Monday, June 25, 2018

The Natural Solution

The post below was drafted for a flash-fiction contest.  The entry was to be a thousand word or less piece of fiction regarding cities of the future and how humanity would interact with them.  I took it on as a quick writing exercise, creating something less a full story and more a hopefully compelling start.  Reprinting now that I have the all-clear to do so.  Particularly relevant as I start focused adaptation of Pgymalion this week.

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From the private journal of Sanador Malato
April 13, 2099
42 years after the conflict

They said that utopia could not exist and yet here it stands.  The shining city on a hill that explorers and conquerors had searched and died for.   The city of gold.  Arcadia.  Shangri-La.  Cibola.  El Dorado. 

It was impossible.  And yet they have succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

It took several months to nail down this exact location.  The Segredos have done an incredible job in maintaining the secrecy of their final city, Isso.  For the other eleven, they had worked with existing infrastructure, rebuilding and fortifying key locations across the globe.   With each of those, the greater challenge was in the journey there; upon arrival, each search ran fairly smoothly.

Here, they have found a way to build deep into the Amazon, near the Alto Tarauac√° in Acre.   They must have reached some agreement with the Isolados, for they have truly transformed the region (though you would not know it from first glance).

The city is so well integrated into the biosphere that it takes a direct approach to find any entrance.  They have patterned the entire urban design after a redwood biome, laying out the entire area in a precise grid-like fashion.  At the intersection of every line, there is a slightly conical tower, reaching skyward and topped with a solar structure emulating fronds.   These solar fronds radiate outward from the building edges, capturing and following the sun as it traverses through the sky.  The towers themselves are seemingly skinned with all sorts of vegetation.  Hanging gardens and vertical landscaping, fed by the sunlight that slips through the solar fronds and misters integrated into these superstructures.   An apparent perfect grid of giant biomechanical trees.

Each tower is connected to the others at varying levels via skybridges.  These skybridges are apparently used for additional urban gardening, lined with various herbs and small plants, creating a green, vine-like appearance.   This vine network links the entire city, creating miles of additional walkways for the residents.  I have heard that these towers house all of the office and housing space within the city.  Some inhabitants say that it is possible for one to never truly touch ground here.  Aimi would love it here; she always dreamed of a treehouse.

Under this canopy and vine structure, there lies a bustling network of single and two-story buildings at the base of the towers.  These structures provide stability for the towers, like the roots of a tree, each serving a unique and necessary function within the city.  Utilities and civil services, shops and cafes, all line the pathways around the buildings, like they once did everywhere. 

I haven’t seen a single vehicle since I have arrived, not that many work in the first place.  Without vehicles, there are no true streets throughout the entire space.  Only well-manicured green lawns between the buildings.  It’s as if the entire city sprang up in Central Park.

It’s self-sufficient too.  All of its power is supplied through a combination of sources.  What they cannot cover through the solar structures creating the canopy, they have offset through innovations in geothermal energy.  Water is obtained from reclamation projects, initiated from the many surrounding streams.  All needed food is either grown within the city structure or sourced from within a two mile radius.

Truly a marvel!

From what I understand, following the conflict, the Segredos were able to gather remaining innovators in energy, urban planning, agriculture, and architecture to design this dream city.  They promised a fortified Eden, one that would stand for the ages.  All who found it were welcome to stay and contribute, so long as they agreed to the cities structure and requirements.  John Galt would be proud.

And yet, it works.  I keep expecting to expose some dark underbelly to the system or to uncover a growing dissention among the people, but I have not.  In all my searching, through the people I have encountered, leads to the conclusion that they have found whatever secret formula is required to maintain this delicate existence.  They have created a well maintained ecosystem in an urban jungle.

They have also created a hybrid government system combining a near fully democratic vote, with an oligarchic council to act in check on mob rule.  The council is comprised of elected representatives who serve terms limited only by their desire and performance.  Periodic reviews combat abuse.  They must have had several innovative government experts to help them develop this system, though I’m told this was not their first attempt.

I don’t know how they did it, but I’m glad they did. 

I have finally obtained the identity of the lead biochemist, one of the initial twenty who founded Isso twenty-eight years ago.  Dr. Antonio Vitale.  National Medal of Science recipient, Nobel Award winner Dr. Vitale.   This is the break through that I have been searching for.  His work in nano-biotechnology started this entire quest and has lead me literally across the globe.  He disappeared several years ago and every clue to his existence had been destroyed.  The only question now is whether he has been able to create a viable sample.

I pray that Anjali is correct.  Her sources have so far been right on the money, I just pray they continue to pan out.

There are no other options, for each prior location proved a dead end.   If it exists, this must be the place.

The cure must be here.

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