Adam Teforp, following several successful business ventures, has facilitated the creation of AARDVARK - a program to provide the rest of the animal kingdom with the same communication methods as humans.
This begins as a massive scientific breakthrough, but the intelligence and ulterior motives of the animals soon become apparent. The world as humans know it - the world that humans try to own - is in great danger.
“The ultimate conspiracy – a virus released to cull the exploding world population. The ultimate in paranoia – talking animals taking over the world. Great fiction, terrifying prophecy.” Michael Wilding
“A poignant comment on society and a rich reflection of our foibles.” Peter King: Chairman Australian Heritage Commission
“Animal Farm for the new Millennium!” John Reed
The baby seals frolicked as the sand castle they had so laboriously constructed dissolved in the encroaching foam. Slithers of sea water rushed into the coarse- grained sand corrugations carved by the patter of their dexterous flippers.
Ten chains offshore, Kris smiled inside so warm rippling and wide; his natural dolphin smile could hardly contain itself. He heaved out a sonorous greeting as he back-flipped in the air then took the long deep emerald dive twenty feet below the hissing waves.
He peered through the gusting sand and seaweed at the ragged rockface. In a boil of bubbles two friends torpedoed down from the surface. They looked together at the tell-tale signs then simultaneously flicked their sleek bodies forward and disappeared into the mouth of an underwater cave.
Kris and his friends exploded through the surface of the
water into a vast underground den bathed in a soft lambent glow. The light in the cave seemed to drip from the rocky walls. The top of the cave was invisible in the darkness. Twenty juvenile dolphins were gliding around the water base of the cave, some alone, some in groups. They spoke to each other in the clipped metallic “Glish” that had been their birthright for more than a hundred generations. These special neophytes were rehearsing, remembering, practising the special oaths they were soon to
utter. In unison they sang from the Relics.
Kris ran through in his mind, with his almost total recall, the word pictures that made up the Greenwars fragments then rumbled words across the choppy waters.
They descended from the Heaven, with the
Fury of a thousand storms, and watched,
invisible, the creature with Feelings; Its fear, Its joy,
Out of a column of light walked
the Maker, and placed a Crown upon It and Its mate.
And Truth poured into them, and Knowledge,
And gave them dominion over this World.
Kris floated alongside one of his best friends and whispered, “I have been waiting so long for this. We are nearly there.”
And because the Creator was flawed,
so too His technology.
He gave the creatures the Voice, and the Truth
But perfection was always an illusion.
(From the Greenwars Relics)
From Dust to Life
Adam teforp put down his pen and rested his notebook on the narrow table that extended from the seat in front of him. He looked out of the small aircraft window at the massive red rock that punctured the flat expanse of desert, pushing itself towards the sky. It was hard to gauge its size. The only reference points were tourist buses strewn at the base of this massive monolith. But he knew it was immense, red and raw.
His sun-bleached friend in the next seat, with whom he had just spent two days in Darwin, leant towards him. “Adam, what is it that you keep jotting into that tatty old notebook?”
“I’ve been building up a bit of an anthology of poems over the last few years. I spend so much time on planes, I’ve decided to call the collection The Plane Poems. A bit like the train poetry of the First World War.”
Christopher, Adam’s friend, took a swig of his diet-cola then buckled his seatbelt, yawning and stretching as he straightened his legs out into the aisle.
“You know, you’ve made a fortune out of the fast food industry and out of that space junket. I never believed the lottery would work, but you must’ve netted two or three hundred million out of it. Why on earth do you play around with the tedium of poetry?”
Adam raised an eyebrow and revealed the full extent of the blueness of his eyes, magnified and intensified by the surrounding brilliant azure sky. “I netted a little less than a hundred million altogether on the space lottery; and really the poetry is not so much a diversion, but a way of recording my thoughts and anticipations. Besides, it’s my only artistic outlet. I can’t paint, I can’t play a musical instrument, I can’t even sing for that matter. Everyone needs an artistic catharsis. This is mine.”
The plane throttled back and began its descent to the small airport near the Yulara Resort, a speck of civilisation near the majestic Uluru, or what used to be known as Ayers Rock.
The gods gave gifts,
bounteous gifts of freedom.
The masses swelled
in number, pride and wealth.
And with it came the blackness.
