Humanity—the rich, influential, and those useful to the rich and influential anyway—left me behind.
Not just me. Millions like me. Poor people and those with no allure.
The meek inherited the Earth but they didn’t leave us much left when we came into our own.
The oceans would kill a normal human and the important people killed so many pieces of the food chain that it’s all we can do to tend the Earth and keep it up.
It’s not all bad, though.
I’m a geneticist. I created a series of useful viruses to modify the abandoned to make up for the holes in our ecosystem.
None of us are unchanged. Some live in the ocean, others replace wild predators. Almost all of us can digest the standard toxins and output healthy soil.
Sixty years since they left and Earth looks almost good again. We look nearly alright. Some of my more adventurous progeny have even built a star drive.
They’ll find the other children of Earth some day.
I’m faced with a choice.
I can unleash a virus that will give my children—my beautiful grotesques—the sniffles but wipe out any unmodified human who contracts it.
Or I can let the people who abandoned us go.
If not for their innocent children, the choice would be a simple one. But if it weren’t for my innocent children, I might not care at all.
The vial slipped from my hands. I reached to grab for it ... but maybe I’m not so meek after all.