He stood on the metal panel, staring out over the barren wasteland.
Ever since the Mass Extinction of 2100 any animal bigger than a dog had been a rare sight, but now, over two hundred years later, you were lucky to see a butterfly. He ran a hand through his hair, wincing as his identity tag caught in his tangled curls. BD3745. That was all he was. A few letters and numbers thrown together and clapped around his wrist. That was all anyone was.
He turned around to face the gigantic dome that rose up from the polluted ocean, casting its huge shadow over ravished shores. The early warning signs for the Mass Extinction had been detected over a century before and yet the world ignored it. The temperature continued to rise, the extreme weather continued to devastate the cities, food and water supply levels continued to fall, and it wasn't until the extinction had already claimed over a million species that they could no longer ignore the fact that Homo Sapiens would not be immune. It was only when the rapid decline in population passed all hope of salvation that the fully sealed, self contained Floating City had been built as a final, desperate option. After decades of frantic construction, the Floating City was finally ready to be boarded.
By the last remnants of the human race.
BD3745 was one of four thousand and eighty-nine who lived in the Floating City. He was also one of the fifty who knew that it was not the self sustaining haven it claimed to be. No, the rushed construction of the Floating City had left it with an astronomical consumption rate. And for fuel they used, well, everything. The Floating City was floating for a reason, it travelled around the shores of the continents, using anything it could find. The forests had been all destroyed long ago, and now the fuel collectors took any remains of the once great civilisation that could be used to run the generator, without any concern for what it released into the atmosphere. The collectors were the only people who knew the truth about the city.
BD3745 was one of them.
A humourless smile tugged at the corners of his mouth as: saving a race that was endangered due to their destroying of the environment, by further destroying the environment. His grandfather had once told him that before the Floating City, the atmosphere hadn't been so deadly. Back then, people had freely walked and lived in the open air. But now, now he was already sweating profusely, already feeling lightheaded from his few minutes spent in the Outside. He took a deep breathe, feeling the acrid air burn his lungs. It wouldn't be much longer before the poisons incapacitated his nervous system.
He stepped off the wing of his plane and onto the relatively small titanium structure that protruded from the dome. It would at least half an hour before the others noticed him missing during their salvaging of the place that had once been called "Sydney." He began to walk toward the small gap between two plates that was the only unprotected access to the structure, casting a glance as he walked at the pale orange sunset smeared out across the dull gray sky. He had heard that once, a very long time ago, the sky had been blue. A long time before the Floating City.
His smile vanished. It had begun two centuries ago; it would end tonight.
Reaching the gap, he turned his shoulder stepped in, squeezing through the small space. Slowly, he made his way deeper and deeper into the structure, until he was standing on a metal plate humming with the activity below that overlooked row after row of steel wire.
The internal circuits of the generator that ran the Floating City at the expense of everything else.
The city had been built to be indestructible, and very nearly was. There was only one weakness. He was standing there now.
BD3745 took another deep searing breath as he studied the circuits. They were uninsulated, a precaution deemed expendable in the rush construction since there were almost completely inaccessible. They were open, vulnerable.
He took a few steps closer to the edge. With the amount of power in the wires, a single fault, a single short circuit would cause an explosion powerful enough to destroy the entire protective dome.
And there was no way a human body could fall onto them without causing a short circuit.
A single act that would kill four thousand people. The last four thousand people.
After all these years they still hadn't learned, still devastated the environment, and would continue to do so until it was beyond all hope of recovery. This way the Earth had a chance.
The mission of the Floating City was to ensure the survival of the human race, and tonight it was going to fail.
"Si nos mundum curare non possumus, tum in eo non deservimus habitare," he whispered in the ancient language that he had learnt from the old books.
If we cannot take care of the world, then we do not deserve to live in it.