Interitus

Interitus

A Story by Treo LeGigeo
"

"Si nos can non take tutela of orbis terrarum, tunc nos operor non mereo mereor vivo in is." -If we cannot take care of the world, then we do not deserve to live in it.

"

He stood on the metal panel, staring out over the barren wasteland.

 

Nothing moved.

 

Ever since the Great Dying of 2100, any animal bigger than a dog was a rare sight, but now, over two hundred years later, one was lucky to see a butterfly. He ran a hand through his hair, wincing as his identity tag caught in his tangled curls. BD3745. That was all he was. A few letters and numbers thrown together and clapped around his wrist. That was all anyone was.

 

He turned around to face the gigantic dome that rose up from the polluted ocean, casting its huge shadow over ravished shores. The early warning signs for the Great Dying had been detected over a century before, and yet the world ignored it. The temperature continued to rise, the weather extremes continued to devastate the cities, food and water supply levels continued to fall, and it wasn’t until the extinction had already claimed over a million species that they could no longer ignore the fact that Homo sapiens would not be immune. It was only when the rapid decline in population passed all hope of salvation that the fully sealed, self-contained Floating City had been built as a final, desperate option. And after decades of frantic construction, the Floating City was finally ready to be boarded.

 

By the last remnants of the human race.

 

BD3745 was one of four thousand and eighty-nine who lived in the Floating City. He was also one of the fifty who knew that it was not the self sustaining haven it claimed to be. No, the rushed construction of the Floating City had left it with an astronomical consumption rate, and for fuel they used, well, everything. The Floating City was floating for a reason. It travelled around the shores of the continents, using anything it could find. The forests had been all destroyed long ago, and now the fuel collectors took any remains of the once great civilisation that could be used to run the generator, without any concern for what it released into the atmosphere. The collectors were the only people who knew the truth about the city.

 

BD3745 was one of them.

 

A humourless smile tugged at the corners of his mouth; saving a race that was endangered due to their destruction of the environment, by further destroying the environment. His grandfather had once told him that before the Floating City, the atmosphere hadn’t been so deadly. Back then, people had freely walked and lived in the open air. But now he was already sweating profusely, already feeling lightheaded from his few minutes spent in the Outside. He took a deep breath, feeling the acrid air burn his lungs. It wouldn’t be much longer before the poisons would begin to shut down his nervous system.

 

He stepped off the wing of his plane and onto the relatively small titanium structure that protruded from the dome. It would at least half an hour before the others noticed him missing during their salvaging of the place that had once been called “New York.” He began to walk toward the small gap between two plates that was the only unprotected access to the structure, casting a glance as he walked at the pale yellow sunset smeared out across the dull gray sky. He had heard that once, a very long time ago, the sky had been blue. A long time before the Floating City.

 

His smile vanished. It had begun two centuries ago; it would end tonight.

 

Reaching the gap, he turned his shoulders and stepped in, squeezing through the small space. Slowly, he made his way deeper and deeper into the structure, until he was standing on a metal plate humming with the activity below that overlooked row after row of steel wire.

 

The internal circuits of the generator that ran the Floating City at the expense of everything else.

 

The city had been built to be indestructible, and very nearly was. There was only one weakness. It had taken years of crawling through records to find it, but he had, and he was standing there now.

 

BD3745 took another deep searing breath as he studied the circuits. They were uninsulated, a precaution deemed expendable in the rush construction since they were almost completely inaccessible. They were open, unprotected, vulnerable.

 

He took a few steps closer to the edge. With the amount of power in the wires, a single fault, a single short circuit would cause an explosion powerful enough to destroy the entire protective dome.

 

And there was no way a human body could fall onto them without causing a short circuit.

 

A single act that would kill four thousand people. The last four thousand people.

 

After all these years they still hadn’t learned, still devastated the environment, and would continue to do so until it was beyond all hope of recovery. This way the Earth had a chance.

 

The mission of the Floating City was to ensure the survival of the human race, and tonight it was going to fail.

 

Si nos mundum curare non possumus, tum in eo non deservimus habitare,” he whispered in the ancient language that he had learnt from the old paper books.

 

If we cannot take care of the world, then we do not deserve to live in it.

 

He jumped.

© 2013 Treo LeGigeo


Author's Note

Treo LeGigeo
"Interitus" is the Latin word for extinction. The phrase at the end is also Latin.

