Friday Fictioneers: Fields of Gold

Nothing tells me that time flies like another prompt of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. The task is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less.

You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.


claire-fuller-9
Image © Claire Fuller

Fields of Gold

„What do I see, Vanessa?“
“Seeds. This is the only remaining plant vault we can access. They’re more precious than gold.”
“Let’s keep it a secret, then, shall we? The Plebs don’t need to know.”
“I thought so once, too, Hazel, but I’ve changed my mind. We must tell them, to give them hope.”
“If you think so, you’re the expert.”
~*~
Breaking News:
Director of USDA-ARS dies of barbiturate overdose.
Congresswoman Hazel Royce, a close friend of the deceased, is shocked.
“I don’t think she got over the destruction of the seed bank. She’s given up hope. A tragedy.”

(100 words)


Featured Image: Licensed under (CC BY 2.0.
This is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Research Service (ARS) National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) cold storage vault, in Ft. Collins, CO on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. This secure, long-term storage facility contains nearly 1 million samples of more than 13,200 plant species from the NPGS and from other international plant gene banks, as well as other U.S. government land management agencies. Most of the samples are preserved in the form of seeds. Some germplasm is also preserved as buds, cuttings, and tissue cultures. The 20 NPGS gene banks across the U.S. safeguard, study, and distribute these plant samples, each collected at a particular time and place, including modern and old varieties, wild relatives of crop plants, and genetic stocks. Seeds are packaged in moisture proof foil bags for cold vault storage at -18 °C (0 °F). The packets of seeds are organized in high-density rolling shelves. NCGRP seed preservation protocols are based on more than 50 years of experience and research. The facility opened in 1958 and was expanded in 1992. Preservation of diversity of plant genetic resources helps farmers and conservationists face challenges from climatic change, the spread of new diseases, destructive pests, and abiotic stresses such as drought and salinity. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

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54 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Fields of Gold

  1. Spooky. Sort of reminds me of the film Delicatessen set in a time when the seed eaters have invaded and so there are no seeds, therefore animal feed – and meat protein is almost non existent. Apart from rats and humans.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was thinking telling them was a good idea as well – then you spun it around.
    I’m having fun guessing the background to this story, too, though I think the way things are going seed banks are going to happen without any major disaster.
    Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 From what I read there are conspiracy theories, at least about the one in Norway, because of the involvement of Monsanto. Conspiracy theories are always a good base for fiction. 🙂 Thank you.

      Like

  3. Well told and completely believable. I’d feel just as hopeless at the loss of something so vital.

    I had no idea we actually had seed banks. It makes sense that we would and that they’d be spread over many locations. I learned something new. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This makes me smile from ear to ear, thank you! This is, actually, part of my ‘future history’ (concept shamelessly stolen from R.A. Heinlein). I’ve written about Vanessa and Hazel before (https://gahlearner.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/friday-fictioneers-the-parting-of-the-ways/), but it’s not really a series. I hop around at different times of that history to get things sorted out for myself and the longer story I’m writing which is based on that history.

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  4. You hit gold with this story, Gah. I can definitely see this story expanded. I hope we never lose those seeds. It’s the kind of thing we all just expect to be there. They should be in some protected material or something. I don’t know what, but a vault wouldn’t seem to be enough! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Amy, you make me blush. 🙂 It’s difficult with living tissue. Eventually it’ll die, especially when you don’t have power to keep low temperatures. Seeds would keep a while when properly stored, but not forever. Microfiche documents stored in salt mines and the like, will keep for very long. It’s a dream to stop, or reverse extinction once it’s taken place.

      Liked by 1 person

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