She saved the correspondence to file and speed-dialed her daughter. Sector Five was complete. Over four years’ hard work and a testament to her skill. Thanks to Old Man McGee’s signature, her promotion to Senior Vice-President was as good as done.
“Mom, I’m busy.” Why must she snap her gum like a truck-stop waitress? “Do you still want to holiday in Ibiza?” She must be rolling her eyes. “We’ll book it tonight.” Her daughter shrieked, “Omigod! Really?!” She adjusted her Bluetooth. “Start packing. Were the groceries delivered?” The doorman had signed for the hamper. “They were out of organic tomatoes so I got regular.” She’d toss them out later. “Honey, always get organic,” she reminded her daughter. “Select from whatever’s available.”
Sam slumped on the sidewalk. His friends dropped their protest signs and sat down with him. “Maybe it’s a mistake,” Andy broke the silence. They couldn’t believe that Old Man McGee had sold out. “There’s still the town hall meeting next week. We have over 8,000 signatures.”
What did it matter now? Nobody said it aloud. The land was gone.
Hank McGee surveyed the fields from his porch. Four generations farming this land. Going up against Monsanto had eventually taken over his life, and he’d continued to fight every step of the way even after his neighbors sold. It had been worth it, especially when the local college kids rallied around him.
Then one day he saw it: Monsanto seeds had migrated to his crops. It was inevitable, of course. He could win every battle but he knew the war, for him, was lost. He could accept theoretical defeat to drought and locusts. But, corporate attempts to control nature? Ridiculous.
Sadness had crept into his face as he mourned the future; the outcomes of genetically engineering seeds and mass monocropping. Now, his eyes reflected a new serenity: Nature would win the bigger war. It might take a while. Maybe a few generations, he reflected. He absentmindedly answered the phone.
“Mr. McGee, it isn’t true!” Sam was dumbfounded.
“Try to understand, son,” Hank beseeched. “There was nothing more to be done. The fields were lost to genetic engineering.”
“What’s going to happen now?” Sam implored. “To the country? The world?”
“Nature will win it all back, Sam.” Hank reassured him. “In the end, Nature always wins….” His voice trailed off as he gazed out over the horizon.