THE SEEDS PROJECT INTERVIEWS
m e c h e l l e m o r r i s o n
By the year 2061 the predicted eruption of the Yellowstone caldera, compounded by war and resource failure, had doomed most of Earth’s species to extinction—including our own. Desperate to guarantee human survival, scientists selected three thousand ‘lucky winners’ to undergo suspended animation. The winners, comprised of equal numbers of male and female Participants and code named Seeds, met within the premium facilities of Stanford Research where they were trained, prepped, and ultimately suspended. Preserved in containers called ‘Pods,’ the Participants have since been placed in suitable locations to wait out our planet’s environmental collapse and renewal.
The Seeds Project interviews, drawn from those working every level of the Project from Participant selection to Pod placement, were conducted some fifteen years after the last suspension completed.
The Seeds Project Timeline
Landmark Historical Events
Official Pre-Project research: 2033 – 2053
2049, Yellowstone caldera eruption forecast made public
Seeds DSS submitted to funding groups, 2055
2061, Yellowstone Park closed and quarantined
Seeds Farms operated: 2062 – 2078
Call for Participants: October-December, 2063
2072, the Colorado Line
Participant ‘winners’ privately awarded: December, 2074
‘Winners’ feeding period: January 2075-June 2076
Seeds Project launch: January 2076
Estimated “MG2000e” change in Protocol: August, 2076
2076, the African & Australian Continental Insurrections
Pod Placement: April – November, 2078
2079 – 2083, the Urban Rebellions
2084 – 2086, The Seeds Project Inquisition
2089, the ‘Viral Free’ African exodus
2091, the Fall of the Capitals
2097, Yellowstone 13.0 earthquake, world-wide ‘Trifecta’
2098, NAEURP abandoned
2102, the Yellowstone caldera erupts
the first interview:
Participant Entrance security staff
22 January 2085
The place was crazy. I mean, Stanford Research. People coming and going, day and night. There wasn’t the time to pay folks much mind or think past getting them through the door.
‘Cept one girl. Sticks in my mind.
I only saw her once, the day she arrived. Never did learn her name. But I remember her. She was the kind of girl made a man stand at attention. Long blonde hair streaked with honey and warm sun. That was her. Eyes blue as a lazy summer sky.
My super at the time, name of Tom Rassy, rest his soul, said she come from Wyoming. Said her daddy owned half the damn state. He was like that, old Tom. Always making stuff up. Truth is nobody ever knew where those kids come from. Just like we never knew where they wound up. Some in space, if the news is to be believed. Flying around in specialized Pods aimed for worlds unknown. Any fool knows that’s a sack of shit. Like when they told my grand-dad men had walked the moon way back in nineteen sixty-nine. He called that government horse and sir, my grand-dad was hardly wrong.
I stayed with Grand-dad till he died. Did I mention? Missouri was a whirling mess of weather—tornadoes touching down every day like the devil’s own finger, rivers cropping up to swallow farms whole. But I stayed on anyway, until he passed. Lord knows I was among the last to cross the Colorado Line before it closed. I can’t say I’m proud of what I done, back then. It was…. Shit. It was every man for hisself.
I’ll need a moment, if you don’t mind.
Maybe I remember her so well ‘cause the day I saw that girl was my first day working the Participant arrival entrance. Her ambulance pulled to a stop and she stepped out, confident as you please in her fancy-stitched boots and her nine-hundred dollar jeans, like she was stepping out on the town. That threw me, I’ll confess. I’d had the training and all. I’d passed the security and been given my G-clearance, else I wouldn’t have been there. I’d a still been working Chinatown and I won’t lie. When you ain’t Chinese, a man don’t last long on those streets.
But even with my training, I’d pictured my job all wrong. I thought them kids would come in on gurneys, all needled up with IV and maybe blood. I thought they’d have monitors pasted to their heads, like the sick people on TV. I figured those sassy-assed PMTs would be hovering round, dressed in their cartoon scrubs and clucking like them kids were spun gold.
Instead that girl bounced to the curb, pretty as god’s own daughter, her hair swirling in the wind. She looked light as butterflies. Thin, you know? Fine-boned wrists. Arms as graceful as wings. She grabbed a little bag from the seat and strung it over her shoulder. ‘Her stuff,’ she said. Me and Rassy eyed each other then. We suspected that where them kids was going, they’d have no need of stuff.
I grabbed up a wheel chair like I was trained to do, but Rassy jerked my collar and hissed, ‘You want your first day to be your last?’ on account I’d forgot to stub my smoke. Old Rassy took that smoke clean out from between my lips and stomped it flat on the ground. He was lucky to catch me off-guard like that, otherwise I might have kicked his ass from here to hell. Smokes ain’t cheap, nearly four dollars apiece.
In the end my smoke lay ruined for nothing. That beautiful girl didn’t want the wheel chair when offered. Fact is she laughed and said ‘I’m good,’ without so much as meeting my eye. So I was free to watch her.
You remember that massive glass revolving door they used to have in Oakland General? The one with cubbies wide enough for three wheel chairs, maybe four? Well Stanford Research had one too. Now, what with the looting that door’s long gone, I suspect. But I’m glad I saw her navigate that thing. Most other people hesitated, rocking on their heels like the door might slap them if it found the opportunity. Not that girl. She just flung her hair behind her back and walked straight in, ignoring them PMTs and all their pleading that she ought to take the chair. Just waved them off like buzzing flies. I’d say she had no fear of what might come, like some of them kids did.
She got through the door fine so I stayed watching, standing, as I was, close to the glass. A nurse came out from behind the desk and brought up a wheel chair alongside her, but the girl refused that one, too. That golden-haired girl just kept on walking, a flock of medical soft-shoed locusts at her feet, till I couldn’t see her no more.
Some nights the sound of her boots wakes me—crisp and smart, like she’s been walking through my dreams. That’s when I set to fretting. The way our world’s been turning, with the hunger and sickness, the volcano rumors and such, a person don’t know what to expect.
But I’ll tell you this. It’s my hope those scientists let that girl keep them boots. My gut says she’ll need them, when she wakes up.
Bud Chynoweth worked for Stanford Research as a member of the parking lot security staff from October, 2076 through December, 2078. He currently resides in Winnemucca, Nevada.