Hi readers of my story, Infernal. This is a part 2 of a parallel story that I've been working on. It's equally as positive as the other, but written from the opposite end of the utopian spectrum. It's about a port city on an island that had managed to make its way through the crash and isolation that it bought with it. For now, this story is simply called 'Harbour' but that's a temporary thing as I hope to give it a better name soon. I hope you enjoy this one as well!
You can find part one here.
A group of roustabouts from one of the offshore windfarms was onshore. They were drinking pretty heavily but causing little trouble. They rotated, one week on, one week weeks off, so this was a regular occurrence. Everyone knew each them so it was all taken in good spirits.
Some of them were making a few extra dollars while in town installing a new Growcrete fascia for one of the storm walls. It was backbreaking work but the extra pay was much appreciated. Life on the windfarms is tougher even than life than on the seaweed farms. The hardest work though, is maintaining the huge wave power generators that sit on some of our most inhospitable coast. Workers there pretty well live underwater for their stint and are often surly and in need of watching when they come into port.
Work, though, is different now and the archipelago's economy is far different to the slavery for money focused idea of the world before.
The Growcrete added by the workers (we're still trying to come up with a better word than that) will grow over the next few years as coral deposits itself and grows on the new substrate. The honeycomb nature of the material even down to molecular level encourages a teeming ecosystem of marine life and our southern wall was now an adopted nursery for shallow water fish. That added an extra layer of food security to the area and was off limits to divers for another five years while it became truly naturalized. There were enough fishing spots around the islands so this patch would be unmolested until it was mature enough to harvest from.
Growcrete is used as an outer layer for all marine structures. Its form massively increases the surface area of a surface, slowing currents and increasing small turbulence. Growcrete walls had been one of the first things built around our original archipelago, they increased sedimentation and eventually became the structures for the seaweed farms that ringed us. This in turn attracted life. The calcium carbonate material allow corals to attach themselves and grow into and from the surface. All of this helps to protect us from storm surges and hurricanes, of which there were more every year. Some of us remember of a time when major hurricanes were only a yearly occurrence, less than a fifth of what they are now. They only used to go to category five too.
Seaweed is our main crop. It is harvested and dried offshore, then brought in and used as food, construction material, animal food and fertilizer. It's our lifeline here so far from the nearest mainland. If necessary, we could get by with that alone but who wanted to eat and live in algae all of their life. The sea had so many more bounties to offer.
Seaweed is being farmed around the world and different varieties enthusiastically traded. Its vigorous growth helps it reduce the high levels of carbon dioxide in both the air and the sea water. It is a key step in the multi generational efforts to make the world comfortable again. We grow a particular kind in small bays here that produces an anti-oxidant rich material that is in demand in other areas. It is one of our key trade items and a source of health for many people around the globe.