(From the Greenwars Relics)
Attila was acutely aware of the disapproving looks he was receiving from one arrogant member of the felines. A natural impertinence and hauteur oozed from this creature. She lay languidly on cushions that had been prepared for the special chairs thrown at the tables.
What she, and it was definitely a she, was looking at he was not too sure. But it was a disapproving, mocking, condescending look that only the eastern Sydney cats had mastered. Only a few short years of existence and already they distinguished themselves from those who lived by the millions in the western suburbs of Sydney. Attila was already using the term of contempt for cats as a whole “Meeowies”. A bunch of self-satisfied, garrulous, querulous creatures who served only themselves.
It was all too apparent to Attila that the felines of Sydney, and even those he had met in the newer colonies in America and England, considered themselves not at all equal to the primates, but in fact their superiors. The primates who had created their very consciousness were seen as merely a subservient species who existed only to pamper to the likes of these Meeowies. Yes, oh so smug were these felines. Always grooming themselves with an indolent air. Looking down their long noses at everyone else, as if their reason for being was ordained by some other entity than the primates.
“It’s only through our indulgence they even exist,” he thought to himself, hoping his thoughts would escape and annoy his tormentor. Cats had an uncanny ability to sense things.
Attila’s eyes flicked around the room, trying to avoid those of the she-cat who was the starer. “Interesting,” he mumbled to himself. “Man certainly knew how to create an environment in restaurants.”
He had been rather taken by the hundreds of small restaurants scattered throughout the areas close to the heart of the city of Sydney. Some, those in the eastern part, were reclaimed old terraced houses with interesting courtyards and small private rooms where groups of diners could retreat.
Attila looked anxiously at his watch. He had been waiting now for forty-five minutes for Carnegie, his brother.
He was almost relieved when the serving primate ambled over to the feline’s table, responding to the cat’s condescending request for the food cheque. He was embarrassed for the fellow primate who had listened to the whingeing, whining tone of the feline. He was more than happy when she and her two friends slipped off their mittens, tucked them into their neck bags with their teeth and dropped to the floor from their chairs.
“Good riddance Meeowies,” he uttered under his breath. He was sure they had heard.
Wisdom again was lost.
Although the seeing ones tried,
the Greenwars came.
(From the Greenwars Relics)
There was a haze of dim awareness. The startling blue sky stabbed into the dingo’s consciousness. It licked its crusted lips, flicked its eyelids to douse the sun strafing its eyes, spat from its mouth the dried crimson sand that had intruded. Clotted blood striated the coarse-grained soil around it. Ants leapt towards a shiny ceramic bulge in its head. Stained syringes and remnants of bandage and gauze had caught themselves on the thin spiked leaves that protruded from the coarse desert floor.
The birth of this Voice was painful in coming. A throbbing, searing, burning seemed to syncopate with the rolling of the dog’s head. It blinked its eyes. A vision of blood red on brilliant blue.
Instinct told it to force itself to its feet. Trembling, it pushed itself up but was confounded by two mittens strapped to its front paws. It rolled over in the powder-dust and reflected. A familiar red monolith shone in the morning sun a mile away. A piece of plastic was tied to its left paw. A simple message was scrawled in English print. “Your name is Che. Your rock is sacred. Preserve it for the felines. Kill the primates.”
The dingo felt words flooding into its mental essence, words so powerful they flushed the scent of the bush and the other fauna from its brain. The words linked together and became recognisable, tangible thoughts and feelings. “My name is Che,” it thought. “My mission is to kill primates. I know what a primate is although I have never met one. I know what a feline is. I have met many of the ferals. Why should I protect them? They are a species I should kill.”
Confused, the dingo dragged itself from the glaring morning sun into the flimsy shade of a skeleton bush. It lay there panting. It grudgingly realised that, by slight movement of its front paws, it could do wonderful things with its mittens. Small steel talons four inches long would flick in and out with the right pressure at the right point. Small grappling hooks would give him a dexterity that this body unaided could never achieve. He was alone. This blessing, this new enlightenment had come from somewhere, he thought.
Despite his diminished sense of smell he cocked his head and lifted his snout to the air. There was something familiar yet powerfully different. His nose twitched and he buried it in a huge paw print in the sand. “The cat. The feline.” He gasped, “But the paw print is huge. Ten times the size of a normal feline. What does this mean?”
A cracking of a twig close by forced him, wobbling, to his feet.