The Tree Guardian


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 ->

"You're kidding, right? The sand there is trash. We've checked it out before and taken significant samples. If you want a new source of minerals, right next to a major city is not the place to find them, especially not a dumping ground like this one."

"I appreciate your insights as a surveyor. When were you planning on telling me that you spent valuable company resources sampling a place like Ravost without direct authorization? And how could such a prominent landmark of a city host a wasteland next door?"

"A firm I was with previously asked my team to survey and get a full chemical breakdown of Ravost and its surroundings. I believe they were looking for anti-toxins and the like, and a coastal city seemed a promising location to find a variety of chemicals settling into the local environment. Nothing of value to anyone as near as I can tell. Except the local kids, it seems they enjoy playing in it. The city council hasn't asked for any more of it though, and I'd guess that was partly due to the periodic earthquakes."

"Well, if the sand really is useless to us, let us move on to the next site on the list. Quantor? Delete Ravost from the list of potentials, and show us Pengiri."

"Done, sir."

"Sir, after Ravost, Pengiri was the third to-"

"Oh, let me guess, more earthquakes? These city councils were asking for waste sand and other fill?"

"Y-yes, sir. Also the occasional tidal wave. It seems that the idea was to alter the local weather patterns in a stabilizing manner."

"Hmm. So how did Pengiri's volume and arrangement of sand compare to Ravost's?"

"Highly similar, sir, as are their coastlines and sub-surface geology. The local scientists of Pengiri put out a report which-"

"I see. We are wasting time going through these one-by-one then. Quantor, search the histories of the remaining areas on the list, and delete all entries where the governing body of the area has called for waste sand to play God with the weather."

"... Done, sir."

"Now display the list."

"None remain, sir."

"Well, that was enlightening. Which one of you fools wants to give me a list of potential locations that actually has potential?!"

Keven's stomach twisted itself in knots as he stalked back to his cubicle. He told himself that he was not the problem, that he had saved more time and energy by speaking up. Then his stomach twisted tighter as the thought hit him that he had brazenly spoken up in front of the CEO and the entire regiment of upper management. Without respect at first, to boot. At least Quantor had made the job of crossing off over a thousand other sites somewhat easier. Small comfort, thought Keven. I should probably pack my desk now...


More knots. Keven was certain that hearing the CEO's voice now confirmed his worst fears.

"Well done, giving a report like that without notice. The rest of them in there forgot how to stand up for what they know. You saved us a great deal of time, both in further investigation and surveying expenses. I would like to hear what areas you would recommend that we investigate further. You know the minerals we are looking for, probably better than all but our bug engineers. What do you say?"

The increasing waves of relief Keven felt were overwhelming. Barely containing the rising euphoria, he gulped, "C-certainly, s-sir. I h-have several sites in mind..."

"Very good. I will instruct Quantor to spare you some computation and prioritized search time. Keep in mind the scale that this company will need. I am looking to be able to replace up to fifty percent of our existing sites within the month. That responsibility is not yours, but I want you to keep the goal in mind. Please report your findings to me every Monday morning by ten."

"Th-thanks, sir! I'll get right on it!"

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