It was technology that ravaged our world. Humans desire for more, for growth, was insatiable.
Even when it was clear that they could not sustain their standard of living on this world they persisted.
There were those of my kind that believed we should have destroyed them the minute they climbed out of the trees we tended and found a way to chop and burn them.
They were considered reactionary, at the time, clouded by bias. Sadly, they turned out to be correct.
In the end, though the technology was all that kept us and the remaining humans alive. With the ecosystem destroyed, chlorophyll no longer pulled energy from the sun into our food chain.
Without the ability to tap that energy artificially via photovoltaic cells, and to use this energy to re-organize matter, there would be no food,
and we would have all perished along with the flora and fauna of Earth.
I pulled the battery out of the solar charger and returned to the safety of my shelter. It was nearly time to move.
I'd been here far too long already, and my cargo was too important to be found. There were so few of us now. We had split up years ago, no need to keep all our eggs in one basket.
We were, however, running out of eggs. In fact, we might only have one basket left. I'd not spoken to any other Elves in months. Maybe my 4 small trees were all that was left.
My personal alarm started to sound. Sandstorm brewing to the East.
I wasn't too worried, the prevailing wind would take it away from me, and as long as I could stay behind it, it would drive others away before me.
It would give me a few additional days of safety most likely. I needed them. My Windtrap needed urgent repairs. Collecting the moisture from myself and the trees would not be enough.
The air was too hot at this latitude and too dry this far from the water. I couldn't risk going there though. The area would be crowded and growing more so.
As they drank and the water retreated, the shoreline shrank, and everyone got squeezed even more. Soon that last pool would erupt into violence, like every fading lake before it.
I decided to head out and collect the solar panels. The heat outside was like a weight, but I was used to it. I had been carrying the remaining forests of the world on my shoulders.
I was grateful as I packed the human tech away, that I didn't have the human capacity for despair. I'd seen humans give up well before their life was lost. Sometimes even take it themselves.
For me, I was just tried. I hoped for a day I could stop wandering. A day I could rest. Perhaps a day I could share a dappled shade with another of my kind. If they even existed anymore.
I folded back the last cell and stopped stock-still. Hands shaking I checked my equipment, expecting to see a condenser leak or a spill from the Windtrap collection. There was nothing.
I fell to my knees in front of a miracle. It was a single green shoot. I had not planted it, I'd given up that practice nearly 100 years ago. It had not been watered.
It had germinated and was surviving, on its own, in the lee of this dune.
My journey was over. I decided right there and then. I set up a beacon I'd given up hope of ever using. To call the remaining elves of the world to this place. To defend this new hope.
As one of the most celebrated of my kind had once said, life had....found a way. It was our second chance. It was our duty to defend it this time.
I readied my Las-rifle and returned to my shelter to wait for re-enforcements.
I hope they come.
Artwork credit https://www.artstation.com/artwork/RzNPe Alex Spisak