ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the November 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "energy" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival bingo.  This poem belongs in the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.  It follows events in "The Second Law Has No Mercy," so read that one first.


"Tending the Wind"


After moving to the Maldives,
Windmolen begins developing
a variety of new projects.

He lays out specifications
for several wind farms,
some of them mounted
on the sea floor and others
floating on the surface.

He starts the movement
toward artificial islands with
the kite islands, a modular system
of diamond-shaped units each holding
a small yard, a sheltered area suitable
for housing, and its own windmill.

From there, he constructs
the floating wind farms and
begins exploring designs for
more natural-looking islands with
wind turbines hidden inside the rims.

Behind Windmolen himself come
the windmill technicians.

Most of them don't have
superpowers, just a knowledge
of technology, how to install
and maintain the windmills.

Among them is Davis Amesville,
an engineer from Easy City.

He could be designing
artificial islands, too -- he
has done it before -- but after
his catastrophic failures in
Louisiana, he wants to do
something simpler until he
recovers his confidence.

Above the waves,
the windmills rise,
vanes turning briskly
as they transform
air into energy.

No matter how the sea
shifts, humanity finds
a way to keep up with it.

* * *

Notes:

Windmill / Windmolen (Lammert Aaldenberg) -- He has a homely appearance with a dumpy body and square face. He has messy light brown hair, dark blue eyes, and ruddy skin. He is a Dutch super-gizmologist who specializes in urban planning and architecture. He has always enjoyed wisselvak, the craft of changemaking which is Dutch geek slang for gizmologie and super-gizmologie; he still builds veranderingen or self-mobile toys.
Dutch society has left Lammert with a lot of frustrated ambition. While they approve of his goals in water control, they disapprove of his methodology especially when it strays from gizmologie into super-gizmologie. His ideas are just too radical for a relatively conservative society; they keep trying to crush him down to "normal" level. This has left him without much of a support network, and thus vulnerable to outsiders. Several times Lammert has been kidnapped or threatened in an attempt to make him build things for supervillains or shadowy organizations, but he has always refused -- and usually foiled their plans in the process.
Windmolen moves from Holland in the Netherlands to Malé in the Maldives to build wave baffles and floating cities for them. He wants the wider opportunities for improving the world and making a real difference. He has been afraid of drowning ever since he was swept out to sea as a toddler and had to be rescued, but he refuses to let that limit him.
Origin: Lammert grew up studying historic scientists and alchemists, poring over their notes. This pushed the development of his mind until gizmologie shifted into super-gizmologie. The wind powers emerged later with no obvious source.
Uniform: On duty, he wears a tan shirt and matching pants or shorts, work boots, and hard hat. His company has a blue windmill logo that appears on his shirt pocket. Off duty, he likes button-up shirts and sweaters, often layered together. He is not a fan of vidwatches, however, and prefers the precursor style of heavily tricked-out wristwatch subdivided into different sections.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Intelligence, Good (+2) Civil Engineering, Good (+2) Never Gives Up, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Afraid of Drowning
Powers: Expert (+4) Super-Gizmologie, Good (+2) Wind Powers
Motivation: To hold back the sea.

Davis Amesville -- He has ruddy skin, blue eyes, and unruly brown hair. He is single and has no close family in Easy City, despite having grown up there. After Hurricane Ida flooded their house in November of 2009, his parents and three younger brothers moved to Shreveport at the end of the year. Davis has a master's degree in engineering, which he uses to build artificial islands. The first one he designed himself, la 'Tit'Ile (the Little Island), was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012. Later he heard about the Republic of the Maldives seeking soups, especially those with powers relating to water or weather, and decided to move there.
Origin: He already had Super-Immunity courtesy of the Aegis vaccine base, but did not realize it. Hurricane Sandy left him traumatized, and he put a lot of effort into the cleanup. His Weather Sense and Water Control emerged after the storm, which felt like "too little, too late" to him.
Uniform: On duty, Davis usually wears a jumpsuit or coveralls in green to gray. Off duty, he favors blue-collar men's wear.
Qualities: Expert (+2) Engineer, Good (+2) Cooperation, Good (+2) Polite, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Recovering from Setbacks
Powers: Average (0) Super-Immunity, Average (0) Water Control, Average (0) Weather Sense
Motivation: To pick up the pieces.

* * *

Climate change poses a major threat to Local-Earth, and a moderate one even in Terramagne with their better environmental awareness and superpowers. Sea level is rising, and likely to do so more rapidly. Storms are getting more intense as water warms.

Island nations are most threatened by climate change. Like the Republic of the Maldives, many of them are only a few meters above sea level and it doesn't take much to flood them. Others like Hawaii are fortunate to have taller mountains ... but their big cities are usually still on the coasts and therefore vulnerable.

Energy in the Maldives comes from imported oil, for which the demand is increasing. Interest in renewable energy is rising. Read about wind power potential in the Maldives and efforts to develop it. In other places, there are plans to make artificial islands to support wind farms.

Artificial islands expand opportunities to make use of aquatic territory. This island is made from kite-shaped modules. This one features a hexagonal tower. The seascraper is not technically an island because it is free-floating instead of fixed, but it serves a similar purpose of colonizing the ocean. Here is one designed to support windmills.

Artificial islands can be made in various styles, floating or moored. They're a good way to cope with climate change. This is the wreck of la 'Tit'Ile. If finished, it would have looked something like this.

île (n.f.) island. la Grand'Ile Grand Isle.
-- Cajun French-English Glossary

petit (adj.) small; little; short. [When used as an adjective before a noun, the first syllable is often dropped. Thus, a listener will hear "une 'tite maison" or "un 'tit chien."] (n.m.) child.
-- Cajun French-English Glossary

la 'Tit'Ile -- the Little Island

Whoops

Date: 2017-11-13 05:19 am (UTC)
bairnsidhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bairnsidhe
Looks like the HTML gremlin decided to nom on the end there. Great poem.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-11-13 11:11 am (UTC)
acelightning: outline of state of NJ, "where the weak are killed and eaten" (New Jersey)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
The image you link to as "the wreck of la 'Tit'Ile" is actually the ruin of a historic roller-coaster at a famous "amusement pier" on the Jersey Shore; the coaster was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy five years ago. (So was half my house and a lot of my stuff.) The curves of the wrecked coaster do resemble the curves of the artist's conception of la 'Tit'Ile, though.

I love wind farms! I don't think they're an "eyesore" at all, and I have to assume that most migrating birds are smart enough not to fly into the spinning blades. I don't even mind the sounds they make. But there's another way to tap into "renewable" energy, which goes back to 1950s technology: tidal and/or wave power. Some offshore oil-drilling platforms were built this way to begin with, and others can be fairly easy retrofitted. The legs of the towers that are anchored to the ocean floor are not directly attached to the platform; the top ends of the legs are free to slide up and down as the waves and tides cause the platform to rise and fall. On the up-stroke, air gets sucked into the hollow legs; on the down-stroke, this air is compressed. The compressed air can then be used to spin generators. I've always wondered why the idea never caught on.


(no subject)

Date: 2017-11-18 05:51 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Big Oil crushed it, most likely. Like they did GM's EV car. Literally.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-03-17 06:18 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
The thing that makes me twitch about artificial islands is tropical storms / hurricanes / typhoons. There's nowhere on the ocean that isn't subject to stormy weather, and how do these islands handle that hazard?

Details

Date: 2018-06-03 05:39 am (UTC)
heartsinger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heartsinger
No mention of PH or Aquariana

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