Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Radiation

I've been here several years now, in this new place, and I'm starting to fit in, or at least a feel like I am. I know what to do now, I'm a useful member of society and they seem to accept me. I stay here in a room at the place of one of the native families, probably so they can keep an eye on me and make sure that I am what I say I am. That seems to be the custom here as a matter of course. Newcomers are placed with established families and stay with them long term as they work for their new society. This are a distrustful society.

Personally, I have no problem with this place but I can't really say I love it either. It's just that I had no place to go and here has worked out for me. I have a good job and a good place to stay and it's been a nice stable environment. They seem to find me useful and if I stay here long enough, they will likely eventually let me have a place of my own. It's only a matter of time, sticking to the job, and staying out of trouble. It's a pretty good life really.

Down the street, another one of the newcomers is also staying. He hasn't been here as long as I have, but he's been generating a great deal of interest because of the new science and technology he has brought with him. At first he just did small experiments but the leaders of this society were very impressed by it, some kind of chemical based technology that generates energy. The main problem is that the technology also generates radioactivity.

People here in this society have little understanding of the dangers of radioactivity. He has tried to explain to them but they just don't get it or they just don't want to get it. They are too excited by the benefits of the technology to want to think about the dangers. I on the other hand have seen some of the damage it's done in other places. I don't understand it either but I do understand that it is dangerous and the expansion of the experiments makes me uneasy. I don't think even he understands fully what he is doing, but the urge to fit in and the excitement of this new society of his both serve to urge him forward with his experiments. There is tremendous pressure on him to do more.

Where before he had only tiny palm sized plastic dishes for his experiments, now he has expanded the experiments to huge wood pallets full of the chemical spread out all across the deck of the house he is staying in. The wood is stacked high and I observe from a distance. Worry gnaws at me and my worst fears are realized when I hear an aweful cracking noise. The deck has collapsed and the wooden pallets on top have fallen to either side! Fearing that radiation is surely escaping now, I run away as fast as I can to the administration building to alert those in charge.

By the time I get there, the place is already in an uproar. People are running around in a panic, some in confusion, others trying to figure out what to do, and still others are found seemingly intent only on proclaiming how right there were that such technology should not have have been undertaken in the first place. Those few had been protesting all along and now their worst fears have been proven right. However, instead of looking fearful or horrified, these few seem perversely happy and justified, as if the chance to be proven right could be actually more important than the safety of their own society. Could they have been involved in the disaster themselves, perhaps to sabotage the experiments and be proven right?

Watching the milieu, I feel frustrated and sick inside. I realize no one knows what to do because there is nothing to be done. My own knowledge of the radiation tells me the only thing that can be done is to run away. It's every man for himself and since my heart never truly belonged to this society, it's an easy decision for me to decide to run. Know the winds blow to the south, I run hard and fast to the north. But all the while, I still cannot be hopeful. Because the winds are not reliable. Eventually they will shift back and the radiation will blow this way too. And I can only go a little to the north before I must stop. Because this land is an island and there is no way off. Eventually the winds will shift, bringing the radiation with it, and then we will all die. One after another.

2 comments:

  1. Wow. That has some 'overlays' with current issues. I sometimes wonder if we are sparked to dream or otherwise experience other probabilities in part due to things going on in our own world.

    ReplyDelete

 
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