CKA Forums
Login 
canadian forums
bottom
 
 
Canadian Forums

Author Topic Options
Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Calgary Flames
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 27547
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:15 am
 


Hammered this out a few nights back. I got pissed off at the oceans-full-of-plastic thread but didn't have the energy to interfere in a pissing match with people who think throw-more-plastic-into-the-water-is-good-and-awesome.

This was really just something I wrote out because it had been burrowing a hole in my brain for a long time. It's kind of merely a part of a larger thing that I've been seeing in my imagination for a long time, lots of visions of a bigger story that's been erupting here and there into my thoughts. I like to consider it as something going against the current grain of dystopia that's been running through popular fiction for a long time. I actually like the dystopian stuff for the most part, especially The Walking Dead or something truly evil like Garth Ennis' Crossed, but at the same time I sort of figure why not go for the other side just to change the pace a bit. Eliminate the bullshit from the contemporary human brain, leave behind the mire of so-called "current events", and there's really no sin in thinking of Utopia again. Maybe if more of us thought bigger and better things would stop sucking so much everywhere.

Rough copy, needs lots of revising, tried not to get too sanctimonious but still failed, laugh all you want.

Quote:
Where do you want to go next?” asked the silver man.

I thought about it for a moment. “I’d like to see the Pacific Gyre again. I spent five years helping deploy the first clusters of robot skiffs that swept the large pieces of garbage out of the water”.

The silver man placed his hands flat on the disc’s control panel. He closed his eyes and concentrated and the disc went into quick motion again. From the Canadian plains, about a thousand kilometers east of the Rocky Mountains, to about two thousand kilometers off the west coast of North America and about five hundred north of Hawaii, the disc carrying us sped. The clouds passed by in a blur and in less than ten minutes the disc stopped as we arrived at the location I requested. “Take us down about thirty meters above the surface and another forty south of the robots, please”, I said. Silently the silver man complied.

I looked out through the screen-bubble that enclosed the disc. Down below us a chain of cylindrical bronze-coloured robots, each about fifty meters in length and ten meters round, lay horizontally on the surface of the ocean. Underneath each robot an emitter-array tube about sixty centimeters diameter stretched down into the water for twenty meters. Another length of tube, ending in a glowing neon-blue beacon, protruded above each robot for another three meters. A pair each of fixed pectoral and ventral fins, all shaped like the front half of a bisected surf board, jutted from the sides of the robots to serve as stabilizers. A yellow shimmering wave, translucent and bright, connected each robot by their emitter tubes both above and below the water. The yellow wave, like an endless glowing banner, stretched off into the far horizon in both directions from our hovering disc.

“These are a lot different from the first generation of sweepers. Those ones were larger and uglier. These ones are much smaller. And sleeker too” I said. “The first gen numbered about a thousand. How many are there now?”

“Three thousand in total, each one separated from the other by a hundred meters. These are now the fifth and final generation of sweepers” the silver man replied. “They were designed to scrub the plastics and other synthetic substances out of the water down to the micron level. The process remains the same as it was before with the first through fourth generations, except the fifth generation is removing the smallest pieces of whatever pollutants remain. The wave gathers the pollutants to itself as the chain rotates across the breadth of the gyre and flows whatever it attracts through the array tube into the interior of the main robot body. The transmitter portal in each robot then sends the synthetics and any residual liquid pollutants that might still be gathered up at this late stage in the cleaning project to the main gathering terminal in Texas. Then it’s processed down through the piping manifold system built over a field of old gas wells to a depth of two hundred kilometers underground into the planet’s upper mantle. There the heat and pressure of the magma permanently destroys it. The estimated duration of this final sweeper deployment is supposed to be for thirty years and they’ve already been in service for eight”.

“Are there any more of the picker-bots scouring the trash from the sea floor still in service?” I asked.

“No” said the silver man, “that task was completed fifteen years ago. All that’s left behind are the metal husks of old ship wrecks and aircraft crashes. No non-metallic synthetic matter, and none of the encased fuel in any of the larger wrecks, has been left behind. As of right now the ocean floor is estimated by the Cephalopods to be as clean and pure as it’s been since about five hundred years before the ascension of Augustus Caesar.”

Roughly twenty seven hundred years then, I thought, since humans had begun the high-intensity activity that had turned the oceans into a toilet. I shook my head slightly. The silver man, showing again that very little escaped his attention, noticed this. “These things seem to disturb you somewhat when we discuss them. May I ask what your thoughts are at this moment?” he asked.

Just disgust and shame, to tell the truth, something that the Change hadn’t been able to cure me of, I thought, but then again that was not what the Change was meant to do. “Maybe we can talk about it later when we return to the transit port tomorrow instead” I replied.

We fell into silence for a while. Then a soft beep emitted from the disc’s control panel and disrupted the quiet. “This should be interesting to witness” said the silver man.

“What is it...” I began but never finished my question. A dolphin had leapt from beneath the waters right beneath our hovering disc. It was then followed by a half-dozen more, and then what appeared to be at least another fifty.

