Story 12. A Stern Lecture
Upon returning back to his home lair in Hawaii Thermo was greeted by Dr. Carson who had not seen him in several years. Thermo told all of his adventurous tails to his father about his friends Puffy and Fluffy, Twista and Twisto, Whispy, Snowy, Skates, and his experience with the mega storm Phoon. Upon hearing what Thermo did to protect humans from the Super Outbreak of the Clan of the Storms, which was nothing, Dr. Keeling fumed, “Thermo, I’m very surprised to hear this. Did you not know that the rest of the humans would have about the same level of communication or computer power as me? You have been playing too long with the clouds and just surfing the jet stream for fun. I wanted you to explore Mother Nature’s creation, yes, but I also wanted you to learn what humans have been up to. I bet you did not know that only a few years ago men blasted off in a large rocket and went to the moon and back. Heck, men have been using rockets to go into space around the time you were created.”
Thermo sheepishly said, “I’m sorry, the only time that I would venture near the adults was when I stealthily swooped down to get some jet fuel at airports. I didn’t take any time to see what was going on with people running those airports. I never ventured into Florida where those rockets you said were blasting off. I thought that you did not want me to reveal my presence lest there be a lot of alarm and fear from the adult humans. Also, I was very content to play with my friends Fluffy and Puffy, but I don’t want any harm to come to any of Mother Nature’s creatures, including the humans and especially their children.”
Dr. Carson, knowing full well what he wanted Thermo to become, lectured on, “No more excuses. You are now nearly 13 years old and have to grow up and take some responsibility. You should know by now through experience that nature is very cannibalistic and can be cruel. Natural things have to consume other natural things in order to sustain life and consciousness. We have to eat other animals and plants to stay alive. Even you must consume oxygen and steal or get jet fuel to keep going, unfortunately. I did not know how to create you any other way back in 1961. Even plants must consume carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, soak up the sun’s rays from the air, and get nutrients from the soil to grow and stay alive. Also, beings like Twisto and some humans, do cruel things to their fellow creatures for sport just because they can. On the other hand, some creatures, like elephants, have no idea that they are crushing plants and small animals under hoof and accidentally do harm. Besides if it wasn’t for storms producing rain there would be drought in some areas, which is bad for all living things. Snow and ice lock in moisture in the soil during winter. Many plants, including crops that humans rely on, need that moisture to begin budding and growing during the spring. It is up to you, Thermo, to determine what is evil in this world and what, if anything at all in your power; you can do to make the planet a better place for all. You have to learn what the weaknesses and strengths are of both your friends and enemies. You have done a poor job learning about your human friends.” Upon hearing this Thermo felt dejected and stared down at his plastic landing pads, which served for feet.
Dr. Carson continued, “I have a mission for you that I think you are ready for. I believe that nature has been in a delicate balance across the planet well before the dawn of civilization. In my scientific studies from Mauna Loa I have noticed that the level of carbon dioxide has been steadily increasing since I began measurements. I know that this is due to mankinds industrialization of the Earth. This is leading to a greenhouse effect that could eventually be detrimental to current life on the planet knocking that delicate balance that I have been talking about out of alignment; but that’s just a running theory of mine. I need to convince more fellow scientists that an increased greenhouse effect is underway. This is my life’s work, and it is the one thing I have concentrated on to improve the lot of life on Earth over the long haul of what is termed evolution. I want you to play a part in helping me by going around the planet and taking some temperature readings. You are too weak and small to thwart beings like Twisto, which are part of nature anyway and can’t be stopped; but, you and I can eventually show mankind the error of his ways so nature can continue on unchanged for many millennia to come.”
Upon hearing this Thermo perked up and said, “Yes father, I don’t quite understand what you are getting at, but I can do what you ask without worrying too much about what those big, scary storm monsters are up to.”
Dr. Carson said, “Good, now get some rest here, drink plenty of jet fuel, and head towards the Himalayas in a few days since I also want you to check out what is happening to glaciers with your cameras. All of this data that you are taking will be automatically transmitted back to my computers for analysis. All you have to do is explore where I will radio you to go. Previously over your first thirteen years I have let you roam the Earth without me speaking into your ear because I wanted you to be free to explore, but that will now change since I feel you have learned all you can on your own up to this point in time. Also it’s just a hunch of mine, but in a few years the planet will be warming in some strange ways, so it is time for you and me to act.” And with that Thermo and Carson settled down for a hot meal and, in Thermo’s case, a nice jet fuel bath.
The text and artwork are copyright Guy Walton.
Artwork is by my friend, Alyssa Josue.