Friday, January 8, 2010

The Sequence


Colin took a deep breath and lay down in the grass. "The Fibonacci
Sequence is found throughout nature. It's a golden ratio, a sequence
that represents a recurring growth pattern. It determines the number
of branches and leaves in a simple meadow flower, the number of seeds
in the design of a sunflower core, all according to the golden ratio.
Even the whirlpool of a far away galaxy follows the sequence to form a
perfect spiral." Colin lifted his head toward the sky. "Where do you see these things in concrete polymers?"
"Concrete is ancient history," Matt said, as he plucked a blade of
grass and studied it. "Nature is very commendable, though."
"Nature is for the rich," said Colin.
"And you’re complaining because?"
"I'm not the sole holder of earthly delights. Nature should be enjoyed by all." Colin took a breath and stared up at the blue sky.

Matt chewed the blade of grass and squinted into the sun. "If nature
was meant for all, we all would be rich." He spit the blade of grass
out and smiled. "Besides, there are too many now to just let the
hoards trample nature's beauty."
"Father says the people have finally gotten what they've wanted."
Colin said.
"The people can go to hell." Matt got to his feet and started walking
toward the main compound. "Come on. We have to start the preparation."

"Do you know what I mean, though, Matt? About the golden ratio?" Colin
asked.

"Get to your feet, fool. We'll miss the first bell." Matt continued to walk. Colin followed close behind.

"The golden ratio is confirmation the world was created by an
intelligence, don't you think?"

"What propaganda have you been reading?" Matt asked.

Colin put his hands out to touch the waist high grass and ran, letting
the blades touch the undersides of his hands. The slight wind was warm and dry. Matt ran ahead of Colin and stopped near an ancient apple tree, its dead branches brittle and falling.

"How many apples does your golden rule say this tree will grow?" Matt asked.

"As many as the people can eat!" Colin laughed as he rushed past Matt
toward the barns.

The first of the three barns was open to the wind and captured the
golden rays gleamed from the sun, filtered through the polished glass ceiling. Colin ran inside and pushed the three purple buttons that closed the watering systems. Matt climbed the steps to the catwalk and turned the brass ringlets that shut the metal roof shields. A loud beeping blared throughout the barn as the stainless steel outer roof slowly slid closed.

"Just made the first bell!" Colin yelled.
"Bells are for apes." Matt yelled over the beeping.
"And apes are for apples," answered Colin.
"And apples are for?" Matt asked.

Colin walked across the sleek shiny barn floor and sat on the green sofa facing the large wall screen. Matt joined him a moment later and
handed Colin ripe red apple.

"Apples are for people." Colin said, as he bit into the apple. "Hmmm,
delicious."

"I made it myself." Matt sat next to Colin and pressed the white
button near the table. The large screen lit up and a narrative began in mid-sentence. "Mary's family had many reservations of the coming drought. They took many precautions-"
"I don't want this story." Colin clicked off the screen and looked at Matt.
"What news?"
"No news so bad abroad as that at home," Matt quoted.
"Oh," continued Colin, "Is the king sickly weak and melancholy?"
"And his physicians fear him mightily," Matt said. They both laughed.
"Alright, no more Shakespeare for a while."

"Seriously though, what news from home?" Colin grew serious and
anxiously rubbed his hands on his knees. He nodded to Matt, urging him
to start the screen again. Matt pressed the white button and said, "News."

The screen clicked on and an out of focus, older male face could be seen too close in the frame of the picture. The old man sat back and cleared his throat. Matt stole a glance at Colin, who watched intently.

"Day two thousand forty one, the old man began, “Today was a special day. Many who thought the great experiment would fail have been proven wrong. Earth 2 Systems in well beyond the unsafe zone and trajectory is as planned-"

The picture froze with the man was caught open mouthed, in mid-sentence. Colin slid down on the sofa.

"Well, the signal, I mean you know it will take a while to reach and-"

"Shut up!" Colin stood and threw his apple at the screen. "That's the
same message we've seen for three months. There is no news. It's all a waste!"

Colin ran into the inner chamber and down a white corridor marked B level. Stopping at a large plate glass window that opened up onto the lower level of the Growing Fields, he counted how many of the young saplings were barren or turning brown. Many of the young trees drooped over and dropped leaves. Three this time. Last time two, at least one per day. They would all be dead in a matter of weeks. His hand slid down the glass leaving a large smear. Wiping the moisture off with his finger, he noted his own secretions were changing. The smear was thick and viscous, not the gentle sheen of oil nature intended.
Colin ran into his quarters and yelled, "Intercom." A low beep emitted from a wall and a green light came on. "Matt, meet me at station three. You hear me?"

"Will do." Matt's voice echoed throughout the hall as Colin made his
way down a flight of metal stairs onto C section toward a large dome
structure at the end of the hall.

"Execute one," Colin said. The dome lit up and the large white door slid open. Inside, Colin found a grid on a large wall facing an oblong
pod. "Begin pressurization life supports green, alpha, nine."

A large cylindrical tank swiveled onto the pod as steam vapors shot out from the connection until it was sealed.

"Why are you firing up the escape pod?" Matt asked, as he made his way
into the sphere.

"Look at this." Colin held out his hand. Matt leaned in to look at it and Colin smeared his fingers on his face.
"Hey, what the?" Matt stepped back.
"Now feel it. Feel the slop I just left on your face. It’s in a
non-sequential state. I am non-sequential, you understand? We are non-sequential!."

"Hey, now buddy. Come on. Don't be so fast to blow the lid off this thing."

Matt touched Colin's arm. "You know we can re-sequence this. Have you
tried a re-calibration?"
"I am not doing that! I’m not doing a thing. I don't want to be recalibrated. I am out of sequence."
"What the hell are you talking about?"

"Come on, Matt. I give up. The trees are dying. The messages are
garbled and old and I'm getting bored, okay?"

"You just can't take off when you're ready. What about me?"

"Man, this is really starting to be redundant. We can't win this
thing. It's too complicated."

"We can start at the sequence machine."

"I'm sick of the sequence machine. Sorry, Matt. I'm out of here."

"Do you want me to save it, at least?"
"I don't care."

"You little selfish prick, as it gets hard."

"My head hurts."

Matt stood staring at Colin. "You were going to blow it up again,
weren't you?"

Colin smiled. "At least it's something I know how to do."

"Oh, brother." Matt pressed a button on his wrist band and yelled,
"Game over!"

The surroundings turned bright white then faded to a light green.
Padded walls surrounded them. Colin pulled off his receptor suit,
pulled the wires from the energy back pack and slid the suit off to the floor.
"Man it feels good to be out of that thing." Colin said.
"All right, you don't like 'Project Earth 2' what else do you want to play?"
"I don't know. It's your birthday. How much time do we have left?"
"I think about twenty minutes."
"Let's go surfing."
"Okay, but I choose the wave size!"

Matt and Colin walked out the green room and into the arcade center. They returned the suits to the guy at the desk.
"All done with Planet Earth 2, already?" The guy asked.
"Has anybody ever won that game?" Colin asked.
"Yeah," said the guy, "but it takes like 30 hours."
"Two for Big Surf, please", said Matt.
"Two Big Surf coming up."
"How much time do I have left?" Matt asked.
"Long enough to catch a few good waves, my man," said the guy behind
the counter.
The guy handed them two new suits and pointed them toward a large room
with surfboards hanging above the door.

The End

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