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Swirling Vortex of Death

“But, the GPGP is our fault!” Ferelga stammered. “You can’t just shrug your shoulders.”

“Can. Did. Doing it again,” the pro-pro replied with a wildly exaggerated shrug.

Ferelga Kierk’s fists balled. She wanted to hit something. Hit the pro-pro. Vent all her impossible frustration on the cavalier denial of the problem with a smack to the side of the pro-pro’s head.

But that’s what the pro-pro wanted. He was wearing at least three body cams. He was being paid to antagonize Ferelga. A pro-pro who knew his stuff. A well coached professional provocateur, agitating to capture viral-worthy vid that would discredit Ferelga and her cause.

Ferelga knew it. She knew what the pro-pro was after. Still she wanted to rip the manufactured smugness off his face. Didn’t he get it? Couldn’t he see past the narrow self interested in being paid to make her angry? Make her slip up. And lose control.

All while we were losing control of our world. Earth was beyond the slippery slope. It was half sucked down a vortex of no return. That’s what this rally was about. A vortex. More accurately an ocean gyre. The one that formed the GPGP: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Not really a cause that rolled off the tongue. Ferelga hated hearing that. You had to brand, to market, to sell global doom these days. So much doom competing for attention. Climate change induced monster storms, fires, flooding and droughts. The rise in fascism and nuclear proliferation. Sectarian wars, genocide, famine and endless refugees. All doom worthy. All important to address. To solve. To fix.

And the GPGP was as doom worthy as any of them. And needed to be dealt with. But this existential threat wasn’t getting traction. Wasn’t getting air time. Wasn’t understood by a doom-weary world. A garbage patch?

The closest the GPGP had come to a poster child was a sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged up its nose. That got traction. The result? Banning plastic straws in some restaurants.

That wasn’t going to deal with a garbage whirlpool three times the size of Texas, largely made of consumer detritus and insidious plastic micro particles slowly suffocating the Pacific and other oceans as well. The GPGP was a swirling vortex of death.

A swirling vortex of death.

Ferelga unballed her fists and stepped back from the pro-pro. She’d make him understand. Give him a viral vid. Create the current that could spread outward. Create understanding. And outrage.

Maybe create a gyre of outrage and action as great as the oceans. Fight a vortex with a vortex.

Ferelga grabbed a nearby compatriot’s protest sign with all kinds of plastic garbage stapled to it. The sign read: Plastic is Poison. She held it high over her head and approached the pro-pro.

The pro-pro’s eyes widened, but like the professional provocateur he was, he didn’t back away. He leaned in. He’d take a hit for the team and strike video gold.

Ferelga swung the sign down hard.

It hit the pavement with a crash. The pro-pro looked confused as Ferelga ripped a plastic grocery bag from the sign. She stared fixedly into the pro-pros cameras and put the plastic bag over her head. Cinched it around her neck. Extended her arms. And began to spin.


A swirling vortex of death. Of hope.

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