Flowers for the dome YF-74


Flowers for the dome YF-74

Hundreds of generations, over millennia, turned the planet's landscapes into wastelands, inhospitable and undesirable places for humans who turned cities into strongholds. Under great air-conditioned domes, militarily connected civilisations developed to maintain uncompromising control of the world's population.

Administrative work, telematic in its entirety, had reduced the need for travel. Industrial development consequently focused on supplying food and health needs.

Over the centuries, educational programmes were reduced to their minimum expression: that needed to ensure the replacement of cybernetic workers, population control soldiers, technologists and domestic care workers.

The monotony and security under the domes had extinguished the capacity for wonder and curiosity in humans. So, naturally, the robotics industry disappeared. People were cheaper to produce, easier to maintain and dispose of, and had less memory capacity than robots.

The ideal conditions for humans to replace robots were gradually perfected. For centuries a succession of pandemics encircled the cities. A technological development aimed at imposing the use of pictographs - emoticons, they were called in the beginning - displaced from consciousness the joy of saying or writing words.

The decline of direct communication between speakers gave way to a pleasant silence that was taken as a sign of an advanced civilisation. Languages disappeared one by one. With the languages disappeared the twists and turns of thought.

The military caste, the same all over the planet, ruled the cities, thanks to a precise and millimetric strategy. At their side, a lesser caste of technologists watched over the variations in population curves, human reproductive procedures and techniques, and the design and distribution of necessary and indispensable products.

Human thinking, appropriate to the sense of security for continued life, was no mystery.

Outside the domes a desert nature guarded the cities. Fresh waters were tightly managed, guarded and administered. The seas were a mass polluted by millennia of industrial waste. They were off-limits to the population. They became an undesirable problem, unapproachable by any government.
Everyone, in the same way in all the domes, knew what to expect from their own life, which paths to take, which precise people to contact and which problem to take to the technological offices.

Everything was going on as normal, until, in a period of heavy rain, invisible seeds carried by the wind crashed against the walls of the dome and fell to the ground. Before long, an unforeseen succession of sun and water produced a proliferation of climbing plants that filled the YF-74 dome's inhabitants with greenery.

The small leaves and nimble stems attracted the attention of nearby passers-by. This way of life was unknown to the population, who did not even have a word to denote it.

An ancient technique had swept away historical information about origins, civilisations, biodiversity, languages, religions and was able to keep the population at the level of knowledge necessary for comfortable survival.

Stylised drawings of plants began to appear in the rooms: a long stem with opposite leaves. After a while people varied their travel routines to have the opportunity to have a closer look at this graceful and innocent form of life.

On the day when the plant produced flowers, a strange collective behaviour also occurred. People slowed down as they walked. They began to look at each other and smile at each other.

The word "flower" emerged from oblivion, from the graveyard of words where it had been buried for centuries and centuries. With the joy of pronouncing it, people understood that outside the domes there was a different world. An inexpressible world that had to be recognised and begun to be mentioned.

It took demographers years to address the issue. By the time it was no longer possible to omit that something deep inside people was changing, it was too late. In every sector of the YF-74 dome silent groups had organised themselves with a cautious and observant leadership.

A curved line with two opposing blades became the symbol that the generals looked at, again and again, that day, when the immense dome opened for the hierarchs of the world to enter in their speeding ships.

The beautiful silence of everyday life then mutated into a phenomenal and inexplicable din.

The YF-74 dome was the first bastion to be recaptured. Its inhabitants went out in the following days to reconnoitre the forgotten world.

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