Wednesday, December 23, 2015

io9 Concept Art Writing Prompt: Dec 23, 2015

Rupert stared out across the marshes at the blackhead. "This just isn't fair," he complained. "How did the commission even let him in with an entry like that?" The whole thing had to be too high-concept to even be considered. Didn't it?

His wife, Liao, merely nodded. Humoring him. Of course she always had a thing for Aamir and those high-concept shenanigans. This, though, seeding an Earth-type planet with nanites, growing these geometric shapes, blackheads, blemishes on an otherwise pristine planet, it didn't land. Like when he took a century to painstakingly laser a city's worth of buildings out of the surface of a moon, then turned off the shields and let the meteorites take their course.  Or that time he electrified a Venus-type's atmosphere to resemble Van Gogh's Starry Night.

Where Rupert designed intricate clockwork architecture out of moons and gas clouds and dead stars, testaments to humanity's place at the zenith of nature, Aamir was content to fiddle around at the edges, playing his art as some kind of long con. Rupert despised it.

They were standing in the marsh, the planet's native microbial life sloshing around their boots, invading their lungs. Their very being here was against any number of cultural taboos. From a distance, Aamir waved at them. Not smugly, Rupert thought, which infuriated him more. He would have preferred the man be smug about it all, lording it over him. As it was, Rupert felt as inconsequential as the bacteria playing about his feet.

"Do you suppose it's a perfect sphere?" Liao asked, trying to change the subject.

"Who gives a shit?" Rupert snapped, and trudged toward where Aamir was standing with the rest of the Arts Committee, admiring his handiwork. He wondered how long the blackheads were meant to last. Would future generations of these microbes, when they quickened into intelligent life a billion years from now, look on them in awe and wonder? How would Aamir's little art project deform and shape the mythology of an entire world?

More likely they'd just turn into slush in a few hundred thousand years, after he'd made his point.

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