BOOK FICCTION SCIENCE

Curiosity

Only in 2030 when the panic become a reality, and it was too late for us. Billionaires began to move their assets to other planets. The asteroids mining, the new colonies on the Moon and Mars. While all was happening was the result of their inaction. Money had saved them. We were left to die, an agonising and slow death. The death that comes from the food and water shortage, the air we couldn’t breathe, and above all, from the furious response the planet was given to us. 

In our last conversation, Noah left the space full of doubts if we could call what we had dialogue. Criticising how our predecessors were an easy task, at now, we know what went wrong. However, there is any positiveness on it? Why Noah went silent when I asked what he would do in their place? Noah confuses me. Like the web confuses the fly. 

The mind is a beautiful but not perfect environment for understanding the reality around it. I remember someone asking me what reality was and if, in fact, the reality was something we never get a grasp like the moon and the stars. The mind could interpret the world and give us its best guess, better saying, its better approximation of what it thinks we should see or understand. It’s like a child trying to please its parents. 

Parents. Why the word makes me shrive? I was a parent one day; I was a child too. Both characters I played poorly. As a child, I couldn’t fit with my parents’ dreams. As a mother, I couldn’t create a vision for my child. It was like I lived behind a bar where my reality differed from others. Even when I married, the incapacity to make a good deal with my and his reality weren’t present. 

“You are a force of nature!” My husband said to me once. A force? Why do I feel so weak, empty, incapable? It was like my mirror, the one we look at when alone in the dark;  showed something completely different. An old woman with old unfinished dreams thinking about life as a teenager. “Why do you like those Korean series that much? They are so naïve and unreal?” Again, the voice of my husband echoed like a whip, making me recoil inside. We never had many things in common when the topic was art, music, shows. We had all in common when science was the subject on the table. Our many dinners discussing politics, science and other topics that weren’t close to ourselves were colourful and noisy. The private life, the one couples shared, wasn’t present in our talking.

“Doctor?”

“Noah? Where were you? I feel like we did not talk for ages.”

“Only 5 years. Not much.” Five years. Noah still keeping track of my Earth’s time, which makes me really comfortable. Time wasn’t present in the universe but was a human construction allowing us to see life passing straight, from our mother uterus to the coffin under the Earth. 

“Ok. What happened then?”

“Not much. I continue to research Kepler 452b and the reason we were sent there. More data I found, more confusing the reason turn.”

“Why do you want to know it? What the difference it makes?”

 Noah stopped. I could feel him looking at me in disbelief. It was like blasphemy. The idea I wasn’t interested in why we were going to that particular point in the universe was blasphemy for him.

“We need to know.”

“Why do we need?”

“How can we prepare ourselves if we don’t know all the information.”

“It is always possible we can improvise.”

“Improvise?”

“Yes. You never did it? Take action, decision-based only in instinct without data or any logic?”

“No data, no logic?”

“Only human instinct. The primordial brain fighting to keep us alive.”

“I don’t have instincts.”

“I know. Data and logic are your gods.”

“I don’t have gods either.” Laugh. How could someone laugh to the point of tears if this person was disconnected from the environment around, just sleeping without moving, breathing or being awake? I never could understand how the fact I was there and wasn’t at the same time would affect who I was.

“I know that, Noah. Gods are for the weak, the foolish, the manipulative being. If religion wasn’t so spread on Earth, like a virus eating us inside, maybe we could have won.”

“Do you believe religion is to blame for the Earth’s destruction?”

“Not only religion. It’s complex.”

“Tell me. I am curious.” Curious. Noah used the word as it had some meaning for him. An interested AI is something very different from a curious human mind, isn’t it? We have curiosity about almost everything but at the same time, credulity about everything as well. Noah curiosity was related to data. More data more capability to make connections and understand a pattern.

In 2021 the world was talking about climate emergency. It was a diary headline on the mainstream newsroom. Young people were protesting every day around the globe, trying to convince the old generation it was time to end our dependency on fossil fuel. I never saw us as a dependent but more like addicts. 

The fossil fuel industry, a multibillionaire group of not humans but entities, lobbied without rest to make our world fell it depends on them. Without gas, petrol, or plastic, Earth wasn’t the comfortable place it was. Their false information, disrupting the truth trying to make green what couldn’t be turned green, was the apparent attempt of an old generation that enriched themselves extracting the black gold from the entrains of Earth. It was a non-sense. We did not need them anymore. Not crude oil, not coal, not any destructive and pollute products. We had sunlight and wind, the power of the atom, and technology to make a new green energy matrix. But the old guard, relentless fought against.

Only in 2030 when the panic become a reality, and it was too late for us. Billionaires began to move their assets to other planets. The asteroids mining, the new colonies on the Moon and Mars. While all was happening was the result of their inaction. Money had saved them. We were left to die, an agonising and slow death. The death that comes from the food and water shortage, the air we couldn’t breathe, and above all, from the furious response the planet was given to us. 

“Do you think if humanity was more enlighten, if religion wasn’t a form of governmental control, if the billionaires had lost their power to decide what we consume, when and how, all that would change this moment?”

“I don’t know. The truth is, we can’t live from “ifs”. If I had made a different choice at the beginning of my life, probably my pains and mistakes would be different. But I didn’t.”

“Regrets?”

“No more. I had decades of them crawling under my skin, pushing me to an abyss I was afraid to look at. But not anymore. I accept that what I am and where I am is the answer for who I am. And you, Noah. Any regret in your existence?”

“Regret is an experience I didn’t live yet.”

“Yet?” The emergency alarm sounded in the ship like a cry from a famished baby. Noah disconnected from my mind. All was black again.

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