With the Aqualight we glided quickly and elegantly over the water without the water surface being touched by the vehicle. The sun burned hot down on us, but its light broke hypnotically in the small waves around us. I loved that glitter.
“Hannasam made such strange mouth movements,” Marin said thoughtfully, “that didn’t match his words at all.”
He was still completely fascinated and amazed by the people who lived on land: their casual manner, their warmth, their simplicity. They were so honest and direct, contrary to our diplomatic understanding.
With Hannasam they had exchanged goods and mail, but also news and little nibbles, which had been given to each other as presents.
“He speaks a country language,” I explained. “Your Akkusta automatically translated his words.”
Marin automatically grasped the small, barely visible device behind his ear. He pressed a hidden button on the device and asked, “What is a land language?”
Then he listened, smiled and nodded.
“Why do so many rural people do without an Akkusta?” Marin asked curiously. “It offers so many advantages!”
The story must not be forgotten
“Humanity once lived in a technological mania,” I began, “and almost destroyed the planet with it. The land was flooded with manufacturing plants and waste. Animals and plants could no longer survive.”
We were approaching Undineon landing platforms. I slowed our pace.
“In the end, not even the people themselves,” I said, paying attention to the buoys that showed me the way. They were hardly visible, so I used the on-board computer to help me orientate myself.
“That’s why they built cities under water in the first place,” I continued, “to give nature above sea level a chance to recover.
Carefully I manoeuvred between large and small sea vehicles and looked for a free platform for aqualights.
I came to a stop and pressed the button for the so-called landing procedure. Transparent walls rose to all four sides around us, creating a safe space. Moments later we sank into the depths in our watercraft
An artificial paradise stretched out beneath us
Parks, hanging gardens, animal farms and residential areas stretched beneath the city’s gigantic transparent domes. In the distance the lights of the production halls for machines and computers shone.
Invisible lenses above the domes focused the sunlight, which was transformed into flowing honey by the waters of the ocean, and immersed the city in an atmosphere of peace and celebration.
“Then there was something good,” exclaimed Marin enthusiastically and threw his hands in the air. His eyes lit up every time he looked at this view.
I had to laugh involuntarily, although my heart was getting heavy.
“But at what cost,” I sighed, earning a questioning glance from my son.
“The surface is barely habitable,” I explained. “Once it was supposed to have looked exactly the same up there – no, even more beautiful than here, full of magic and life! The people who voluntarily decided to stay there are true heroes.
I took a deep breath, tears welled up inside me.
“Many poisons and dangers have been left to us by our ancestors,” I explained my statement further. “The work of making this planet habitable again is not only difficult, but also dangerous.”
“And why don’t people on land use pickies?” Marin asked with incomprehension in his voice.
He used the colloquial term for PKIs; persons of artificial intelligence.
The ‘artificial intelligence people’ were everywhere
We looked around us looking at the PKIs of Undineon. They grew the fruit and vegetables for us, took care of the animals, did all the repair and cleaning work and worked in the factories..
“Because they need so much energy?” Marin tried to find an explanation himself.
“Even on land, the necessary amounts of energy can be generated from natural sources”, I replied, shaking my head, “but they do not want to try to solve the problem there with the same methods with which it was created in the first place”.
Marin nodded and explained seriously: “I understand that. You don’t want to fight the techno-mania with more technology.”
I had to laugh, but my son had hit the nail on the head.
We got to the bottom and got out. A PKI greeted us unobtrusively and started to stow the Aqualight in a parking bay.
We were aware of the dangers of technology
“Besides, they do not want to be as dependent on technology as we are,” I added.
“But we’re not!” Marin objected. “Now, if for some reason all the PKIs of Undineon failed simultaneously and could not be reactivated, there would be the emergency directives telling us how to keep everything running on our own.”
In the distance we saw a group of land people. They were participants of an exchange program between Undineon and different places on land. We could see a group of PKIs approaching them, who were available and interacting specifically for this exchange program.
We watched as some rural people walked away, others stood undecidedly, while a few approached the PKIs with an open mind and interest.
“It will surely come back to a simulated total failure soon,” I predict. “Then I guess you won’t be able to meet your friends virtually today.
Marin made a long face. Now he felt the dependence on technology. Next year he would be able to participate in the exchange program himself and learn more about the ‘outside world’.
When the additional, artificial light went out due to the simulated total failure, it left the underwater city in a magically sparkling light.
Editor-in-chief of the “Science Fiction” section, author and trainer for creative writing
loves, collects and reworks stories for the category “the world in 100 years” at the Utopiensammlerin.
It would be a pleasure to also to publish your world in 100 years.