He looked out over the field at the cost of progress. An army of mechanical arms reached out and removed the cells of the forest one by one. They tore off limbs, placed whole bodies aside for other arms to take over.

These were his toys: a hundred LEGO blocks stacked into adulthood. His toys built things- things people no longer wanted to build, things people could never do without. And to do that, they killed. One made chairs, another in minutes made thousands of rolls of toilet paper. They told him that he had solved the logging industry problem- even that he saved lives. His machines took every job and did it better than people ever could. Kill, kill, kill and automate, automate automate! He wondered where those loggers were now, now that they couldn’t fall back on truck driving either.

It wasn’t easy. One job at time. He taught a machine first how to cut down a tree and remove its limbs. He taught another to sort those limbs. Some limbs became paper, still others became tissue paper- the rest he gave to a creative AI instructed to make furniture. He took pride in that one- almost ten years went into the programming. Some of his children learned how to sort logs, while others learned to transport them by air, land, or river.

It wasn’t long before the hard-hat became a couple of kids with laptops. Logger became synonymous with loafer, nerd, hikikomori. All for progress.

And what progress! Empty fields. Acres and acres of grassland. All because America didn’t want to use the bidet. All because furniture looks better if it costs a life.

“Launch them.” He said, and stepped back from the window as a woman tapped at a tablet. He turned to his paperwork while the field began to glisten. Thousands of glittering green grasshoppers dashed forth. Each carrying the forest’s revenge. They hopped and bounced at random, slamming seeds down wherever they landed before skirting off.

Pay me to kill, and again to bring life. How easy it is to think ourselves gods.

_____

ABK

12019/03/14

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