Author : Anna Sherwin

Simion stares at his face in the mirror, does he look human enough? He practices a smile, pulling the corners of his mouth upwards. He does not know how to create that elusive light to his eyes that would bring the smile to life. His new heart nestles uneasily in his powerful chest.

His controller has put him in charge of the green revolution. He must descend from his eyrie here on the one hundred and forty fourth floor deep into the basement of the building where the first seeds of change are germinating. Outside the windows, far away beyond the sprawling city, the desert is edging closer.

He moves smoothly towards the lift, the doors opening soundlessly before him. Inside the lift he meets Crystal, one of the few unmodified humans still living amongst the privileged, high above the pollution. Almost like a primitive life form she has been neither enhanced, or genetically modified.

‘Crystal,’ he says trying out his smile on her. Knowing they need to work together he wants to make it clear he is without prejudice.

She give him an appraising look,wonders if he will have the vision required for their task. Together they descend to the cavernous basement where millions of plantlets are reaching up towards the artificial sunlamps that bathe the space in warm light. He picks up a catalogue, tries to decipher the unknown language of plants. Crystal moves gracefully amongst the seedlings, examining their shapes and colors; she is heavily pregnant, feels new life stirring in and around her. She imagines the desert blooming, the parched soil sucking in water from the network of irrigation channels already under construction.

She looks over at Simion. He is standing with the catalogue open in his hands, trying to learn a new language, searching through the circuits of his memory bank.

‘Victoria plum,’ he says ‘Coxes apple, Swiss shard, loganberries, mizuna, pak choi, perpetual spinach.’

For all his beautiful perfection he looks like a lost child. She feels the baby turn and kick within her, waiting to inherit their green revolution.


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