Photograph taken from Converge website November 2018 – representing pollination!
On the 16th of May 2018 Helen Kenwright and Faye Allison led a Terra Two workshop with Creative Writing students on the Converge programme. It was the first time participants in a T2 workshop had led their own T2 session, and we here at headquarters were exceptionally pleased to see evidence of this pollinatory experience! Not only did the workshop that I (LK) had the pleasure of attending go exceedingly well, but two students developed the work they started that day and submitted it to the online magazine. We are proud to publish these impactful, thought-provoking creative pieces here.
The birth of a new planet and a new regimen
Data – New planet Synsarian, new name Hawking-Gagarin – 708,000 miles from Earth – Temperature -5 degrees centigrade – Habitable, yes that’s right habitable. Who would have the right to live on Sinsarian? The King and Princess Katherine? The leader of an affluent country? The Dali Lama? Mr and Mrs Jones from Cardiff? Wait and see.
Discovered – June 2046 by Neville Nelson (amateur astronomer, avid UFO spotter and part time storm chaser), whilst star gazing in his shed in Milton Keynes. He was, at the time, desperate to tell people and have his five minutes of fame. His silence had been bought in the form of a new van kitted out with the most up to date storm chasing equipment. He now spends six months of the year in America.
Saturday 26th February 2056. In every major City a holographic screen appeared. Men and women worked tirelessly throughout the night to prepare each one for a spectacular broadcast. The message on one of the screens in London, informed citizens that a broadcast would take place at noon; obviously the times may differ in other countries. Now the people needed to gather and listen.
At noon GMT, Alastair Cordukes MP, a rather rotund, balding fifty something, appeared through the door of no 10 Downing Street and walked purposefully over to the podium. At the same time the screens came to life and he appeared in front of everyone. He had programmed the trees around him to blossom as he began, something pretty to accompany his speech. The pavements were shut down, no movement for the duration.
‘People of the world,’ he began.’ You, yes you madam, it includes you – so don’t walk away.’
The lady concerned went red and sat down quickly. ‘Blind as a bat that son of mine, she has heard his speech umpteen times over the past month and it would still be boring,’ Alice Cordukes muttered to herself.
‘People of the world, I am here today to tell you about a new planet that was discovered 10 years ago,’ he began. Neville’s ears pricked up and he scanned the crowd for their reactions. This new planet is called Hawking-Gagarin.
‘What?’ Neville shrieked. ‘Where did that name come from? It wasn’t the name I chose for it.’ He could just about picture his wife Cynthia’s face, she would turn in her grave.
A burly, six foot plus man of pure black muscle, wearing a suit that could have come straight out of a Men In Black film, moved silently towards him. He glared at Neville over the top of his mirrored sunglasses. The glare said ‘shut up or I’ll shut you up’. So Neville did just that.
‘The planet Hawking-Gagarin has been under wraps for the past 10 years, for some intensive research to take place and, latterly, spectacular building work.’ The MP took a deep breath and continued, ‘I can now reveal our plans for this unique planet and our future. If you want to know more about the planet, please go to http://www.extraordinarynewplanet.com.’
Murmurings in the crowds reverberated around the world. Alastair Cordukes MP could feel them all in the palm of his hand.
‘The planet Hawking-Gagarin will be the first non-world planet to be occupied by humans. It will be the planet above all other planets to make Earth the safest planet to live on. It will free up more building land for new housing and it will have a positive effect on our crime rates. We will be safe, people of the world. Yes, you heard me, we will be safe. Now I see that you are all looking puzzled, especially those of you in Japan and Luxemburg. Oh, and the gentleman from Scotland with the toupee and MacDougal tartan suit, this is frae real and I’m not a stuffy nosed pansy who couldn’t fight his way out of London let alone supervise a new planet. So listen and shut up. Now where was I? Oh yes, don’t be puzzled, it’s quite simple. We are going to ship out our most violent criminals to serve out the rest of their sentences in Quadrant 1 our first all-purpose prison on Hawking-Gagarin.
‘Here, the prisoners will conduct simple experiments and have experiments conducted on them. They will be involved in the day to day running of the prison such as cleaning, cooking, maintenance and laundry. New prisons are being built on the planet as we speak, and eventually all prisoners will be shipped off. Starting with those newly sentenced, no matter what the crime. These criminals will be shipped off immediately. We….’
Danny Smith, street robber, pick pocket and all round rogue listened as he concentrated on his third pocket of the day. He stopped on hearing all prisoners and no matter what the crime. Did he want to go to Quadrant 1? Not likely. He abandoned his quest for money and disappeared into the crowd, making his escape on the no 44 hover bus.
‘… We will no longer tolerate negative and inappropriate thought process. We have the solutions. We have the technology that will make our planet safe.’ He gave a wide grin to his audience.
Before he could continue, an irate woman’s voice, which sounded like Nicola Sturgeon, (the android form of the SNP) said, ‘Who’s come up with this hair brained scheme? Not someone with a brain I’m sure.’ As if on cue the audience giggled.
‘Madam as you well know this is a joint project between America, The United Kingdom and Germany. All agencies are involved and once we are established other countries will be invited to join us.’
‘Don’t be fooled people, lots of real ideas have been put forward and have been ignored. Let’s see how quickly it folds,’ a bearded gentleman shouted.
‘Mr Branson, don’t be a nasty pasty. You know taking your balloon up there is not an option. Be sensible and stop behaving like your Dad.’
The audience laughs as Mr Branson reddens with anger. There was no mention of the money he had contributed to the project, no mention at all.
Alastair Cordukes clicked his fingers and two men-in-black figures came forward and unveiled a plan of Quadrant 1.
‘Let me tell you about Quadrant 1 itself. This prison is situated under a dome, to keep out the cold, and is modelled on an American idea. Each prisoner will have their own cell and each cell is visible by CCTV and a central column that can travel up and down, monitoring each level. There is a punishment available to those who break the rules. Needless to say it turns their sentence, if it isn’t already one, into a life sentence.’
‘I’ve heard they are shoved outside and left to float away.’ Neville‘s voice had returned. He was, however, totally ignored.
‘So have I,’ a Welsh voice shouted.
‘And they will not be taking welsh cakes or bara brith with them, and certainly not from your factory, Mr Jones. No free trips.’ Alastair Cordukes interjected.
As you see this is how it all began, in a shed, followed by one very excited MP and an audience of sceptical Joe publics, MP’s without a real cause and monied men and women with an axe to grind. Nothing new there then. Let’s see how if unfolds in the future….
The New World
Katie Suzanne Dryden
Accepting. Tolerant. Togetherness. A community for all those that seek it.
Prehistoric yet futuristic – Peaceful yet full of life – Vast and bountiful yet comfortable, innocent and benign.
It will be all that we need – all that we’ve ever wanted – and yet it will be so much more.
Here, the strong take care of the weak, the young and healthy will take care of the old and weary – no one will be left behind, no matter what their differences because differences won’t matter.
There will be no prison because there will be no crime.
There will be no wars and nobody shall go hungry.
Mental illness will be seen as a super power, not something that is shunned away but something that adds to each individual’s story, character and strength, and we will celebrate this.
To be gay, bisexual, transgender and all other labels that our society has created, will no longer be approached with caution… but with open arms and an open heart.
Our new civilisation will run on kindness, equality, respect, love and all that is good in our current world will be transferred to our ‘New World’ – and amplified.
We have been fortunate to have had this time on Earth to test out what we thought to be correct – we exercised rights and wrongs, which became rules and laws – and with them came punishments, injustice and ruthless wars.
So we bid farewell to what once was – and welcome the new and magnificent Terra Two.