Thursday, February 18, 2021

Microstory 1564: Plantworld

Prompt
Everyone thought that robots or aliens would take over the world, but no one considered the possibility that sentient plants would grow out of control.

Botner
That’s what this bizarre creature from Tokyo seems to be: a strolling rose that puts us to shame with its round-about conversation, longevity, and willingness to prostrate itself before unsuspecting passersby. The rose, a forget-me-not, started out life as a normal plant in the garden of Urayasu City’s Chuo Ward. Initially, it was a member of the quiet ground cover family, but a sudden surge of excitement occurred among the neighborhood’s residents after a rose began growing up and out of its pot. According to the plant’s owner, the guy who brought home the forget-me-not in the first place, the plant’s red flowers, which were not there before, are supposed to signify good luck. At this point, the standard human reaction would be to marvel at the skill of the plant’s operator, who has apparently decided to use its many complicated arms and legs to celebrate Japan’s 125th year of reign in the world’s foremost soccer league. However, the rose is showing some unpredictable behaviors.

Conclusion
It’s not begging to drink human blood, or inject poison into victim’s. All its doing is multiplying, so rapidly that it can’t be stopped. Scientists tried to find a way to kill it, but before they made any progress, everything changed. The forget-me-not started to impact the plantlife around it, effectively transforming everything else into an invasive species. The spores get on clothes, and fur, and spread around. Not only do new plants grow from this, but also command nearby plants to do the same. In a matter of weeks, the entire island is covered in plants and flowers. They adapt to grow out of the cracks in buildings, and up through the floors. They thrive in the sun, in arid land, and even in saltwater. In months, all of Asia has been overcome, and the rest of the world will surely follow suit. People start to cut back on the brush as much as possible, to carve out some small area of livable land, but it doesn’t last long. It all grows back. People don’t die off as much as other apocalyptic scenarios would predict. There’s plenty of food to eat now, and it’s possible to just live in the wild, using natural shelters, like trees. So it’s only civilization that falls, while the population itself continues. It’s not as interesting anymore, as any plant or vine will destroy any attempt to establish lines of communication, and it’s also lonely, but we continue. We continue in our little isolated pockets like this, and if anyone came up with a solution to the problem, it wouldn’t be a simple thing to get that information to others. My family and I just decide that this is how life on this planet is, and there’s no way of going back to the way it was before. Then everything changes again. I leave camp for my daily walk alone, and come across a plant I see all over the place. But this one is different. It starts to speak to me. It asks me who I am, and what my intentions are. Soon, all the plants around me are speaking. I run back to camp, and tell my family, but they don’t know what I’m talking about. Only I can communicate with them, and now...it’s my duty to do so.

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