This is something I wrote for an English assignment that had to be about a current affair. I am actually a bit skeptical about Climate Change, but I believe that regardless of whether or not it prevents our planet's destruction, reducing pollutions levels and carbon emissions must be beneficial in itself. Or in no way not harmful at the very least.

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Featured Review

comma after "Great Dying of 2100"
"you were lucky to see a butterfly" - awkward - "you" suggests that the narrator is addressing the reader directly, and that jars with the next sentence. Try rewording this one.
comma after "over a century before"
"The temperature continued to rise..." - good use of repetition throughout this sentence
"Homo Sapiens" - "Homo sapiens" - italicize
"rapid decline in population" - And if this had happened a century earlier, maybe the planet could have been saved. (We hit 7 billion this July - scary, ain't it?)
"self contained" - "self-contained"
"By the last remnants of the human race" - GOOD use of sentence fragment as separate paragraph
Why are you italicizing the protagonist's ident number?
period, not comma, after "floating for a reason"
This city is floating on the ocean - why are they not using sea water for hydrogen fuel?
period, not comma, after "corners of his mouth"
"saving a race that was endangered due to their destroying of the environment, by further destroying the environment" - "Saving a race that was endangered by their destruction of the environment, by further destroying the environment"
"But now, now he was already" - either replace comma with ellipses or delete second "now"
"took a deep breathe" - "breath" ("breathe" is the verb form)
"It wouldn’t be much longer before the poisons incapacitated his nervous system" - If it's THAT serious, he'd already be having a lot more trouble than just light-headedness. Change "incapacitated" to something milder and the sentence is fine.
Don't put place names in quotes.
Some things to consider: How much disease is still around out there after this Great Dying? I know you're not saying that plagues caused the extinctions, but all those dead bodies would have been prefect breeding ground for all sorts of nasty bacteria and viruses. So, do your people out scavenging fuel have to wear any kind of biohazard gear, and if so, why don't they also have protection from the bad air? (If the air is so bad for them, why aren't they wearing masks, at the least?) The gene pool is too small to be wasting anyone. And if the forests are all gone, how are they getting oxygen to breathe? (Splitting it out of sea water would make sense, but if they did that, they'd have the hydrogen for fuel, so...) Algae cultures, perhaps?
Considering the bad air, I would think they'd have some kind of seal at the entrance to the city, even the place that contains the generators if people have to work there.
"there were almost completely inaccessible" - "they were"
"And there was no way a human body could fall onto them without causing a short circuit." - good foreshadowing, even though this is very close to the end of the story
I understand that you have written this as a cautionary tale, and as such it wouldn't NEED to have any of the things that people could actually do in such a situation to survive without continuing to wreck the planet, but it still seems too simplistic to have them do nothing but what they have always done in the past. A little more realism would, I think, give the warning more impact.


Posted 8 Years Ago


5 of 5 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Good story... you have my vote. However you NEVER have to worry about the Earth. Its been here just shy of 4 billon years and got along fine without us and will continue to do so when our time here is done.

Posted 7 Years Ago


Treo LeGigeo

7 Years Ago

Thanks. And yeah, I do actually believe that. I wrote another story with that exact theme (called "P.. read more
Tegon Maus

7 Years Ago

I'll take a look... thanks
To being with, I found this to have a very dramatic and formal voice that worked very well with the destructive theme. I dislike the ending though as killing the last people alive defeats the object to me - meaning that I would like the message to be to strive to save the world and that people have heard the message as the story is pessimistic and although the title is 'extinction' you could've made it the extinction of pollution, that people learn their lesson. It was still really good and sounded professional. I liked the length of the story too.

