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You know how they say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”. Well, that may not always be true. But our fate was sealed by a good idea gone bad. Everyone supported it, well almost everyone. There were those who spoke out including my father. As a climatologist who also had a background in physics he had worked on the program as a consultant. He was very worried and back then I was too young to understand why. He said the technology was not ready, that the atmosphere and ecology of the world could react in unpredictable ways, they needed more time. But people prefer to listen to politicians over scientists. The level of carbon in our atmosphere reached dangerously high levels. The weather became more and more extreme. Catastrophic floods in some places due to unimaginable amounts of rain and in others high temperatures meant the land was made unlivable for many months of the year. Storms, fires, floods, it was like the end of the world. Nothing else became more important than the weather. That’s when they proposed the solution, a solution which would reduce carbon drastically and quickly.

Carbon eating organic nanobots would be sprayed into the upper atmosphere to neutralize the carbon. Like a cloud in their zillions, they would subsist on carbon for weeks before having to be replenished. The first rocket took off to intense global celebration. It was like the countdown to New Year’s Day. Massive crowds filled the centers of London, Sydney, New York, and Tokyo. Finally, science and unprecedented global co-operation had resulted in a solution to the global weather apocalypse.

They told us that in time the clear sky would no longer shine blue. Due to the nanobots it would take on a violet glow. And it did. No more blue skies. But the violet was beautiful too and maybe one day when the carbon would finally be reduced, we could have our blue skies back again. After some time, it just became normal, we got used to it. It became normal for us. The rockets continue to go up every few weeks. The results were promising. Carbon levels began to reduce in our atmosphere, but it was a continuous and expensive endeavor to continue the global operation.

Then 2.0 was presented to the world. A new nano technology which could self-replicate in the atmosphere for up to 10 years before needing to be replenished. No more weekly rockets. This would reduce global deployment costs. Again we celebrated under the violet sky as the first 2.0 deployment ship took off. By this time my father had been ejected from the program. No dissenting voices were tolerated.  I remember my father that day, how worried he looked, how angry, how betrayed. I came to him. He could not speak but simply placed his hand on my shoulder, pulled me towards him, pressed my head against his chest and kissed me on my forehead. That kiss told me how he felt. He was worried about me also. We trusted our leaders and we trusted the science. But 2.0 had unforeseen consequences just like my father had feared. It replicated alright, it replicated and replicated but it also changed, evolved as organic life forms do. They grow and they adapt. They adapt and they thrive. The global nano blanket continued to replicate and eventually entered our lower atmosphere. And then the rain came. Violet rain. The nanobots began falling to earth along with the rain but they continued to neutralize the carbon wherever it existed. The rain first fell in central Europe, it ate through everything it touches like molten flame. Buildings, trees, grass, the soil, and all living things. 25,000 people were turned into a giant cloud of gas. I never knew carbon was the thing which held us all together. Nothing was left but a barren and desolate smooth rock landscape for hundreds of miles. There was global panic. No one took the blame. The politicians blamed the scientists and vice versa. Now 2.0 was the problem. The rain continued to fall in various places bursting entire towns and even parts of cities into giant clouds of gas. And the nanobots continued to replicate.

Nowhere was safe now. It's Like a morbid game of roulette. Every time rain was forecast, every time a drop falls and touches the skin, would that beaded droplet contain the violet glow of death? The violet sky became darker as the nanobots continued to replicate, the nano rainfall increased, and the world just fell apart. My father sent me to the Nevada mountains with my uncle Greg. He told us to tell now one where we were going. It's an old base which my father went to research rainfall variations. It's deep underground. To get down here you must take a rickety old elevator on ropes and cogs, running on what sounds like a lawn mower engine. I insisted that either my father come with us, and I wait with him. He just smiled and told me that when I get like this, I remind him of mom, she was very headstrong too.  He told us he would join us in three days. It's been twelve now. We have plenty of canned food here and a flowing rivulet of fresh underground water keeps us going. I want to go up to the surface, it's claustrophobic down here but Uncle Greg won’t let me, it's too dangerous he says. But how can we stay here? How can we live like this? I don't want to die here. Do we have to wait 8, maybe 10 more years or maybe they got that wrong too. Maybe the replication won't run out on the 10-year mark like they said.

When Greg is snoring in his deep sleep, I take the elevator up to L2 and I listen to the rain. It hasn't stopped in 5 days. The comforting patterning and dripping against the still silence of this entombed rocky hollow reminds me of the only memory I have of my mother. I remember that beautiful summer day in the garden as she placed the wet clothes on the clothesline. Suddenly it started to rain. She yelled at my father to come and help her take the clothes back down, but he just laughed and twirled her in her summer dress. She laughed and they danced in the rain. She turned to me and gave me a look, God, her face, a look of love and vitality like she was in love with life. She reached out her hand for me to join them, but I don't remember if I did.  I wish I could remember. Sometimes I dream of that moment. I had another dream a few nights ago. We were all together dancing in the rain, laughing and dancing together…dancing in the violet rain.


I live in the west of Ireland at the edge of the Atlantic coast. I love writing, seeing my ideas come to life on the page. I work in IT Cloud Security and am married with two wonderful children. My dream is to write a novel one day. Right now I am focusing on trying to have my short stories published.  


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