“Ha! Incredible!” I laughed.

“Yes” said the silver man. “The recording logs from the sweepers show that the cleaning chain attracts dolphins, porpoises, and orcas. From what the Cephalopods have observed the creatures find the emitter wave to be fascinating. And apparently quite amusing as well”.

The dolphins had emerged right below us and swam towards the yellow wave that connected the endless chain of robots. They rapidly sped at it. “As you know from your time on the deployment of the first gen sweepers, the emitter wave is completely harmless to seagoing life forms. At best the animals will feel a mild tingle across their skin when they touch it” said the silver man.

“I know” I replied, “but it looks like they aren’t going to swim through it anyway”. The leader of the dolphin pod leapt out of the water again, about five meters in front of the above-surface portion of the emitter wave and seemingly effortlessly cleared it with about a meter to spare. It was quickly followed by the others in a living stream of sleek grey-and-white mottled bodies, all of them leaping clear over the sweeping yellow wave. “Ha!” I said again. “It doesn’t look like they had much of a problem in figuring out that the chain was something they could use to play with”. The dolphins had turned around and then jumped over the wave again from the opposite side. They then repeated the same action several times more, criss-crossing over the yellow banner until, apparently tired of the activity, they sped off to the south and east.

The silver man spoke a few moments after the last of the dolphins had disappeared out of sight. “It was well established before the Change that the ability, or the need, to engage in play-like activities was typical of all intelligent life-forms, even the proto-sentients like dolphins, apes, canines, and felines. Herd bovines and ungulates as well to a certain extent. From what the Cephalopods have discovered with their observations of what humans tended to refer to as the ‘lesser creatures’, these life-forms are nearly capable of almost all the emotions that humans are. The Cephalopods have noted that the dolphins in particular, much like canines, are capable of experiencing a deep and almost permanent state of happiness. Their rare periods of anger usually only occur when they are in competition with or protecting their young from predators like sharks”.

He fell silent again but I sensed the silver man was searching for a response from me. “Dogs, cats, and apes are also obviously capable of other emotions though. An ability to punish if necessary. To seek revenge too. And sadness too. There’s no mistaking that they’re all capable of feeling sadness” I said.
The silver man remained silent. “The dolphins also feel sadness, don’t they” I continued. He most likely already knew the question I was going to ask but for reasons of his own the silver man wanted me to say it out loud. “They felt sadness over the way humans had treated them, hadn’t they? For all of them that were hunted. Or that were trapped in those massive nets that were so thoughtlessly used all across the world. Or were butchered by the thousands in those coves and bays. Or that were made sick and diseased from all the pollution”.

“Yes” the silver man replied. “Collectively the dolphins, and all the other water-dwelling proto-sentients that the Cephalopods have observed have been very distressed, and for centuries too, about what humans had been doing to them and to the waters in which they lived. They’re distressed because they couldn’t fight back or make humans stop what they were doing to them. Their sadness was multiplied intensely because they simply couldn’t understand why humans were doing these things to begin with”. He paused then continued. “The Lemurs and the Avians that have been studying the proto-sentient land and flying animals have found the same bewilderment, distress, anger, and deep sadness among those creatures as well’.

The conversation stalled at that point. I looked out the screen-bubble again, in the direction that the dolphins had gone. The sky was getting darker as dusk approached, making the yellow glow from the sweeper wave that was cleansing the last molecules of human-created pollution and poison from the water even brighter.

The Change from all those years ago had changed me, as it had to all people everywhere. The intensity of emotion in everyone had been controlled. But the basic emotions themselves hadn’t been eliminated. Once again, that wasn’t what the reason for the Change was. I spoke again to the silver man, “Follow the chain eastwards please, back towards the coastline. I’d like to rest overnight at one of the lofts on the shore. No faster than 500 kilometers per hour if you don’t mind. I’d like to appreciate the dark for awhile’.

“As you wish’ replied the silver man. He placed his hands on the control panel and the disc sped off, chasing the chain of emitter-wave robots with their neon-blue beacons and connecting yellow wave, into the growing darkness.

We didn’t speak again for a few hours, not until the disc had reached the coastline. The disc descended over a beach in Washington and landed. The screen bubble flickered briefly and dissolved as the disc powered down. I stepped onto the beach, followed by the silver man. We walked towards a lighted group of small structures and heard the sounds of human voices not too far off the shoreline. A dozen or so people, all making farewell pilgrimages of their own, sat at some tables on the deck outside the traveller’s lofts.

I stopped for a moment, in no hurry and with no real desire anyway to speak to any other pilgrims and interviewees, and then spoke to the silver man one more time before the day ended. “Those dolphins were very happy. Almost overjoyed to tell the truth, beyond the normal playfulness they normally experience”.
“Yes” said the silver man.

“They’re happy, no they’re overjoyed because most humans have left, aren’t they. The animals are happy because we’re almost all gone”.