Posted 7 Years Ago


The temperature continued to rise, the - rise should be raise

The internal circuits of the generator that ran the Floating City at the expense of everything else.- fragment

I didnt see anything else wrong. This was very fun to read. Great job :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


comma after "Great Dying of 2100"
"you were lucky to see a butterfly" - awkward - "you" suggests that the narrator is addressing the reader directly, and that jars with the next sentence. Try rewording this one.
comma after "over a century before"
"The temperature continued to rise..." - good use of repetition throughout this sentence
"Homo Sapiens" - "Homo sapiens" - italicize
"rapid decline in population" - And if this had happened a century earlier, maybe the planet could have been saved. (We hit 7 billion this July - scary, ain't it?)
"self contained" - "self-contained"
"By the last remnants of the human race" - GOOD use of sentence fragment as separate paragraph
Why are you italicizing the protagonist's ident number?
period, not comma, after "floating for a reason"
This city is floating on the ocean - why are they not using sea water for hydrogen fuel?
period, not comma, after "corners of his mouth"
"saving a race that was endangered due to their destroying of the environment, by further destroying the environment" - "Saving a race that was endangered by their destruction of the environment, by further destroying the environment"
"But now, now he was already" - either replace comma with ellipses or delete second "now"
"took a deep breathe" - "breath" ("breathe" is the verb form)
"It wouldn’t be much longer before the poisons incapacitated his nervous system" - If it's THAT serious, he'd already be having a lot more trouble than just light-headedness. Change "incapacitated" to something milder and the sentence is fine.
Don't put place names in quotes.
Some things to consider: How much disease is still around out there after this Great Dying? I know you're not saying that plagues caused the extinctions, but all those dead bodies would have been prefect breeding ground for all sorts of nasty bacteria and viruses. So, do your people out scavenging fuel have to wear any kind of biohazard gear, and if so, why don't they also have protection from the bad air? (If the air is so bad for them, why aren't they wearing masks, at the least?) The gene pool is too small to be wasting anyone. And if the forests are all gone, how are they getting oxygen to breathe? (Splitting it out of sea water would make sense, but if they did that, they'd have the hydrogen for fuel, so...) Algae cultures, perhaps?
Considering the bad air, I would think they'd have some kind of seal at the entrance to the city, even the place that contains the generators if people have to work there.
"there were almost completely inaccessible" - "they were"
"And there was no way a human body could fall onto them without causing a short circuit." - good foreshadowing, even though this is very close to the end of the story
I understand that you have written this as a cautionary tale, and as such it wouldn't NEED to have any of the things that people could actually do in such a situation to survive without continuing to wreck the planet, but it still seems too simplistic to have them do nothing but what they have always done in the past. A little more realism would, I think, give the warning more impact.


Posted 8 Years Ago


5 of 5 people found this review constructive.

I love writing that focuses on bringing an awareness to matters of importance (Or at least what I myself deam as important) which include a number of things created by humankind; human rights (sex traffiking, war and war crimes, genocide ect) and of course the one you listed here; the destruction of our only environment. You also brought up the point of our unfaltering and limitless ignorance. Loved the ending, you strengthened the well known phrase 'one person can make a difference' and challenged the readers to make their oen decisions.
I would however, like to see some more descriptions, I found myself imagining/guessing where he was and what he was experiencing rather than being shown and having them visualized how you see it in your own mind and how you want us to see it.

I really enjoyed, great concept and story line, would be even greater with a little more meat to fill it out!

Loved it.
-Em

Posted 8 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

there's still hope...:) nice :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


0 of 6 people found this review constructive.

This is truly a magnificent story. It shows how man's need to grow can end up in their own downfall, not to mention the rest of the world around them. And the bravery to stand up to your own people for the sake of this world can make all the difference. I cannot wait to read more of your work.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

An amazing story! This belongs on a book shelf with the famous books of a similar nature. Fiction is a great way to bring awareness to others. People are polluting the world, and I agree with you in that whether or not global warming is occuring, we are poisoning our world. Very well written. Wow!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

we really are destroying the environment with all the cars and factories and such polluting the air. i liked how this story was about a person giving earth a chance.

Posted 8 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Hey there Entity, really enjoyed the read (post-apoc - right up my alley)

A few typos here n there, but nothing that hinders the story. Great story, better message and intentional or not, but the act of BD3745 sacrificing himself to destroy the flying city is symbolic of how we (as humans) are our own worst enemies.

Again, great read and keep up the good work! :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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1575 Views
20 Reviews
Added on September 16, 2010
Last Updated on April 3, 2013
Tags: Extinction, Future, Death, Global, Warming, Climate, Change, Heat, Pollution, Damage, Environment, Destruction, Warning

Author

Treo LeGigeo
Treo LeGigeo

Sydney, NSW, Australia



About
I'm from Australia, so some people may find that I spell things differently. I love writing and have had a couple of publications of short stories and novellas under a pseudonym. I started .. more..

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