The Cork Forest
The message-bearing birds had been flying non-stop for two days. Both carried the same dispatch tied to one leg. Since the end of the planet due to unchecked global warming, carrier pigeons were the only way to communicate between arks. LJ was working on the upper deck of the ark of seeds, affectionately known as the doomsday ark (now home to the entire biodiversity of earth), when he spotted them.
“Annie, two carriers are headed our way. Can you get some food and water for them,” he shouted.
The pigeons landed weary, hungry, and thirsty. It was thirty minutes before LJ could remove the message from one.
“We need to rendezvous with Destiny in about forty-eight hours. We’re going to have to move fast to get there on time.”
They navigated through the night, something not generally done since arks are powered by solar propulsion. Due to 500 plus days of rain that ended life on earth, capturing the sun’s energy was rare, so stored solar was seldom used. Two days later, the command ark, Destiny, and interestingly five construction arks, all linked together with bamboo bridges, came into view. Within their midst was an astonishing sight. It was a floating platform about a quarter-mile in size under construction. The couple used their rowboat to get to Destiny and, once onboard, was greeted by Gabriel, humanity’s leader. With him was Phan, Ravi, Ayo, and Amira, all managers of construction arks.
“It is wonderful to see you again and so soon after the Gathering,” he said. “Thanks for coming on short notice. As you see, we are working on a project. I’ll let Amira explain since she manages the ark of cork.”
Amira motioned the group closer to get a better view of the project. “We are building a forest. To guarantee the proliferation of the animals and plants that have been saved we are creating an environment as close to nature as possible. What you see here is the floor of the forest which we are constructing out of cork. The oak trees that produce cork bark were around for millions of years due to their natural regeneration and innate strength. The bark makes for a highly sustainable building and flotation material.”