By Moutushi Ghoshdeysarkar
Giti Gitu and Gito had come to that part of the prairie where they were not supposed to be. It was a restricted area. They weren’t there because they were naughty, but because they were lost. The only relief was that there was light. Ample light, to find our way back home, thought Giti, the eldest of them. They were not siblings but in their biome G’land, everybody’s name started with G.
10 yrs old Giti was a smart chap. It so happened that after school, Gitu (8) and Gito (7), who lived in the same housing complex as that of Giti requested him to take them home by a detour he had quite often spoken off.
The detour was a small one, hardly a couple of fathoms more than the usual way home. It was bordered by a line of very tall bushes.
So it was first two lefts then a right and a slight right and a left again to reach home by this detour. Giti knew it as good as the table of 5. And yet it happened. He got lost and with him Gitu and Gito too.
“Must have taken a turn we should not have.” Gitu said aloud. True it is, but which one? thought Giti.
Beyond the tall bushes, Gito spotted a lamb and showed it to the others. Giti gestured to keep quiet. The lamb was happily jumping around unaware of their presence, suddenly it turned to face them and with a start jumped back and ran as fast as possible. The children ran after it but soon lost it.
Gito was exhausted and sat on a pile of dry grass with a thud. Giti and Gitu were about to join when they saw Gito rolling down into a pit as the dry grass started caving in. He had accidentally touched a lever that opened up a sort of thatch. Gito started screaming and the other two ran towards the opening. Gito was standing on firm ground, not very deep, hardly about their height into the earth in a squarish enclosure. Giti and Gitu jumped in.
The three walked towards the interior of the enclosure and found a door. A little push opened the door ajar and they walked into a room that was walled with glass. Giti placed his palm on the wall and started walking around the room, the other two followed. Suddenly Giti could feel a portion of the wall moving outward. It was a door. The trio pushed and entered another room, much smaller and filled with many narrow chambers like phone booths that they had seen photographs of in their books.
They got inside one and found that it had a lot of buttons. Gito started pushing them but nothing happened. The kids rushed out and started checking the other equipment. There was a big box that looked like a washing machine or dish washer. that they had seen at home. Gitu and Gito started pushing all the buttons and before Giti could warn them one of the booths started glowing. The children ran towards it and went inside. The door shut almost immediately. A voice started saying, “Initiating protocol for descend. Please take your seat” The kids sat down on the bench and a belt came around their waist. A sweet smell filled the chamber and the kids felt sleepy and before long were snoring aloud..
Giti woke up first. The booth door was ajar. The belts were no longer holding them. He shook Gito and Gitu out of their slumber. The trio moved out of the booth and came into the room. Giti said, “Guys I think we slept off and it must be quite late, lets head home, our parents must be very worried.” The other two agreed and they ran out of the room pushing the doors. They came into the enclosure where the hatch had opened, but the hatch was closed now. The kids started looking around and shortly found a lever sort of thing. On pressing it the hatch started to cave in.
Giti put Gito on his shoulder and stood up. Gito climbed out easily. Next out was Gitu and then Giti climbed out. They stood there dumbfounded. Where was the priory? There was sand all around.There was ample light so they could see afar. But with sand all around and no known landscape, they didn’t know which way to go.
Giti said, “I am completely out of my wits, what do we do guys?” Gitu and Gito looked at each other. Finally Gitu said, “Lets start walking.” The three started walking. After a very long walk the kids saw a white tent and a few people moving about it. One of the men spotted the kids and came towards them.
The kids were very exhausted by now and passed out. The man called out for a few others. They picked up the kids and took them into the tents. Made them lie down. After quite some time Giti woke up. One man was sitting by his side. He slowly spoke to him but Giti could not understand. He then punched some buttons on his watch and gestured to Giti to speak. Giti said, “I am Giti.”
The man looked at the watch and a wrinkle formed on his forehead. He again punched some keys and this time the watch repeated after he had spoken, “Are you lost? You seem to be from G’land. How did you reach D’land?”
Giti gave the complete account of their escapade after school. He then inquired about Gitu and Gito. The watch translator said that they were in the other tent. Soon after the trio were given refreshments and they felt revived. Now they wanted to go home. The men from the tent told them that they were far out from the city. Giti asked inquisitively, “What is happening here?”. “We are replacing the water pipes. It has to be done every 20 – 25 yrs to keep any contamination at bay,”
Apparently, the kids came through an elevator but according to the men there wasn’t supposed to be any elevator nearby. This was a remote location meant only to facilitate water circulation throughout the different biomes. Children coming from Grass(G)land to D(Desert)land meant a lot of trouble on a global scale. It meant unauthorized entry to a different biome, through an unauthorized shaft dug without official knowledge and definitely with a malicious intent.
Next morning the kids were taken to the nearest habitation – a beautiful township complete with hi-tech facilities just like the one where Giti, Gitu and Gito live. One of the official routes to traverse between the Lands which the tourists, officials and scientists used was nearby.
Giti Gitu and Gito were taken to a building with beautiful gardens around it, it was a striking feature in a otherwise sandy landscape. They were thoroughly examined, decontaminated and then taken to a room which had a couple of vertical cylindrical metallic elevators just like the ones that the kids had seen and traversed by but much more sophisticated and comfortable.
Urbanization and extreme technological development had seen the surface of the earth made into a city planet – The Ecumenupolis, It had nothing natural about it any more. It had turned into a typical business center – only huge, humongous. Trade happened on an interplanetary scale(Read the account of K’ Rell Suga – a business traveler from L’Orgrehi, a very distant planet).
However the apex living beings of Earth, the humans felt the need to preserve the beautiful biomes(habitats) that the planet had once been adorned with. They wanted their children to know the beautiful and bountiful nature. But they wanted to create a layered Earth where each habitat or biome will be preserved and their unique biotic and the abiotic factors will not interfere with the other biomes.
So they dug into the Earth and created a unique biome for a couple of thousand kms supporting it with pillars and complete with artificial sun and all other natural elements as required with the help of advanced nano bots tech.
The ecumenupolis was followed by the grass-land, the desert-land, the forest-land and the ocean-land.Beyond that was the mantle and core of the Earth, which kept it going – no messing up there!
The kids were given a small drink and asked to sit for a while. While the adults could handle the travel between the habitats, it had never been tried on kids, they were not even made aware of the existence of the other biomes till 16 years of age, after which they could travel freely between the biomes. The light music and ambiance made them feel sleepy and they slept off.
Gito was thrilled to see his mom as he woke up. “Mamma, I went to another earth, it had a lot of sand and no grass. I didn’t want to go there. We were just taking a detour and then…” Mom gave him a patient hearing although she knew everything, the officials had briefed the parents earlier while the kids were still under the effect of the sleep inducer. The three little G’lander kids were very excited about their adventure. But there was a lot more to find out !!!