Chapter 1….A Novel…set 65 years in the future

Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Wednesday 29th July 2015

Chapter 1

The weed controllers of today are now treated like the footballers of a few years ago. They drive the best cars, live in the best houses and eat in the finest of restaurants. Their services are not just to help save the environment but to save the very planet that we live on from extinction under a carpet of invasive non… species.

Life as we knew it was once relatively simple with the planet being simply divided into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have not’s’….money was at the base of all transactions and power was held by those with the greatest amount of cash at their disposal.

All this was set to change with the onset of Hurricane Siebold.

First indications suggested that the excessive weather conditions were simply attributable to the long dry spell that Europe had been experiencing but in depth analysis showed that the conditions were more likely to be caused by unusual solar activity.

Solar flare ups had been proven to increase the temperature of a comet passing close to earth’s gravitational pull – resulting in the germination of spores held deep within the layers of ice at the core of the main mass of water, chemicals and irons that made up the bulk of the astronomical body.

The spores rapidly developed new growth…. which whilst tiny in terms of relative size were so prolific that they covered the entire surface of the comet in a matter of hours. Growth rates multiplied as each plant struggled to dominate the one adjacent to it gradually building layer upon layer of new growth feeding on the soup of elements released through the ice melting within the core.

The new growth proved so prolific that the trajectory of the comet was changed such that the earth’s gravitational pull began to impact on the line of flight bringing it towards the centre of the American continent….slap bang in the centre of the biggest agricultural region of the world….

Initially everyone was relieved that nobody had been injured in the dramatic aftermath of the comets arrival on earth – but relief soon turned to concern as the vegetation that had developed on the planet surface …rapidly began to establish itself within earths welcoming environment.

The farming community noted rapid growth of the green, almost ‘moss like’ growth from the immediate vicinity of the crater followed by additional spread some seven metres from the main parent community. Almost immediately another plant would appear 7 metres from the first…the again seven metres away…and again…and again….covering the ground at almost a mile a day.

The growth of the plant was dramatic by any standard but this was massively compounded when the main area of growth was hit by Hurricane Siebold which took spores up into the higher levels of the atmosphere and deposited them worldwide.

Within one year the entire Southern States of the USA were covered and the majority of Russia had been blanketed under a carpet of this green invader. After a short period where the new plant was simply referred to as the ‘alien’ – it had been named Fallopia japonica cometus ‘Cloughensis’ …so christened after it was noted by Invasive Species expert Mr Mike Clough that the new alien species was in fact a miniature of the renowned Japanese Knotweed that had been so problematic during the 19th and 20th century.

Mr Clough – now 110 – was said to be horrified that the lessons learnt dealing with invasive non-native species were still being ignored despite the wealth of knowledge that had been gathered by the Invasive Non Native Specialists Association of which he had been Chairman when it was first set up in 2013.

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Mike Clough

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