Author : Samuel Stapleton

I get very tired of the color blue. But other than that, I have no complaints. Well okay. One.

I work on a synthetic farm you see. A portable pod anchored in the ocean.

The company grows synth plankton, krill, shrimp, crabs, fish, and even a few synth marine mammals. But the mammals are only sold to zoos, aquariums, or conservation groups. Everything else gets eaten. People gotta eat. And the animals people eat gotta eat.

It’s a lonely existence when comms are down. Even with accelerated growth it’s still six months between harvests. And the harvest vessels are automated. But the isolation has its advantages. Free housing. Incredible views. Plenty of leisure time. Great satellite reception…except when it storms. But hey that’s alright, there’s nothing like watching warm ocean feed a hurricane. Satellite has nothin’ on mother nature.

Couple times a year I’ll see a boat. A tanker or a military vessel if I’m lucky, otherwise they’re just container ships. Our chats over radio are always appreciated, I take notes sometimes. In case they come back and I need to remember names.

There are a few storage rooms downstairs that I’ve never been given access to. Never bothered me. I worked for a large corporation, in a large biodome. The pay was good, the work wasn’t too hard, so I didn’t ask too many questions. Capiche?

Then one day I’m making the trip down to get some environmental supplies. And I realize there’s something on the floor of the elevator. I reached down and touch the fine substance. It’s salt. From evaporated ocean water. I see it all the time on the outdoor decks, but this part of the facility is supposed to be watertight. Never had a leak. I was still scratching my head when the elevator doors opened to the lower levels. Before I’d even gone to step out I notice something else on the floor. I bent down to get a better view, the dim lights coated the floor in a reflective film and I studied them. Puddles. Little. Elongated. Puddles. Maybe a meter apart each, always one slightly left, and then one slightly right. The one closest to me looks slightly larger than my hand print would be. The trail…as far as I could tell…disappeared into a locked storage room.

I’m not the brightest guy. But I know footsteps when I see them. As soon as the next harvest is over, I’ll quit. It’s only two more months now. And I’m so tired of the color blue. And so scared of the puddles.