Saturday, June 6, 2020

''Baked Alaska: 2049…'' -- a short story in 2020 by Praveen Gupta in India

Indian writer Mr. Praveen Gupta tells me today: ''Hello Dan, I made some edits to this.  Here is the current version for your reading pleasure:''
''Baked Alaska: 2049…''
A short story by Praveen Gupta
(copyright 2020) PRAVEN GUPTA
Ash thanked his background in quantum biology for the exciting exploration in demystifying the growing frequency and severity of global pandemics. He had heard and read in his history book about the Coronavirus and the resulting grief. It had mysteriously appeared in the winter of 2019, tapered in the summer of 2020, and totally disappeared the following summer.
Ever since, there were several similar recurrences. It was the outbreak in Alaska and across the Bering Strait - Shishmaref and beyond just where the first climate change refugees originated from - that gave him an opportunity to pin down possible connection the Wuhan cause had with other outbreaks. Something was amiss, this was not just another case of pure physical transmission of the virus strain.
The excessive melting of glaciers on the Qinghai -Tibetan Plateau was leading to receding permafrost. That is where the Yangtze, which meandered by Wuhan, originated! Climate Change was then a fledgling science, given the low priority not many endeavored to understand the dependencies.
Ash’s grandfather was an economic migrant to Hong Kong. Thanks to the growing wind speed of the storms, which was predicted to touch 400 Kmph well before the end of the century, that the family moved to British Columbia. The winters there were no longer stiff. Christmas in much of the neighbouring Alaska was rarely white anymore. The remnants of the highly polluting tar sands left behind ugly scars across BC and Alberta. Deep wounds that seemed beyond healing.
Ash would recall amazing bedtime stories from grandpa. The most vivid being the recurring appearance of the shark spirit ‘Saa Yue’, in his dreams. These generally coincided the typhoon season in the South China Sea. The ‘Saa Yue’ would share with him the benign equation she enjoyed with all the wise men who had traversed the oceans over time. She could teleport their relationship back and forth in time.
“How do I invoke the ‘Saa Yue’ spirit and seek answers?” Grandpa was long gone. ‘Tunneling, dreams and quantum theory’ was the stuff of dreams! This presentation by Allen came just in time.
Himself a climate refugee - from Maldives. Allen’s home - the Maafushi island - went under water much before he learnt to walk. His family made it to a lucky draw for resettlement in Canada.
The young Maldivian as he grew - opted studying cognitive psychology and quantum computing at the UBC. Here he was trying to run past the findings of his doctorate with the peers.
“Tell me exactly where and when you lived in HK and let us attempt a simulation of the waves that transacted between the ‘Saa Yue’ spirit and grandpa”. “Do you at all recall what transpired between you two?” asked Allen.
“Grandpa could they talk our language. I recall asking”.
“Not really son”, he would say. “But they had some form of messaging even when they were far apart in time or space”.
“That is when I had my first inkling of entanglement between physics and biology’’.
“So, what was the ‘Saa Yue’ trying to communicate? I distinctly remember asking, I remember asking him”.
“The immediate grudge was the way humans behave with the sharks and how the craving for shark fin soup was decimating the specie. But overall, our obnoxious and catastrophic ways with nature”.
“She has even decoded my genes and predicts how you - my grandchild - would play a big role in rescuing the planet. There is also another set of genes in the process of manifesting in a youngster who you will partner by accident.”
“That is got to be you, my friend”, said Ash!
There was no looking back since then. What bound the two climate warriors was the intensity of respective rage against the callous global leadership at large - hence their will to fix it themselves.
The outbreak of first pandemic in Alaska coincided with Ash’s doctoral thesis which not only saw entanglement of physics and biology but underlying climate change as the common denominator. 
With quantum computing Ash reaffirmed his theory of COVID-19 and its linkage to the Great Alaskan Flu. The menace of plastic, rising temperature and all the mess caused by ongoing dumping into the oceans did not come in the way of communicating with the ‘Saa Yue’. To their surprise they realized that a unique QKD link already existed between the resilient Belugas of Pacific Northwest, Sunderbans Irrawaddy Dolphins and the ‘Saa Yue’. This time by sheer teleporting - the COVID was transplanted into the last of retracting Alaskan permafrost.
Wuhan was a case of ‘partial’ teleporting as he realized. The deadly virus once replicated was dropped into the upper reaches of Yangtze - traversed to Wuhan in a free flow. The rest is history. Humans tend to have most blind spots when they are a cause of something. That Climate Change could be a cause of the deadly pandemic - was far beyond their imagination!
The connect with ‘Saa Yue’ was instant. “Delighted - you two are a dream team already”. “Yes, we used quantum cognition to simulate an irrational behavior only humans have it coded in their genome. We know how to crossover back to our original state - we are in a state of suspended mutation. No sooner we bring down the ‘shark fin soup craving’ human count to our target number, we shall revert to our normal. You two need to rewrite the quantum genetic algorithm to ensure a permanent crossover by humans and ensure the elimination of their irrational destructive tendencies. Good luck!”
“Before you go, said Allen, we need to understand how would our algo be delivered to identified recipients?”
“You would have heard of viral vectors for gene therapy? We have a far advanced version than humans can ever imagine - will deploy it for all those humans desperately deserving this intervention. All for the sake of our Planet”.
Many months of toil whilst the Great Alaskan Flu raged - finally, the algo was ready to share. The response was delivered to Ash and Allen in their dreams: “Well-done boys!” Entangled, tunneled, and finally end to the chronic dissonance. They seemed to be building a whole new experiential vocabulary for a Brave New World of hope and joy. With the ‘alienation effect’ addressed, it was time for humans to resume the ‘rhythms of nature’.
Mr Gupta's many learned articles are published here:
And here at his blog:
His twitter handle is @pgupta79

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