posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 07:46 AM
"All Sorted!" shouted Alison, as she rushed into the holiday cabin, all excited...
"I managed to get him a couple of those "unbleached" natural cotton T-Shirts - cheap too!"
"I'm sure he'll love them" replied Dave, "He's turning into a bit of a hippy - Isn't he."
"Wonder where he gets that from!" came the slightly sarcastic response as she ruffled his hair.
It was Gregs' 13th birthday, and although his parents didn't have much money to spend, they were determined to make it a birthday to remember.
So, along with a few close friends, they had decided to take him away for the weekend, down near the Mexican border.
Dave glanced down at the new T-Shirts, and he had to admit they looked just great!
A natural pale cream colour, with a tiny black fleck through it, and a swirly green logo with a rainbow over a silhouetted tree.
"Made in MEXICO - I might have known! Especially at that price" he mused.
Alison had skipped upstairs to the bedroom and was admiring her own new purchase of luxurious Egyptian cotton bedsheets...
"Just Lovely! Now we can get down to the serious business of organising the party!" she thought aloud.
The kitchen was chock-full of shopping bags, boxes, tubs and trays full of home-made goodies for Gregs' party,
and Alison made short work of arranging the contents neatly onto plastic serving platters, ready for the afternoon guests to arrive.
Dave lazily and half-heartedly offered to help, as he yawned, scratched his head and clicked on the TV, but Alison just gave him "The Look!"
and smiled to herself, resigned to the knowledge that she'd seen this a thousand times before.
The TV had some news item about farmers' protests and pesticides on it, and a man was loudly shouting in Spanish whilst brandishing a poorly made
placard which read something like "distribuidor muerte - NOMSANTOS!"
Nomsantos was a huge agri-pharma conglomerate, and it looked like they had been upsetting the farmers down south of the border again.
Dave's' mind drifted as he remembered a couple of years back, when Nomsantos were forcing farmers to use their "special" pest-resistant Maize,
Corn and Cotton. Some of them had nearly been bankrupted, because the crops turned out to be high-yield but of nearly unusable poor quality, and it
turned out that they weren't actually very pest resistant either.
The cotton in particular had a very persistent Boll-Weevil type of pest which didn't seem to mind the "special" anti-pest chemicals they had put in
"I wonder what happened with all that?" Dave pondered...
"What? Did you say something Dave?" asked Alison, who by this time was arranging pretty paper napkins and plastic cups.
"nah, just something on TV, not important. Want me to get Greg up out of his bed yet?"
"yeah - go for it! I know he was up late, but this is turning into the longest lie-in in history" came her excited reply.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!" was the enthusiastic shout that greeted a rather fuzzy-headed and bemused teen, as he ambled downstairs and into the
A big smile spread across his lips when he saw the party food and presents arranged before him.
"Thanks Mom! you guys are just awesome, can I open my presents now?" he said as he enthusiastically ripped into the first package.
Co-incidentally, the man on the TV was ripping open his shirt, and showing the reporter a strange mazy pattern of scars on his body, still shouting
loudly in Spanish.
A caption appeared with an unusual picture of a little insect, next to a diagram of a strange wasp-like creature which appeared to be assuming an
"attack" posture towards the insect.
"That's weird" thought Dave, "It looks like they're using a bug to get the bugs now!"
He didn't yet imagine that it was much, MUCH worse than that...
Nomsantos' own technical team had known that the cotton Boll-Weevil was resistant to all of their poisons,
and had developed an indestructible GM superbug specifically to target and eradicate the Boll-Weevils in their cotton crops, and that was what was now
appearing on the news.
The superbugs had been a success. A huge success.
So much so, that they quickly killed off the entire Boll-Weevil problem.
"GREAT!! New sneakers!" squealed Greg "Thanks Mom, thanks Dad!"
The problem is... now that their intended prey had been eradicated, they were supposed to die off, but...
The wasp which Nomsantos had modified was capable of going into a state of hibernation or suspended animation, to help get it through periods of
"T-Shirts!! Cool!! and they're Natural, unbleached and Environmentally friendly too!!!" Greg beamed as he pulled on one of his new Tees.
...and, if the gathering and processing of the crop wasn't too intensive, the superbugs could survive!
Dave scratched at his head again, as the man on TV came back on... crying. He was shaking all over and pointing towards a bundle on the back of the
trailer behind him.
Alison was still busy, scrubbing at her hands in the kitchen. "Must have got something on my hands" she cried, "my skin feels like it's
The reporter followed the man as he beckoned him over to the trailer and pulled back the bundle of cloth to reveal the still, lifeless body of a young
boy of about 13.
He was covered in scar tissue, which looked strangely like crazy-paving in a garden path or the pattern on a giraffes body, with random squiggly lines
going off in all directions.
Dave was struggling to take it in, he stared at the images, trying to make sense of them, trying to put it all together.
Alison rubbed at her forearms now, "Have we got any antiseptic cream with us? this is really starting to itch!"
Dave was unresponsive, fixatedly staring at the TV as he found himself rubbing at his neck, suddenly he glanced up to see what his wife was
complaining about, flicked back to the TV and quickly felt the colour drain from his face as the realisation dawned.
He looked over at his son Greg, just in time to see him scratch at his belly, as he happily reached out for his next present, whilst sporting his new
T-Shirt with the little black flecks...
The reporter on the TV was sobbing now, as a computer graphic came up on screen showing a map of Mexico and the Southern States.
A row of large red arrows marked pandemia de insectos depredadores was spreading out over the map, up towards the Mid-west and out towards the
East and West Coasts and beyond...