Gaia is boiling. At first the hints she gave were subtle, and could only be detected by the experts and scientists within the Confederation, the men and women we called our innovators, but in recent years here cries have been more pleading, more severe. Her wrath can be destructive to humans, and has proven to be, yes, but the lashings the human race receive from Gaia are the result of her trying to heal herself by compensating for loss and destruction caused by human hands.
The hole scientists discovered is her way of telling us that she is a soul and will go on living, the Earth being only a body to contain her, but this body holds other lives, it's held responsible and accountable for other lives. The human race has been biting the hand that feeds it, cutting down trees that supply oxygen and driving vehicles from place to place that emit harmful pollution, causing the hole to grow bigger and acid rain to fall on the Earth, on people.
Our innovators thought their role was messenger. They thought Gaia wanted them to tell everyone - from the heads of the Confederation to the farmer, from the car salesman to the writer, from the upper class and elite to the poor and forgotten - that they have to change their lives so the damage may be reversed, so the planet may be changed for the better. Our messengers didn't think this message applied to them. After all, they are innovators who use their knowledge to discover how things work, why things happen and, perhaps, most importantly, what these things mean for the future. They're innovators, mainly, because of how they go about this, the tools they use. Nothing in the Confederation is as simple as it once was, and perhaps this has to do with knowledge, with science, with technological advancement.
Oracles, such as myself, within the Confederation have found that the innovators are just as short-sighted as the elite and the heads of state. Year after year has brought a new advancement to solve a problem at hand, only to now have the consequences of its implementation be realized. Innovators have machinized everything so that the Confederation relies on electricity to function and everything that operates within it is difficult to recycle.
I heard Gaia whisper, and I heard her cry, too.
"The Earth," she said, "the Earth takes care of people, oh, why can't people take care of the Earth?"
Gaia reminded the Oracles of the Confederation that man and planet once coexisted, and they can again. My people are Oracles, we live in a floating city, and we believe in Gaia. We followed her to where the planet ends, through the ozone hole in unchartered territory. We left behind the Confederation, their technology, their short-term answers and their destructive ways.
The air has replaced our ground. We fly weightless, traveling in balloons instead of planes, trains and automobiles. We escaped the Confederation, leaving that part of the planet like smoke through a chimney. My people live amongst clouds in colorful balloons that utilize nature to mobilize us, to carry us from ruins to freedom. Oracles are free of the planet, and now we have to act as its heart, even though we're only a small part. We've lifted off and we may never come back down, unfortunately.
Tin Kettle Inn
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