Tuesday, July 2, 2024

States of Change Chapter 40: Mount Rushmore (South Dakota)


States of Change is an ongoing work of serial fiction.

The speculative story-line seeks to inspire thought on ethics, culture and our planet's future.

The year is 2076, decades after Oosa's defederalization. 

Fifty independent States have forged unique societies from 

revolutionary technology and ideology

"Protocol polar bear sandwich!"

Pickleball drone alpha arced behind Crooks in a deft swoop. Terry's spin slam was vicious, but Crooks was able to deflect it upward enabling his alpha drone to meteor a kill shot that pulled Terry's drone far back in the court for the save resulting in a high lob back to Crooks. Terry compensated by shifting to midcourt, but before the drone could recover Crooks sent the graphene pickleball sailing to the corner out of reach of both Terry and his drone.

"Polar bear sandwich. What kind of protocol label is that, Crooks?"  Terry's cardinal scalp tufts   were matted from the last two hours of gameplay, but his normally gentle demeanor had finally cracked.

"Standard drone shuttle pass shift. Though I must admit the name itself was designed to get your metaphoric goat. You vegans are so thin skinned."

"Well come on. You're a conservation freak too. The polar bear extinction is a soft spot for anyone who is concerned about global ecosystems."

The two twenty-somethings approached the net, each dousing their thirst with chilled water from drink spheres.

"The extinction is a ruse, I tell you. The WALDEN report is meant to keep us down and focused for confinement. Post Oosa has been a boon for wildlife everywhere in the state. Just look at the comeback of bears down by Rapid City."

The pickleball drones dropped in parallel to the charging posts at either end of the net. Their deflector shields swiveling to their apex to permit electrical contact.

"Well, that's because we stopped hunting them, and gave them a bit more space. Until WALDEN came along the slaughter of wildlife was out of control. Oosa and corporate globalism be damned."

Crooks laughed with a wise-cracking snort to punctuate her words.

"Not arguing with you, Terr. In fact, there are two verified brown bear sightings up north in the Black Hills. That sounds like a win to me."

"Really, you'll have to send me the feed...with citations please."

The two friends, pickleball gear in tow walk toward the waiting public shuttle. Mount Rushmore glints in the distance, four adjacent solar panel pyramids that power the entire northwest.  It's unlikely anyone in South Dakota nowadays could name the Oosa fab four. 

History moves forward.

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