquisitive. It was one thing to hear the adults talk of the world before it became barren and unpopulated, but there were no pictures that she could relate to, and the adults always changed the subject when the children asked where the people had all gone. Albertina liked to discover things for herself.

Albertina's imagination was captivated by junk. It hinted of a lost world, and activity that she had never seen. In the town there had been piles of junk everywhere, though her ma said in the good times, it was cleared away every week. Even the buildings had fallen apart before Albertina was born, since no people around to maintain and mend them, but they'd had to leave the town. Ma said they couldn't keep the food freezers going any more, but she'd had that eye contact with other parents that meant they were worried. For sure there had been lots more rats around, and they were hanging around the people. Until that time, they'd always seemed keen to avoid us ...

The mountain with a stream, on the edge of a huge photovoltaic array (what was that for, in the middle of nowhere?) had seemed like a good place to start afresh. Water, shelter, possibly electricity.

Today, Albertina's inquisitiveness had led her to a pile of old tyres. Car tyres, trucks, lorries - all sizes and patterns. She tried to make sense of the writing on the side. There were names - possibly the makers of tyres, a mix of letters and numbers that maybe matched the tyres size to some extent. Most interesting to Albertina was the peculiar patterns of disintegration. From gaping holes to the tiniest lines in the rubber. Why would they decompose or split when they weren't carrying the weight of huge machines?

Albertina realised - with a sigh - that she was destined for an ear-bashing when she got 'home', how long till I ditch the inverted wotsits, she wondered, and the very thought made for a pleasant diversion from images of her impending auditory manipulations

"What was I thinking about," she wondered. "Ear bashing, dirty hands, black and green."

"Black and WHAT!?" she thought. She heard the echo and realised she'd spoken out loud. The hard face of the mountain was agreeing with her, or maybe just a good reflector of sound.

Green.

Where did I find that?

She retraced her steps to a tyre in a hollow under a huge pile of rusty metal. Possibly a dump for worn out washing machines, she thought. She rummaged around in the heap and saw  some water, well liquid, lying in a particularly well-shaded tyre. It definitely had a trace of green in it.

What to do?

Put something on the top of the heap as a marker, and take a tiny sample back to Jenny.



Tags: regenesis, fiction

The subsequent episodes will list here


3 comments:

ReGenesis said...

Searching for life in a post industrial desert

Lord Douchebag said...

I have purchased the Grand Canyon in the country of Atrumpia. Tiz a vast pit and perfect to dump industrial waste for the next 2 centuries. I've also begun dumping waste from fastfood eateries in the Trent. I so enjoy looking at all the dead fish floating on the surface from my veranda on the east wing of my Kensington estate. Quite.

ReGenesis meets satire said...

Charming fellow. Come the revolution, you will be first against the wall ... if there are any walls still standing :)