Woodrow was showing visiting professors around the facility. They were eager to learn all they could, in the quest to increase production of SaltyNectar®, the much sought after finite resource.
Pointing to the subject, Woodrow began to explain his findings:
“EL-AINEDOB150816 is responding well to memory convergence. Synapses effectively returning to previous points of extension, resuming plasticity. Connections have been observed, with neurons firing in response to simulated seasons visible through the ‘window’. Relics have also been left in the mock bedroom, including a basket full of sentimental assortments, such as printed images of people known to the subject, and the shell of a nautilus, held dear to her, according to her file notes, as a treasured memento from her childhood that it is likely to conjure memories- a conjuring nautilus.
“Conjuring nautilus” he repeated. Woodrow liked the sound of these words. He was one of the rare re-births who had the ability to program himself to register small pleasures, in this case resulting in a curious upturn of his lips and crinkles at the corners of his eyes.
A gust of wind against sheathed blades of wheat conducted an orchestra of swooshes and scratches, accompanied by booms of pollen grains crashing as they set sail to germinate or wreak havoc with hay-feverish humans. Like listening to a drum beat from within its hide and metal enclosure, my senses were overstimulated, sound compounded by sight and smell, with the distinct musk of earth and vivid shades of greens, browns and blues swathing field and sky, cognition that made me certain I was me.
SWOOSH, SCRATCH, BOOM, the blades continued to sway. When the tip of one folded back on itself, a lifetime of recognition and knowing came to me. My consciousness had transmigrated.
I was Wheat Leaf.
I held on to my conviction of the worthiness of my sacrifice, to rescue humanity via doses of glutinous products fortified with cognizance, but I had no idea I’d feel and know. As the imposing harvester cut its destructive path on approach, I felt a terror I’d not known in my previous incarnation. It was then I understood the movement of the other blades for what they were, and joined in their screams, a vain attempt to alter our collective fate.
It had to be timed perfectly; the final breath of a soul feeder coinciding with the first light of day. Accelerated transmission of human collective consciousness via wheat fields, using the sun’s rays as a carrier, letting photosynthesis do the rest. Dr Woodrow believed in his technique and the benefits to what remained of the human race, and so had no qualms being among the first of three to go, each lying in their tents till curtain call.
A range of inspirations here for what will be a multi-part story- in part from watching A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Sonya’s Three Line Tales Week Twenty Sixwhich provides the intriguing photograph, and Jane Dougherty’s latest microfiction challenge, but that will be a separate post. Woodrowhas featured in a couple of my stories previously and makes a welcome return here as my sci-fi muse.