Author : Desmond Hussey, Staff Writer
I call it World War Bee. Perhaps not an apt label for what’s really going on, but it gets the buzz out.
Sorry, bad joke. Levity is the only thing keeping me sane these days.
In all fairness, the war wasn’t the bee’s fault, but it did start with them. Now, the war is all around us, in the rocks and soil, in the trees, in the animals, carried by the wind. Bacteria, pathogens, spontaneous mutations, those are the weapons of the enemy. We fight back with nano-tech, combat drones and chemicals.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll explain. The sudden widespread death of bee colonies at the beginning of the 21st century triggered a worldwide famine.
Remember starving? That was why.
Turns out bees were responsible for nearly a third of our food supply as they pollinated our crops. It was determined that the excessive use of neonicotinoids in fertilizers, as well as the cocktail of herbicides and pesticides regularly sprayed on fields, were responsible. So, rather than changing our agricultural practices, which was deemed too costly, someone came up with the novel idea of creating our own bee which would carry out the business of pollination for us.
That someone was me.
I invented the BeeBot and it did exactly what it was designed to do, industriously buzzing through orchards and fields with their little pollen collectors, fertilizing crops as well as, if not better than, ordinary bees, since we could control when and where they were put to use.
Pure, unadulterated hubris.
Then the worms disappeared. So I helped engineer our own; little, red, plastic-coated wrigglers that aerated the soil and broke down organic waste. Then a multitude of bacteria and other organisms, insects, etc, vanished – mainly those responsible for breaking down larger organics. Food waste, wood and grasses ceased to rot and corpses would lie around for months as the decomposition process was retarded.
Once again, I came up with radical solutions; specially designed Nanotech and chemical vats to break down organic matter, but for every ingenious solution I came up with, Nature would trump me elsewhere. It appeared, for all intents and purposes, like the human race was under deliberate attack from Mother Nature herself, but those who made such claims were ridiculed into silence.
People like me.
Then the mutations started. Creatures spontaneously evolved that could counter my engineered facsimiles; strange birds attacked BeeBot populations, new bacteria appeared in the soil which broke down the plastic casings of the WormBots, previously unknown fungi wreaked havoc with the nano-tech and mysterious air-born pathogens began wiping out human populations within days.
It was undeniable. We were at war and Mother Nature proved to be a real bitch when backed into a corner. She fought like a rabid banshee and could adapt, and adapt quickly, to anything we threw at her.
Thirty years later, the surface is a hostile, unrecognizable war-zone. Those not directly involved in the war effort simply hunker down in man-made bunkers or deep caves waiting until it all blows over, if it blows over. Every year there are growing reports of new aggressive plants, weird beasts and diseases that stalk the land, corrupt water supplies, and pollute the air. Every year we release our counter-measures – combat drones, vaccines and updated filtration systems.
We’ve been evicted from the Garden of Eden; expelled from the circle of life. Mother doesn’t want us anymore. Most days, I can’t say I blame her. I’m beginning to wonder if this is one war we shouldn’t win.