“Yes” the silver man said again. “The Cephalopods, Avians, and Lemurs have been somewhat successful in communicating to the proto-sentients what’s been happening over the last seventy-five years. They understand that they are no longer under the threat of total liquidation due to human activities. They are immensely relieved and quite pleased about it. As you just said, most of them, like the dolphins, are overjoyed that humans have almost all departed the Earth.”

We fell quiet again for a moment. I turned and looked out over the ocean again. A billion stars and a crescent moon, no longer impeded by the light pollution from buildings and vehicles, had come out in the darkness and cast a brilliant silvery gleam over the surface of the water.

“That’s not all that they’re pleased with, that they’re happy with, is it?” I asked him with my final question of the night.

“No” said the silver man, the typical tightly controlled ability of his new generation of incredibly evolved humans that were born after the Change not allowing any emotion to enter his voice. “They’re especially pleased at knowing that human beings will never be coming back to this world, that they’ll be allowed to live their lives in peace.

“I will see you in the morning. Good evening”.

“To you as well” I said. The silver man left me then, alone on the beach. I knew that his nightly activities would consist of exploring for the next fifty kilometers or so around, stopping every once in a while to enter the hollowed out and abandoned buildings, to imagine in his own way what the people who had built them had done there. Or to run at his super-human speed along disused highways and city streets that hadn’t seen the passage of any vehicle for a hundred years. Or to stop and scan the encroaching overgrowth of forest and grass that was relentlessly reclaiming the land that humans had spent so many centuries altering, distorting, and ruining. Or to observe the feeding and huntings of the animals, the proto-sentients and otherwise, whose populations had exploded in such natural abundance since the Change that had been forced on humanity had put a permanent halt to the containments, the exploitations, the exterminations, and the torments that we had been visiting upon them for the entire duration of our species time on our home planet. The silver man didn’t need to sleep, so on this night he would be able to do all these things and more, before he returned to the traveller’s lofts in the morning and we resumed our journey.

The silver man didn’t need to sleep. As a Changed but not super-advanced human I still did though. But I felt certain that the events of the day, the things we had seen and spoken of, and especially the thoughts that silver man’s last words of the evening to me had stirred, would ensure that I didn’t sleep much at all.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Montreal Canadiens
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13419
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 6:06 am
 


Very good. Worthy of Arthur C. Clarke ...


Online
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Montreal Canadiens
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 29046
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:55 am
 


Well that was a sad attempt. :(




You know that you'll be called a Lefty/Green/Commie for writing something like this.
Seriously though, I liked it. :wink:


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber


GROUP_AVATAR
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 20792
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:22 am
 


Typical alarmist, leftist trash about global warming... :lol:

J/K, very interesting.


Online
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Montreal Canadiens
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 29046
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:28 am
 


bootlegga wrote:
Typical alarmist, leftist trash about global warming... :lol:

"Trash"... I see what you did there. :lol:


Offline
Forum Super Elite
Forum Super Elite
 Calgary Flames
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 2427
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:29 am
 


Very interesting! As a fellow writer, I find that piece very descriptive and open to imagination!

-J.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Montreal Canadiens
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13419
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:16 pm
 


CDN_PATRIOT wrote:
Very interesting! As a fellow writer, I find that piece very descriptive and open to imagination!

-J.


There is nothing wrong with that writing.


Offline
CKA Moderator
CKA Moderator
 Vancouver Canucks


GROUP_AVATAR
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 63569
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:25 am
 


Well done! [B-o]


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 30438

Warnings: (20%)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:16 pm
 


Make that the prologue. 8) I have 20 questions but the most important is where is Chapter One?!? [B-o]


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Calgary Flames
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 27547
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:14 pm
 


There's a lot of disconnection in my head that seems to be increasing as I get older. I have the framework thought out around an incursion by a vast and enlightened multi-species galactic civilization that uses their technology to spontaneously evolve the human race forward about a half-million years sooner than it will get there on it's own. I tend to do these sorts of things in massive bursts of manic energy that can't be repeated so it's not too likely that I'll do a follow-up, at least not anytime soon. I did one a while back from the viewpoint of someone committing a murder/suicide with a sick parent. It actually scared me bad enough that I deleted the whole thing, sort of the way Stephen King reacted after Rage got connected to some school shootings. :|


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Montreal Canadiens
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13419
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:18 pm
 


Save it all and get a sane editor to put it together for you.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber


GROUP_AVATAR
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 42402
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:00 pm
 


Quote:
There's a lot of disconnection in my head that seems to be increasing as I get older.

A dissociative disorder? :twisted: :twisted:


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Calgary Flames
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 27547
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:35 pm
 


Must be a result of the brain-cell genocide via beer that I've been perpetrating on myself since about 1983. 8O :mrgreen: [B-o]


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Vancouver Canucks
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 20991
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:32 am
 


Great read, Thanos! Thanks.

I quit writing. Something had to give.


Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests




 
     
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest © Canadaka.net. Powered by © phpBB.