High Road House (w/ Robert McGillis, AIA)
HIGH RES (RE)CYCLE E looked up from the rubble. The sun was shining, so she had to squint into it to see up the rise. The harvester was moving fast, so if she wanted to get the debris into its maw she would have to hurry. She cinched up her pack, threw it over her shoulder, and took off as quickly as she could. The weight of it burned into her shoulders, but she would not be deterred. As the male dominated global regulatory bodies that had led humanity for centuries through power, greed and passion, had collapsed, life became simpler. Any men who had survived the famine and extreme weather, eventually started to disappear. By far, women were able to avoid this fate. Fortunately men were no longer needed, thanks to scientific advances in biology and reproduction. E caught up with the harvester. She emptied her sack in the wide open blackness of chute 7. With a loud, clanking rattle out came three bundles of filament. She packed these into the sack, and stood as the lumbering machine rolled off, pulling up more material under its own power and direction. The dark faceted structure was a beautiful thing as it gleamed in the fading sun. At first sight, the landscape might appear as a wasteland to those accustomed to early 21st century life. Gone was the density, the speed of life, the old belief that to go faster, to build more, to take up space was advancement. Things were very different now. The harvesters lumbered through what was left, cleaning it up for the future and leaving large open fields. The de facto 3D printed structures were everywhere. As life changed, they were fed back into the printers and re-printed to suit the new way. The next way—a landscape far less permanent. E was happy with her work, happy with the rewards the effort provided, happy that her life was hers to define. But there were problems. As men were disappearing, communities became divided, and the surviving women had to step up and defend their territories fiercely from each other. E arrived at the gathering as the sun was starting to drop below the horizon. Her friends had already started to cook dinner. She trotted up to her shelter, and laid down the day’s bounty. She was working on the new configuration of her space. She would need it now that she had a partner being printed. But just as she had settled in and let her guard down, there was a crash. A tribe from neighboring territory was on their raid. E took up a defensive position as she noticed three women charged in her direction. She drew her staff just as the first attacker reached her. It was hard to explain, but there was still violence. While E and her friends had repelled the attack, she sat with great sadness contemplating how the human world had not moved on. Because of the continued struggle for survival, the population dwindled. Something needed to be done. Bio-printers had been in existence for some time. And they only needed minor advancements to begin printing complete, bioengineered entities. The prints were asexual, and were developed from the DNA of the surviving women. Medical technology and human care lagged behind other advancements, so old bodies could not be preserved. They had to be recycled. By age 125, it was time to give up your body as material. Today was her mother’s birthday and will also be the day of her rebirth. She entered the bio-harveste, and transferred into a new vessel. For some time now, bodies had been easily discarded and reused for new bio-filament, however something began to change as people were being transferred. The new entities, that did not share the same polarized dispositions, were free of the perspective of difference. They were a softer gentler race. And it appeared that while humans fought and struggled for survival, it was this new race of biological automatons that would inherit the Earth. E met up with her paired automaton shortly after her mother’s procedure, and they walked together toward her newly printed dwelling. The (re)cycle of life had been completed for her mother, as it would soon enough for her. The Earth would soon shed the remnants of the old human cycle, and there wasn’t much to do but wait and watch. It wasn’t all bad though. These new, highly evolved beings would change the planet. Life was evolving, and new ways of living it were emerging.