The Turning Point
This story won Stone Soup Magazine's monthly flash contest in January 2021! Read it on their site alongside many other amazing stories by young writers!
Jane CONG Loydson 3 was the third Jane in the Loydson family since Jane Loydson 1 who was born just over a hundred years ago. Jane was a CONG (Child Of New Gonsver). She was currently seated in a gondola rail pod with her parents on the way to a youth environmental movement club. She was part of the group which had been founded nearly a hundred years ago in the 2020s. The rail pod docked alongside a great many other rail pods on the above-ground terminal. The pod doors opened. The trio stepped onto the large pod terminal surface. They walked on specified sidewalks so not to get squished by landing pods, even though the pods were equipped with collision detection technology. They stepped into the elevator capsule which take them to subterranean floor three.
“Have fun!” her mother told her when they reached subterranean floor three.
“just call the chaperone bot when you’re finished” Her father said. “we’ll see you when you get home”
“bye!” she said and was guided away by a Pathfinder Robot.
Jane enjoyed her meetings at the environmental club movement so much that she devoted much of her time to it. Another aspect she liked was that it was in person, most clubs and gatherings were held over holo-call, a form of holographic video call. She had always liked knowing that people were actually there rather than a holographic image. She proceeded to the club’s meeting room. The door’s screen was on code pink today, so she switched her holo-lenses onto the specified setting. The door opened once it had finished scanning her for viruses. Since it was code pink today, her contact lenses were making the room feel like a restaurant. Though all restaurants did drone delivery her grandpa had once told her that when he was a boy, you actually had to go to the restaurant with a bunch of other people. Disgusting! Imagine all those germs in one small space!
The contacts made the room look like it was lit by candlelight and there was holographic food being placed on holographic tables on the other side of the room.
Jane sat down on a hover chair and asked the service robot for a Fizzer Pop. Kids talked though not loudly, shouting disturbed the surveillance mechanisms. When the club leader came to the front of the room and sat at his chair a holographic image of him appeared above him so the people in the back could see.
“Today we are going to discuss the history of the environmental turning point” He said, his large eyes gazing around the room. “does anyone know anything about that time in our history?”
A kid seated at one of the tables raised his virtual hand.
“My grandma said that was when the world really took action to save our planet” He said.
“yes, that is considered the fundamental part of the 2020s” The club leader said. “we’re just going to watch a short film about what happened”
A holo film projected over his head. It showed a crowd of young people, gathered in a square holding signs above their heads. ‘there’s no planet B’ was written on one, on another ‘save the Earth’. At the head of the march was a boy saying something into a megaphone.
“we are going through a planetary crisis!” his voice echoed through the city square. “but if we keep going, if we keep fighting for it, humanity can still thrive! We must bring justice to what we have done!”
The crowd cheered. The film continued, showing disasters of the climate crisis. The film ended with a girl in front of the camera saying “I believe we can find an end to this crisis. And I believe that the world will once more be restored for our descendants to thrive in”
Then Jane realised something.
This girl was Jane CONG Loydson 1.