• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 09

All Worlds Are Connected

In the world far below the stars, you glance out of your thirty-fourth floor corner office to the echo of a former duck pond. Local officials dug down during the drought, two summers ago, looking for water. They found only more brown earth. Like governments everywhere, they then turned their attention to river water extraction, drilling for groundwater and desalinating sea water. They left the bare earth as a city centre beach, a temple to the lack of rain. Your screen lights up. The mayor has just issued another ten thousand home well drilling permits. It would be a busy day. As you leave tonight, the climate protesters will scream that you’re pillaging the planet. You tell them it’s just a job to feed your family. They don’t listen to your pleas.

In the world far below the drills, the highland cattle were getting concerned about diminishing rain. Leaf canopies were becoming brown, grazing land less productive, and watering holes shrinking rapidly. Bovine scientists identified that soil moisture content was still high, despite the reduction in precipitation, and concluded water was in the ground. Cow digging crews began excavating the watering holes, deeper and wider. Water began seeping into these cavities. Cows drank deeply, not knowing how long it would last. Cattle agronomists argued that the grazing land needed the water. No-one listened to their pleas.

In the world far below the water holes, the fish knew their habitats were shrinking. Long submerged rocks were emerging. Snow was disappearing from the mountains. Plankton becoming scarce. The carp called for a gathering to bellow at the world above. Everyone else was waiting for the rocks to fight with each other. The fish knew the cause. They’d known about it for decades and couldn’t do anything about it. They’d sent emissaries to the human world, but they were put in glass bowls with plastic castles. They didn’t listen to their pleas.

The worlds had already toppled.